A Few Words About Productivity

One of the hardest adjustments to motherhood for me was how it suddenly took so long to get anything done. Where I had once been able to collaborate for six recitals ("accompanying" is the less PC term)and churn out a couple term papers in a semester while reading and gardening and knitting on the side, after Daniel came along, most of that came to, well, not a screeching halt, but at the least a marked slow-down. Now I can do exactly one thing at a time, school-wise. Last semester I had one doctoral recital, and when it was over, I took my prelims, and didn't have time or energy or focus even to consider what was coming next. This semester I have a few more performances, but my only requirement for my degree is a lecture recital, not to happen for at least three months, and I'm already panicking a little about how to get it done. I'm playing far, far fewer pieces than I used to because of limited practice time and even more limited rehearsal time (when you are paying for child care, most gigs aren't worth it). It's been months since I finished reading a book I started for recreation. Daniel's naps, while improving somewhat, are still brief and relatively rare. I'm lucky if I get more than an hour a day, and I usually spend that reading for my lecture recital and catching up on school-related email. (Or I squander it blogging, but I can sometimes blog while he's nursing.)

You'd think with all this going on in my life, I wouldn't be a very productive knitter. Or that I would at least have the wisdom to stick to just one or two or at the very most three projects at a time. For a brief period (like, a week or maybe less) I tried that. But the more I resolved not to succumb to startitis, the more I would yearn to start new projects, and make up excuses to do just that. So-and-so is having a baby in six months? Better get started on a wee sweater... So I just gave up the whole idea of giving myself rules for knitting. Knitting is a joy to me. Knitting is the only part of my creative life that is not constantly under scrutiny. You think musicians are all sensitive types? You've gotta have seriously thick skin to keep going in this business or you'll buckle under all the criticism, constructive and otherwise.

So if I want to start a sweater, two hats, a pair of socks and a scarf while planning about a dozen other things all in the span of two weeks, who's going to stop me?

I'll just give you a glimpse of what's currently in progress.

Exhibit A: The purple and red jacket

Specifically, the sleeves. After my recent fretting about gauge, I decided to just start the second sleeve, try and knit a little looser, and see what happened. As far as I can tell, they're exactly the same size. Shelly mentioned in comments that often one gets a tighter gauge knitting in the round. I know that's true, but this is honestly the first time it's happened to me. I've knit lots of things in the round after swatching back-and-forth, and it's always worked out. I thought I was just ├╝ber-consistent. Of course, this would come back to bite me in the arse when I'm doing a whole sweater. However, the sleeves fit well over my arms, the gauge difference is so slight that it hasn't significantly changed the texture of the fabric of the sleeves compared to the body, so I'm going to leave it. If something looks weird when I put it all together I'll have to swallow my pride and frog. For now, I'm taking my chances.

Exhibit B: A scarf

Plymouth has this new yarn that's a lot like Noro but a lot cheaper. Wahoo! This one's for ME...and I'll probably finish it when the weather warms up (sigh). It's drying out right now after being artfully draped across the snow.

Exhibit C: A hat for Stu.

I got all the decreasing done last night and tried it on him and it looked...well...silly. Like a beanie lacking a propeller. So I'm giving it another go.

Exhibit D: Knitter in the making?


Thorny said…
RE: Exhibit B

OMG? Is that Boku? I seriously spent like ten minutes ogling and petting and pondering that /very/ colorway this afternoon! I managed to resist the temptation, only to find out that I've reached some kind of milestone as an addict, erm... knitter... and so received a $20 gift certificate. I'm wondering if I can resist the temptation long enough that I'll be able to count my possession of said gift certificate in a unit other than hours.
Suze said…
yup, that's boku! guess i should've mentioned that. and i think the japanese-ish name for the yarn makes it pretty obvious that it's a noro knock-off. it was pretty hard to decide on a colorway!

Popular Posts