Tea and Knitting

It’s pouring buckets here today. I am taking this as a Sign From Above that this is what I am supposed to be doing today:

Still life of tea and knitting

Still life of tea and knitting

Thinking more about knitting philandering (knitting polygamy?)… Not only does it take longer to finish knitting a single project, there’s a serious risk that as newer and shinier projects come along, the project in question might find itself deeper and deeper in the work-in-progress basket, doomed to never be finished at all. So what’s a knitter to do? How do you stay motivated to actually finish that work-in-progress?

For me, the answer is usually to assign it a deadline. Like most aspects of my life, having a deadline forces me to resist the siren call of the next project and finish something by a certain date. For example, the Rhinebeck sweater. Yes, I wanted to wear it, but declaring it the sweater that I planned to wear at Rhinebeck meant that it had to be done by October 15th, come hell or high water. And so it was. In fact, that deadline worked so well that I’m thinking I need to make a Rhinebeck sweater every year. (And maybe a Maryland Sheep & Wool sweater as well!)

I’m using this approach right now on the Lanesplitter Skirt. I want to wear it to the Homespun Yarn Party at the end of the month, which gives me 25 days to knit 156 rows, or about 7 rows per day (to allow me enough time to knit the waistband and block the finished skirt). So far, so good.

I’m not a huge fan of knitting with Noro (I find it somewhat hard on my hands), but the colors are entrancing, so I want to keep going to see what the color morphs into next. This pattern is worked in a series of 4-rows (2 rows in one color, then two rows in the next), so getting to the end of the next 4-row repeat is a good milestone.

I also use my knitting as a reward. At the end of the day, when the kids are in bed, the dishes are done, and that last load of laundry is tumbling around in the dryer, I get to put my feet up and knit a few rows. To make it sweeter, I often have a DVD or a TV show on the DVR (like Downton Abbey; do I mention that often enough?) to look forward to while I knit.

Audiobooks are another great motivator for me. A single audiobook can provide ten or more hours of knitting time. And if it’s a well-paced book, I’m always eager to get back to it so I can find out what happens next.

What motivational tools do you use to help you finish big projects? Do you have special tips or tricks that I’ve missed?

About Laura

Avid knitter!

Posted on February 29, 2012, in events, knitting, projects, techniques and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The Modern Home Economist

    I always have the TV or a movie on while knitting. My ideal day would be rain, a movie and a good knitting project!

    I also love audio books. I am on the constant look out for a good one to keep me entertained whilst knitting. Goodness they are expensive though – thank goodness for the library! My favorite is the entire Harry Potter series read by Stephen Fry. So much fun.

    The weather is the same here in Melbourne too, but unfortuneattely I am at work. I am dreaming of heading home and knitting. I am currently making a knitted puppy as a baby gift.

    Lovely post – you have made me miss home even more and I cannot wait to be home knitting! Thank you 🙂

    • Yes, thank goodness for the library!! The only drawback to knitting is that I don’t have as much time to read, so audiobooks fill that void nicely. I love Stephen Fry, so I will have to listen to the Harry Potter books– it’s been long enough since I read them that it’s time to revisit them! I went on a Jane Austen kick a few years ago and listened to all of her books, since it had been years since I last read them. I may have to do Dickens next. (Downton Abbey got me hooked on Masterpiece Theatre again, so I’ve been recording various Austen and Dickens movies on the DVR lately.) If you like history, I listened to the biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, which was fascinating (was made into a movie, The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley a few years back). And for fun, there’s always Janet Evanovich, or the Twilight Saga, to which I knit my Rhinebeck sweater last fall. Do you have any other favorites I should check out?

      • The Modern Home Economist

        Oooo so many new options for me. Yes the classics would be good. It would make me feel like I was also undertaking an intellectual endevour. I just finished reading a book called “We Need To Talk About Kevin”. Bit of a thriller. Amazing book – try to get that on audio.

        I think I am going to need to watch Downton Abbey – everyone is saying how amazing it is – it will be my next show!

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