Can't Focus, How About You?

I have been having difficulty staying focused on a project long enough to finish it. This has been going on for some time. At first I thought it was my Parkinson's because it made it difficult to keep my hands still. But then a new procedure (okay, brain surgery) fixed the constant, unplanned movements. But I'm still working on, say, 10 or 12 different projects.

I start a new project with the greatest of enthusiasm. I cast on, knit a few rows, and then find I've made a mistake...dropped a stitch, knitted an incorrect stitch, etc. The first few times it happens, I sigh, frog it and start again. But by the time four or five ripouts happens, I give up, toss the offending project in the "Corner of Shame," and start something else.

Or, I don't make any (or many) mistakes, but the project just isn't coming out as I hoped. Maybe the yarn I chose is scratchy or doesn't drape well, or I don't like the color as well as I thought when I bought it, etc. Then …
Thought you'd enjoy this, all you crafters out there:

Knitting as Therapy

My name is Elizabeth Delisi, and I am a yarnaholic.

I buy yarn whenever I have an the NH Sheep and Wool Festival every year; at the yearly Wool Arts Tour; the yearly WEBS tent sale; and that doesn't even count the online shopping extravaganzas. I'm addicted, I admit. But my excuse is, it was tough for me to see how much yarn I had and what kind, when it was all stuffed in drawers and bags and not really visible.

Well, now we're moving to a different house and a different town, and I will have a craft room of my very own. I've already begun setting it up and the best part is, all the yarn is visible in pink plastic milk crates and other spots.

But now I've found another problem, this time with being able to see all my yarn. What is the problem with that, you may ask? Guilt! When I want to buy more yarn, how can I convince myself that I NEED more yarn, when I can see dozens of skeins just waiting to be used?

I reach for a gorgeous pink alpaca, s…

My Yarn Hates Me

I wrote last time about the insane difficulty I'm having with some gorgeous fuzzy lace yarn. I've restarted the shawl/scarf project multiple times as I keep making mistakes. At last I decided to keep going regardless of mistakes, as it's so fuzzy and so many yarn-overs that (I hope) no one can tell there are a million errors.

But I do find working on it frustrating, so I only do a few rows at a time, then go to something else for a while. I wanted to find a yarn and pattern to work on that wouldn't be so difficult, so I chose to pull out something I'd put aside years ago, half-done. It's called the Mitred Square Vest, and with worsted yarn and made out of mitred squares, it IS pretty simple. You can check it out here:

Or if you're not on Ravelry (and why AREN'T you on Ravelry ?), here's a picture.

It worked fairly well with minimal mistakes. So why am I upset? Because it came out HUGE. I mad…

Winning the War With My Yarn

I've been knitting since I was five years old, and most of that time, I've been able to knit easily and with minimal mistakes. I made afghans, sweaters, hats, scarves, shawls, headbands, bags, and anything else I found. I even convinced some of my teachers in high school to let me knit during class, if we were watching a movie or just having a dialogue.

But lately it seems all I can knit is mistakes. If there were a trophy for the most mistakes in one project, or the most frogged project, I'd win hands down.

A lot of things are to blame. First is not matching the project to the type of knitting needle: material it's made of, the shape and sharpness of the tips, and the type of yarn. Second is the it fuzzy? Hard to work with? Slippery? Is it loosely plied? Third, is the project too complex for me, or will it frustrate me with charts (I hate charts)? And finally, a chunk of the blame lands on my shoulders because as I get older, I naturally get slower, have mor…

Experimenting with Pattern Creation

As I said in the last post, I've been having trouble concentrating on patterns, ending up frogging repeatedly until I give up. I have tried favorite patterns and that helped a little, but not a lot.

So I decided to try inventing a pattern of my own. I figure if something goes wrong, since I'm the creator, I can just say it's not a's something creative and avant-garde and I planned it that way! This in turn makes me a little less stressed as I'm not constantly on the lookout for mistakes.

I chose to make a hat. I don't have many as I don't wear them much, but it seemed it would be fairly simple. Although I knit more than I crochet, I chose to crochet as I thought it would be easier to do in the round than knitting. I chained a reasonable amount of stitches, then started on a crochet ribbing that would go sideways around the rim of the hat. Measuring frequently, and ripping back or adding more, I eventually got what seemed the right amount of sti…

Favorite Patterns

Does this sound familiar? You go to a yarn store or a wool festival, and come home with skein upon skein of gorgeous yarn. When you get home, you go through your patterns and choose one for the new fiber.

The first few rows are great. The yarn is deliciously soft, the color is perfect, and you're in knitting heaven.

Then, something happens. Maybe you make a mistake or two and have to take out a row. Maybe the yarn splits when you knit, or the points on your knitting needles are too rounded to do a K2tog easily. Soon, you find yourself putting the project in the "Corner of Shame" where all the unfinished projects reside.

But you have finished SOME projects, right? They're in a drawer, in your closet, or living with some other person whom you gifted with one of your completed projects. That's proof you can actually finish something. 😁 Then you study your finished items and realize there are a few patterns you go to time and time again, and you never have any probl…