Friday, 28 January 2011

The Metaphor Scarf and Other Projects

So, I started knitting this shortly after baby was born. I saw this pattern on the Purl Bee and thought it looked pretty achievable. A really nice effect with minimum thought or effort.

I didn't bother buying the recommended yarn - I had a ball left over from something else that I thought would work, so I just got stuck in. And in between changing nappies and waking up all night and rocking a screaming baby and feeling sore, I knitted a row here and a row there.

And as I did so, I thought to myself how nice it was to do something that I could see growing and that would be finished, in the midst of this new crazy hamster wheel of a parenting life.

It will be a lovely metaphor I thought, a physical enactment of the effort I have been putting in every minute every day with this new life. Something I can hold and use, that shows how all those little stitches make something big and whole.

Hmmm. So I came to the end of the ball of yarn, and realised there was no more, and realised it was really rather short (as in you couldn't wrap it round your neck in any way which would stay on), and also rather stiff and scratchy due to using the wrong yarn!

I stitched the ends up to make a loop - the only way to make it wearable, albeit slightly peculiar. And now, instead of making me think of the hard slog of those early days and how I worked so hard and am achieving things however much it sometimes doesn't feel like it, it just makes me think of how doing knitting projects with (not enough of) the wrong yarn, the wrong needles and no preparation results in something a bit disappointing. Not such a lovely metaphor!

Having said all that, it obviously didn't teach me its lesson as I am currently embarked on another project with the wrong needles and the wrong yarn. When you have leftover stuff to use up and you want to start something NOW its just too tempting. I'm hoping I can estimate/bodge the adjustments I need to make to make it the right size. We'll see...

The other thing about that scarf though was that I decided I had to finish that before moving onto any other project. I have a list of projects I want to do - things like clearing out my wardrobe and putting photos in albums as well as things I'd like to make. This approach has been very succesful so far. I'm an excellent planner, a relatively good starter and a terrible finisher of things. Making myself do one thing at a time has been a very good discipline for me. After the scarf I got stuck into filing of important documents and papers, and have just finished that. Finished something! The feeling is quite unusual. (Whether this kind of efficiency continues is another matter... )


  1. I think you should see it as a different kind of metaphor: you dealt with all the obstacles on your path, and even though it wasn't what you planned, you made it work for you. I say hurray what a lovely original scarf and yay for you for giving it your best shot. Life never brings the right yarn and when it does not enough of it. It's up to us to make the scarf into a loop so we can wear it.

    (Yes, I know, I'm deep. ;-) )

  2. Aaah! Thank you so much for that. That's exactly how I should - and shall - see it. Perfect

  3. I have all the time in the world and not much gets finished. I've even started another quilt but have no idea what I'm trying to make. Currently just sewing triangles together. We'll see I guess!

  4. I think the scarf looks great! I'm forever starting projects with the wrong wool and needles, it can be frustrating but I prefer things being a bit more original and less carbon-knitting-pattern copy.

    LK, I want to apologise for loosing your blog link, I feel so behind with your life! I was reading the same old blogs off my phone for months and months as I could only catch up whilst pushing the baby in the buggy and rarely got to a computer. But things will change now, I'm adding you straight away to my reader. Thank you so much for writing about my blogs, I'm so pleased that you came away inspired and love that you were interested enough to read all the way through! X

  5. M- excited to see your new quilt! I keep seeing beautiful ones other babies have and would love to make one but feels like too big a project right now

    Fay - I tend to catch up on the phone too - whilst night feeding or pushing sleeping baby round - so I know what you mean about losing blogs; makes me rubbish at commenting too. v excited to be on someone elses reader!!