Finishing Touches

So I finished the knitting on my February Lady Sweater over a week ago, took pictures and blogged about it. All it needed at that point was blocking and buttons. (For those of you who are not knitters, blocking is the process of washing the garment and then shaping it to dry. It relaxes the yan and helps the garment smooth out and take its final, finished shape).

And yet, excited as I was to finish it and be able to wear it, doing those things took me over a week. It’s not like they are hard or even all that time consuming; the two activities together probably take 20 minutes. And since I’m not by nature a procrastinator, it makes me wonder why I didn’t do it right away.

But after some thought, I think I may have figured it out. You see, when those minor items are completed, the item will really be done. DONE. And at that point, I’ll face the results of my handiwork and the little fear I have that it won’t be the way that I wanted it. As long as it’s unblocked, whatever I don’t like about it can always be fixed in the blocking process, right?

This is part of what makes knitting a funny process. You start with sticks and sting, sometimes a pattern, and definitely an idea of what you want this thing to look like when it’s done. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky and the knitting gods are in your favor, it comes out the way you envisioned it. Sometimes it comes out looking quite different, but still lovely. And sometimes, it comes out in a way that makes you want to stuff it in the back of the drawer and pretend it never happened. It’s a unique combination of the fit of a garment you can’t try on until it’s done with a yarn that may be different in color or drape or texture than your vision.

One of the things that new knitters aspire to – and something that knitters get better at with experience – is predictability; of knowing when you start a project that you’ll like the end result. That said, it’s also the case that even famous knitters have their occasional disaster. Luckily, many are kind enough to share that fact with us, so the rest of us have the comfort of knowing that it’s not just us.

Still, at least for me, it’s always a slightly uncomfortable feeling when you are the last stage of finishing a project. The end is near – and that might be a great thing. Or the sweater might come out the size of Chewbacca. You just never know. As for this sweater, so far so good. The lace spread out nicely when I blocked it. When it’s dry (which should be sometime today), I’ll add the buttons and hopefully I’ll love it. Cross your fingers for me.

2 thoughts on “Finishing Touches

  1. Peggy says:

    This post reminds me of something I read last night in EZ’s Knitting Without Tears. When she was talking about using two dye lots, ways to fool the eyes. EZ pointed out that as the knitter, we wouldn’t be fooled beacuse we knew too much! Hahaha!

    I’m really enjoying the book! Thanks Mardee!

  2. mardeeknits says:

    Thanks, Peggy! As you know, EZ is one of my absolute favorites – I think mostly because she believes that knitters are smart and believes that you should be the boss of your knitting, not the pattern. I love that!

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