Thursday, July 19, 2007

Push Through

I've been working on the slog for too long now. And it even seemed that just when I thought it was completely done, there was something else to add. The slog caused me to curse more than I think I have ever cursed at a project and the sweater is probably so karmically fused with negativity that the person wearing it will just shudder involuntarily. But, she loves it, she says, so at least one person is happy with this project.

When I first started the slog, I had visions of this grand sweater pattern that I might be able to market. I pictured lovely cables running up the front, cables on the sleeves, perhaps a nice shawl-type collar. I had these pictures in my head until she chose Homespun to be the yarn for it.

Insert deflated bubble of hope here.

Don't get me wrong, Homespun is not the most God-awful yarn that she could have chosen. I would have refused if she had brought me fun fur or midnight mohair. Homespun I could deal with. So, I swatched because I still wanted cables on this jacket and so help me God, I was going to put cables on it, even if you couldn't see them...

When I first cast on the sweater, I was amazed at how fast it was going. Size 10.5 needles + giant yarn = fast. However, I forgot to take into account how long the thing was going to be. About 25 inches into the back of the slog, I threw it down and stomped off. Plain stockinette in a yarn you hate for more than 25 inches is just a recipe for disaster. But, as with most projects that I loathe, I picked it up again, reminding myself that I would get paid for this coat and then I could go buy yarn that I liked and go crazy with lace and cables and any other stitch pattern I wanted (Consequently, I bought Helen's Laces and the Heere Be Dragonne shawl pattern...tiny yarn...ridiculously difficult pattern...go figure...).

So, I knit. I finished the back and then I sighed in relief. That was the only plain stockinette part on the whole thing. So, I cast on for sleeves and marveled at how fast I could knit a sleeve compared to 55 inches of stockinette that was double the width. I completed the sleeves and in my excitement, I cast on for the first front panel. I knit for a while, and then once again I threw the project down and said screw it because homespun was making my hands so dry and sucked.

During the time away from the slog, I realized that it wasn't the yarn. It was the idea of HAVING to finish a project that bothered me. Sure, I had finished lots of things on a deadline before, but something about this bothered me. I felt like I had to get it right because I was being paid to do it. I didn't pick up that slog again until some tragedies struck at work and in my life.

The day Luanne died, I picked up the slog and knit. I knit on that front panel for probably five hours straight that night while Kathy's dog licked me in her crazy compulsive way. I cried and I knit, but I was actually thankful for the slog.

Insert jaw dropping here. Yes, I said I was thankful for the slog.

The slog was mindless. My mind needed something that it didn't have to think about. I finished the first front panel the night Luanne died and then over the next couple of days, I finished the second one. I bound off the whole thing on the way home from the last funeral service.

It took me a week to be really happy about being finished. The moral of this story is to push through. If you're stuck on a project and you really hate it, ask yourself why you hate it. Is there a reason? The yarn? The pattern? You? Try and push through it. If it's something you wanted to do, you'll be happy when it's done.

So, without any further babbling on my part, here is Kathy modeling the finished slog. No, she wasn't the one I made it for, but she was the one I had around and threw the thing on.Yeah, I still think it looks like a giant black bathrobe, but apparently that's what this person wanted. So, she got a really expensive bathrobe.So there it is, in all it's robey-gloriousness. I have also come to the conclusion that the slog will add about 10 pounds to your frame. Kathy is not that big looking in real life. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hell, it was starting to feel like a slog all over again :oP Oh, and if you want a pattern for this, please, don't ask. I'm never speaking of the slog again...

Knit on...


on the wings... said...

Wow...and, wow! That is a REALLY long coat/sweater/robe! No wonder you felt like you were in a pond of quicksand...two steps forward and one step back. And what lesson have you learned here?

Oh, BTW, congratulations on the blackout BINGO! I was only one away!!! Lots of work to keep up with it.

Zabet said...

congrats on finally finishing!

The Slog is dead! Long live the Slog!

Anonymous said...

WOW!! Great work on the slog! What alot of time and effort on your part.

Have a great weekend!!

Brian said...

Can I have the pattern for that sweater? I'd really like to get into knitting, and that looks like the project for me! :OP ~DBF~