A few months ago, I shared a few new projects, some from classes, some not. From my next WAYWO, I shared some frustrations with one project in particular (along with a new provisional cast-on method). Sometimes projects just go to hell. I shall discuss options for dealing with that situation.
This is your weekly WAYWO diary; a place to share and promote your creative projects. Whether your creativity is expressed in clay, yarn, paper, ink, paint, writing, cloth, metal, topiary, stone, tofu ... the WAYWO Group wants to hear from you! Strut your stuff in the comments or boldly volunteer to host one of these weekly diaries yourself. Joining the group is easy! Simply contact our fearless leader. There's also a Yahoo Group which sends one reminder/week, and may be used to post when the diary is up.There are several causes of Projects Going to Hell. Unprepared materials or skills; loss of interest due to other life events; bad directions or teaching; interference in projects by people or animals or natural events; and even more possibilities. What I am considering today is what to do afterward. I believe I have it confined to a narrow set of options.
1. Throw the whole darn thing away. Just toss it in the bin. Take out the trash. Dump cat litter on top of it. Make it really really gone. If you have a lot of negative emotions, this can be very cleansing. Also, it gets the project out of your life.
2. Try to fix the project. You may consult with experts or friends with experience. You may ask for help in an online format. You may add a new material, or learn a new technique. Or a new way of an old technique. Learning new techniques is good for our brains. It helps our brains stay flexible and healthy. And we can use the new techniques to make other things. I am all for new techniques.
3. Undo as much of the project as possible, and repurpose those materials for something new & different. Or several somethings, depending on the materials available. Or even set the materials aside for a time. You save your physical and financial resources while easing any time or emo stress.
4. Substitute a new project in place of the one that failed, perhaps as an intermediate step to building new skills or confidence. Or saving for new materials, or the time to make a more complicated project.
I find that the above 4 outcomes can be applied around the house, and in life. Not just in knitting. On my better days anyway.
Now I am going to publicly share how my projects went to hell, and heal myself and share my newfound wisdom with you.
This is an item that I am both trying a few new techniques, and was trying to design in my silly mind. I love the look and the geometry. This single-ply worsted weight wool did not hold up the corners very well, despite the occasional use of short rows. All the corners were rather floppy. I think this project may need a different yarn, tighter gauge, smaller triangles, or professional development by someone more experienced.
This yarn is re-wound and is waiting to be made into a Reversible Cable Scarf. I did try a reversible cable after reading a few paragraphs in a book but it didn't work so well either. So I am going to try a well-proven pattern, probably Silver's. I also own Power Cables by Lily Chin.
This colorwork, as I explained before, also requires some special attention. When the designer said "knit four more stitches, wrap, & turn", he really meant it. Not knit 5 or 3 or 4 sometimes. My first attempt was so awful at the end of the first half. Again, some focus and following instructions is very helpful here. This project is languishing because I was working on it when it became too hot. It is probably past time to pick it up again, lest I have even more out of control UFO's. UFO's are a constant battle for me despite my unwavering (lol) vigilance.
This is complicated. I made mistakes in the pattern. First, I tried un-knitting one stitch at a time. I became frustrated, and decided to take the project off the needles and rip it out, and pick up stitches later. This made everything even worse. The single-ply yarn (MadTosh Prairie) did not rip out evenly. The yarn caught on itself, especially some of the thicker sections. Due to my color choice, it actually looked like blood clots. I kept trying and trying to get one clean row and utterly failed and shattered my confidence and ripped almost the entire project out. The ripped-out yarn, particularly at the end, was in dreadful shape and obviously could not be knitted again. If I return to this yarn, I will knit from the other skein first, and finish with the opposite end of this skein, to minimize my use of previously knitted yarn.
So I think maybe a multi-plied laceweight yarn might help me. I chose Malabrigio Silkpaca. I really love working with this yarn. I am trying hard not to hate single-ply yarns. I found a cowl pattern online. I had a few more fails, but I have acquired a few new skills and am trying once more. My last attempt achieved 2 row-section-based repeats before dying. My lace instructor thinks my new pattern is a bit too complicated for skill-building and has given me a pattern she thinks is more achievable, so I also have that as a further backstop. I am not sure the newest pattern suggestion wants to be knitted in bright pink lace yarn, however.
What I learned: To give in to my intuition: If I think I have a problem, I probably do. Counting is indispensable. Lace must be checked at every repeat or maybe 2-4 repeats if they are short. Fix the problems sooner. Focus and concentration are very useful. If you miss a problem, it will only make your life miserable. Put in lifelines at the earliest opportunity. This saves the work already done well, and gives you a place where you can actually pick up the stitches if you need to rip everything else out.
The project is perfectly fine, miraculously enough. However, I am no longer in contact with the intended recipient. I made this for Swedish Jewfish, and a matching light pink one for her daughter, and I have no idea what to do! I did not even languish over the projects. Advise or help in contacting her please. Or should I other-gift them? I have a hard time giving a designated project away to someone else.
You MUST schedule your time for any gifts/projects due for the next 3 weeks! Christmas is 23 days away. It is perfectly normal and good to schedule your time for you, just like making a doctor or dentist appointment.
Links to Share
Homemade Gifts If you need a few ideas.
The Festivus Miracle, and other random crap Details on the inner life of a knitter/spinner.