good things come to those who wait

I often find myself hoping that my friends believe in that proverb. Well, actually, they often have to believe in it whether they want to or not. Caroline had asked me to knit her a pair of mittens some time in the winter. She pointed me to a pattern she had seen on the blog and liked, told me how she wanted me to tweak it, chose a colour,  sent me her hand measurements promptly. And then, waited.

I did start them quite quickly, my Ravelry page says January 30. But after a while, I hit a block. I find it very hard to explain, though a friend of mine whose both job and hobby include creativity seemed to understand when I tried to express it. It wasn’t that I was scared of the pattern – I had knitted it once before very successfully, and actually in the same exact yarn, so there were no unknowns. The modifications were to be minor. It wasn’t boredom either. This is a very interesting pattern, it’s constantly evolving and you see it become more beautiful with every row.

It was just – a block. I hesitate to use the phrase “creative block” because I’m not sure it’s appropriate to say you are doing something strictly creative (in the sense of inventing something out of thin air – which is my idea of creativity) when you are following a pattern. But that’s what it felt closest to. I just couldn’t pick up the needles. It needed to brew inside me, things needed to click, and I couldn’t do anything about it before that happened. And so Caroline waited.

Unfortunately, this happens to me quite often when it comes to knitting something someone specifically ordered. I am trying to get over it. If knitting were ever to become a profit-making activity for me, I realize this would be the biggest hurdle to get over. In the meantime, my friends wait. And I try not to be too hard on myself, because, in the end, even if I say so myself, good things do come to them.

I was happy to deliver, in the end, a pair of mittens I am extremely pleased with. I made my first Veyla, without any modifications, almost exactly a year ago. I love them dearly (actually I’m wearing them as I type this) and they are one of my most popular knits among Ravelers and friends alike. Making this pair now, out of the very same yarn, it was interesting to see all the things that can happen in a year.

The difference between the newly-completed and the “old” mitts is striking: though the yarn wore really well (there is NO pilling whatsoever despite the frequent wear), the colour has changed slightly, the stitches look somehow “harder” – while they are still perfectly comfortable to wear, there is no trace of fluffiness anymore. I had not noticed any of this until I finished their twins and was struck by the difference.

The progress in my skill was also noticeable. These new stitches are perfectly even (there is something crazy about the amount of pleasure well-executed even-stitched stockinette can afford me), the lace is a bit tidier, the holes around the thumb are noticeably smaller, I knit the body of the mitt using a new approach to magic loop and I exercised a fearless confidence in modifying the pattern – a confidence that is very new to me, and that is making me very proud. (Detailed notes on modifications can be found on my project page.)

And finally, my photos are much nicer than the first time around because now, as is becoming usual, I had generous help with them. I was even joking this time about how professional we must look: one friend was taking photos, looking all serious with her big camera and three different bags dangling around, and another ended up doing “stylist” stuff like giving me advice on how to pose and rolling up my sleeves… :) If we continue this way we’ll soon be walking around town with a lighting technician and heavens know what else… ;) To be serious, it was just the three of us joking around, but we did attract a fair amount of attention from curious passers by and had a good share of giggles. Fun! :) Thank you girls :*

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

19 thoughts on “good things come to those who wait

  1. They are beautiful! It never occurred to me to make them into ‘real’ gloves – great idea!

    The dandelions haven’t even started to flower here – quite a difference :)

    • I have to admit I didn’t do a lot of research, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else do it before… At first I thought the combination of so many details on the wrist (lace, buttons) and such a simple mitten would look unbalanced, but in the end I think it works! :)

  2. It is always difficult for me to knit something that someone ordered. I start all excited and full of energy and soon stop. I don’t know why that is. It is nice to see that others have the same problem.

  3. Beautiful gloves! Your friend will love them! And I love the pictures too :D

    I also have trouble finishing things for friends. Even when I choose the pattern, it’s exactly the same thing; at first I’m excited, but it takes me months to finish.

  4. These look really lovely! I know what you mean about the block. I’m there now. I just don’t feel like it and I know I have a deadline. It’s like I’m waiting so that I suddenly have to knit pass midnight the night before or something. Anyway! Your mitts look good — well done!

    • Haha, I am like that with EVERYTHING. I blame the Croatian education system (and perhaps the Mediterranean lazy mentality ;))) We even have a special word for that kind of person in croatian – the person who leaves everything till the last minute and then works like crazy just before the deadline… :)

  5. Great photos! Compliments to your friend!
    Veyla is one of my favorite patterns too but I haven’t knit a pair of it yet. I like the color you choose.

    And about the creative-block-thing: I finally managed to finish my Liesl Cardigan this week. I started it a year ago, in April 2010…

    • Having something else that you want to procrastinate on more might be a solution – the only reason I finished my Liesl quickly was the fact that i was knitting it while writing my masters dissertation – and I was willing to do anything just to avoid that as much as I could :)

    • Actually, a total of three of them who got their (belated) gifts recently made the same comment, something along the lines of “I never thought I’d say it but I’m sad it’s not cold now”. Made me smile :)

  6. What fun! I’d love to have someone be my photographer! The mitts are just beautiful. I especially like the buttons. I share your “block” at knitting things for people. Sometimes I think I’m worried they’ll take one look at my work and say, “YUCK!” LOL!

  7. They are beautiful!!! love the buttons. I can’t believe you have dandelions that have gone to seed already. We don’t even have dandelion sprouts yet!

    • Oh the buttons, the buttons… I had such a strong idea of how I wanted them to look! I ended up having to stray from it a bit, but not too much, and I love the end result. They were difficult to get through the holes though! I told my friend she should be happy with knowing that she COULD unbutton it, but that it’d be best not to… :)

  8. I’m with you – I agree with Laurie – is it fear of rejection? I am also doing other work which has a deadline which is fast approaching – so why am I reading blogs when I should be doing…………………:-)

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