Stress levels are high, motivations levels are low. Hello, pre-Christmas burnout!
I have been fighting my way through December with knitting therapy as my main weapon. This serves the dual purpose of keeping me sane, and producing low-budget, high-thoughtfulness Christmas gifts. Two hats and a pair of wristwarmers in the past week alone.
I’ve also made significant progress on a long-term project: a Henry scarf. This will be a “Christmas” present – I use the quotes because while it is in the spirit of the holidays, it may not actually be available before January. I’ve been making slow but steady progress since mid-October, mainly on public transit.
I’ve realised that my least favourite part of the day can become bonus knitting time as long as the bus isn’t too crowded. If the bus is too hot, I feel carsick, and if it’s realy full and I have to stand I worry that some one will lose an eye. But if there’s room for me to sit down, I’m able to conquer my fear of knitting in public. Besides, everyone else is so busy texting I don’t think they even notice my needles.
I even bought myself a little travel project bag for my knitting, like all the cool kids have. It keeps my scarf safe and dry and untangled. Quite handy, really.
It was a really good deal too – six free bagels with the purchase of a knitting bag.
Even with the addition of this 100% whole wheat accessory, I was getting a little tired of the scarf. The damn thing is knit lengthwise, so each row is 450+ stitches. Plus, the pattern is k2, slip 2 – too simple to be interesting and too detailed to zone out and let the needles fly – and if you accidentally k2 slip 3 and don’t realise it til 200 stitches later… don’t even get me started. (I finally instituted a “measure twice, knit once” policy where I placed markers every 50 stitches and stop to check that everything is ok at every marker.)
The final disincentive for working on this scarf was the sound of my knitting. I’m using Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, a nice soft blend of wool and silk, and I love the way it looks and how soft it’ll be on the neck. But sometimes if feels like knitting with a paper towel. A very squeaky paper towel. A nails-on-a-blackboard paper towel. Aaaargh.
I’m not knitting because the world needs another handknitted, scarf, I’m doing it because I enjoy it. So why am I still working on this scarf? I pondered that question for a while and decided that I was working on the scarf because I’m stubborn. Isn’t self-analysis great? Also because I think my husband will really like it and appreciate the time I put into it. And then it came to me. Make the journey more enjoyable. Complete the journey on Addi Turbos.
My knitting budget is fairly small (refer to photo above), and I find it hard to justify buying expensive needles. But once the idea was in my head, I just couldn’t shake it. I still had probably 30 hours of work left on that scarf; I wouldn’t be spending money on needles, I’d be spending money on happiness.
Before I knew what was happening, I found myself at my LYS handing over my credit card. It was like a Mastercard commercial. Cost of 3.5mm, 80 cm Addi Turbos: $20.00. Joy found in the sweet smooth knitting bliss that ensues: priceless.
Granted, I paid with my VISA and didn’t exit the store in slow motion with my hair blowing in the wind, but you get the picture.