Knitstant Gratification

The crafting adventures of a knitter, music lover, and hockey fan.

Archive for May, 2007

Stanley Cup Knitting – Game 2

Posted by Andi on May 30, 2007

I like my knit-while-watching-hockey idea. During Game 1 I was able to sew the shoulder seams and pick up and knit the trim around the right front, neck, and left front. I got so motivated to work on Poinsettia that I did some work on it yesterday, an off day, as well. I finished knitting the trim and bound off. Here’s what Poinsettia looks like so far:

Poinsettia in progress

It’s starting to look like a real garment! Next I have to make the ties, add the sleeves, and sew the side seams.

Tonight is Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals (currently there is about 5 minutes left in the first period, no score), but I likely won’t be doing any knitting unless this game goes into multiple overtimes. Yes, I know, I know, I’m already breaking my vow, but something more important came up. I need to get my data for my dissertation entered, and so I will do as much of that as I can tonight. Since I did some extra knitting yesterday I don’t feel too bad about it.

These data should have been entered before. I wasn’t good about entering the data as I collected it, and at the end of the semester I got sick. Once my fever was gone I was able to go to work, but I was wiped out by the time I got home so I was unable to do it then. I spent the long weekend away from home, so I lost those days as well.

But let’s face it, the real reason why I still have so much data to enter is because I’m extremely anxious about it, so I avoid it. This started while I was studying for my last candidacy exam. I was so worried about failing it that I couldn’t study. Every time I went to study I felt sick to my stomach. I often couldn’t get any work done without having a meltdown. I would literally have to sob and scream and throw a fit in order to get a few productive days in, and then I would have to do it all over again.

This actually relates to knitting. When I got to the point where I was making no progress I went to the Wellness Center at my university to see one of the therapists. She spoke with me about ways to reduce my academic anxiety, and we talked about how to be mindful of other things in order to help me relax. I had taken a 6-week yoga course, and I told her that I always felt better after that. She told me that I could take the mindfulness I experienced during yoga and apply it to other things, such as doing the dishes and knitting.

I found the book Mindful Knitting: Inviting Contemplatvie Practice to the Craft by Tara Jon Manning, and bought it. But my sessions with the therapist worked well enough, and I was able to get through my exam. I put the book away, and forgot about it until my boyfriend found it while cleaning our apartment a few months ago. It’s been sitting on my keyboard in my bedroom ever since.

Yesterday I was supposed to enter all of my data. I took the day off of work to do so, but I got very little done. The anxiety that prevented me from studying for my final candidacy exam for a long time returned, and every time I went to enter some data I literally felt like I was going to vomit. I just couldn’t do it. Then I started thinking about how I wasted a day, and I was so angry with myself that I just made myself feel worse. It wasn’t until Tim came home after class last night and convinced me that once I got started I would be fine that I was able to get any data entered. You would think that now that I got started I would have an easier time tonight, but as you can tell by the length of this post I am looking for other ways to fill my time. That knot in my stomach has returned.  But I also wanted to post about this on my blog, where everyone can see it, to hold myself accountable.  If I tell you blog readers that I am going to publish this post and then start entering data, maybe then I will do it.

Perhaps I need to read this book soon. I really can’t read it until after my data are entered because I just can’t spare the time. But I will have a lot of dissertation work ahead of me, and I can’t afford to keep wasting time. I’m hoping to get someting, I don’t know what, from this book that can get me to stop thinking about school and calm down. If anyone has any suggestions on how I can use knitting to calm me down, please let me know!

Posted in book, dissertation, graduate school, hockey, project | 1 Comment »

I’m getting my knit on

Posted by Andi on May 29, 2007

Threadless* is having a big sale right now. I bought two t-shirts. I used a lot of restraint in just buying two shirts because I wanted so many of them!

How does this relate to knitting? Well, this is one of the shirts I ordered. Isn’t it cute?!

*Yes, that is my Street Team link, where if you use it and buy something I get points. I just thought I should disclose that outright.

Posted in clothing, knitting | Leave a Comment »

Does this mean I’m not a typical female?

Posted by Andi on May 28, 2007

Stanley CupRecently I was listening to an old episode of Cast On (yeah, I’m still not caught up) in which Brenda Dayne mentioned an article in Chatelaine about Stanley Cup widows: Women who lose their husbands/boyfriends/significant others to a sporting event. She suggested that Stanley Cup widows use this time to knit. (Note: I listened to this podcast a while ago and have since deleted it, so I’m basing this on my memory, which might not be terrific. I apologize if I’m misrepresenting what was said.) This made me giggle a little bit because in my household there is a huge hockey fan, but I am no Stanley Cup widow. No, it is Tim who is the Stanley Cup widower (or whatever you would call him given that we aren’t married). I will be the one engrossed in a hockey game, yelling at the television, while my boyfriend tries to ignore it all.

Taking inspiration from last year’s Knitting Olympics, I have decided that I will use my time watching the Stanley Cup Finals to finish Poinsettia. I am composing this post during the first period of Game 1, and I vow to work on Poinsettia during every game I watch. My hope is that I will be done with the sweater by the time the Stanley Cup is awarded. I must work quickly because the possibility always exists that there could be a series sweep, and that I will only have four games during which I can knit.

I am not off to a good start. Earlier I polished my nails, and while I was waiting for them to dry I had Tim open a bottle of beer for me to enjoy while I watch my game (as beer and hockey go well together), so I won’t be able to start working on Poinsettia until the second period, and I won’t be able to have any more beer. Oh well, I am now on a quest.

Go Sens!

In other news, Comcast now carries The Tennis Channel, meaning that I can watch much more coverage of the French Open than I had anticipated. Perhaps I should extend my knitting time to include the time when I’m watching tennis, that way I don’t have to worry that a sweep might prevent me from finishing before the series is over.

Posted in hockey, knitting, project, tennis | 2 Comments »

Happy long weekend!

Posted by Andi on May 25, 2007

I’m spending this long weekend in the suburbs, at the home of my dad and step-mom. They are out of town this weekend, so I’m here to take care of my step-mom’s grandmother (who lives with them) as well as their two adorable little pugs, Wrigley and Mac.

I brought Poinsettia to work on. Now that I’m done knitting all of the main pieces, all that is left is the trim, the ties, and sewing it up. I hope I can find the time to do at least some of that over the next three days. On paper that is more than enough time; however, Wrigley is a crazy girl and loves to mess up my yarn. Mac is a very calm dog and doesn’t come near my knitting, but Wrigley will tear it apart if I let her. Perhaps after she goes to sleep at night I can get some work done on it.

Mmmm comfy!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Stash Guilt

Posted by Andi on May 24, 2007

I recently discovered the Stash and Burn podcast, and today I listened to the first episode (yes, I know I’m behind, but I like to listen from the beginning and catch up). They were talking about their stashes, and one of them talked about having stash guilt.

I have two kinds of stash guilt. First, I feel bad that I keep spending money on yarn that is just sitting in the armoire for years on end. This is exactly why I’m not buying any yarn (except for the yarn for Tim’s gloves) until I use up much of what I have. Well, and because it no longer fits in the armoire.

My second type of stash guilt is the one I feel worse about. I feel guilty when I use stash yarn to knit a gift for someone because I feel as if I’m taking the easy way out. Heck, the yarn is already in my stash, so I didn’t even have to spend money! And I feel guilty for that. Why? It makes no sense. Just because I didn’t spend the money right before knitting the gift doesn’t mean money wasn’t spent on the yarn. It shouldn’t make a difference that I may have spent that money months or years earlier, but for some reason it does, at least to me.

I think that’s only one part of it, though. I think I also feel guilty about not going out and buying the exact perfect yarn for the person, as if I’m putting in less effort because I’m using yarn I already own. Again, this is ridiculous. If I didn’t have yarn that suited the project *and* the person who is to receive it in my stash I would go out and buy more yarn.

I find it funny that these things make me feel like I’m taking the easy way out, even though I’ve probably spent a long time pouring over hundreds of patterns to find the right one for the person, and then spent many hours actually knitting the gift. I use my time and effort to make something that I hope my loved one will enjoy and cherish, but sometimes in my mind if I cut even a tiny corner (such as not taking the time or using the money to buy new yarn) I feel that I’m doing a half-assed job.

I’ve got to make this stop.

I would be interested in hearing other stories of stash guilt, no matter what sort of stash guilt it is. I love hearing about people’s love/hate relationship with their stashes!

Posted in knitting, stash guilt, yarn | 3 Comments »

World Wide Knit In Public Day

Posted by Andi on May 23, 2007

World Wide Knit In Public Day is Saturday, June 9. You can find details here. Knitters in Chicago will be meeting in Millennium Park, which should be a very nice setting for some public knitting. Sounds like fun!

Posted in event, knitting | Leave a Comment »

Rules are made to be broken

Posted by Andi on May 21, 2007

I’m going to have to break my “no buying yarn until all of my stash fits in the armoire” rule.  I know, I know, bad me; however, I don’t feel that I have a choice.  I do not have stash yarn that is suitable for the gloves I want to make for my boyfriend by the start of winter, nor will my stash have decreased significantly by then.  So yeah, the rule will be broken. 

 But, I did manage to work on the second sleeve of Poinsettia for almost 2 hours this evening.  Are you proud of me?

Posted in knitting, project, Stash Busting | Leave a Comment »

Starting to sprout

Posted by Andi on May 15, 2007

Look who’s on the couch, peeking out of its bag:

Peeking poinsettia

Why, it’s Poinsettia! A sleeve, to be exact. It’s back in sight, will it be back in mind?

Posted in knitting, project | Leave a Comment »

Out of sight, out of mind

Posted by Andi on May 9, 2007

No, I haven’t worked on Poinsettia any more.  To be honest, I haven’t actually thought about it until my friend asked me yesterday when I was going to start Lys.  I had no answer, other than to say, “Whenever I finish Poinsettia.”

 I’m determined to finish Poinsettia before starting another project, because I’m afraid if I don’t I will never finish it.  And there is so little left to do.

 Normally I keep my current projects in the living room, so they are always in sight.  If I’m watching television or something I will just go over to the recliner (where my projects usually park themselves) and will start knitting.  A few weeks ago I had to put Poinsettia away because I had a friend staying with me who was sleeping in the living room, and away Poinsettia has stayed.  I almost forgot it existed.

I would say I’m in a knitting slump, but I don’t think I am.  I’m looking forward to getting the next issue of Interweave Knits.  I read a post in a LiveJournal knitting community about knitting socks with Trekking yarn, which got me excited to use my own Trekking yarn.  I’m still excited about the craft, I’m just not excited about this project. 

In the past, when my excitement for a project has waned, I just gave up.  Why knit something I’m no longer interested in?  But this is different.  I’m not willing to give up so easily.  Why?  Because Poinsettia is cute.  I’m really hoping it fits nicely and that it will look good on me.  I think I could rock that sweater!  If only I could finish it! 

So tonight I will take my first step in conquering my apathy toward Poinsettia: I will take the project out of my bedroom where it currently sits hidden in a bag and put it back on the recliner.  And maybe that will lead to step #2: actually working on it.

Posted in knitting, project | Leave a Comment »

New Interweave Knits

Posted by Andi on May 4, 2007

I should just subscribe already.

I’ve been checking out the patterns on the soon-to-be-in-stores Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I’m really digging some of the patterns, including the Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt, Josephine Top, Lutea Lace Shoulder Shell, Summertime Tunic, Montego Bay Scarf, and Spiral Boot Socks.

Posted in knitting, patterns | 1 Comment »