Nearing the End

Nearing the end of a project is always different. Some times I’m so happy to see the end of a project I could spit–Lord help me if I have any finishing to do. Other times I’m a little sad because I’ve invested many, many hours in a project, carried it everywhere with me with some stolen stitches created here and there. I’ve probably ripped out a line, or two inches, fixed some missed stitches, gone a little blind because I’m knitting while falling asleep. I’ve read and re-read charts and instructions while looking like a confused Disney bear in a Donald Duck cartoon, and I’ve buried my face in it just to feel its squishiness.

I’m not gonna lie, I looked him up. His name is Humphrey and I love him.

I’ve gotten frustrated, balled the project up and hurled it in my knitting bag. I’ve slept with it under my pillow because my Husband turned out the lights on me after I finally succumbed to sleep. I may or may not have remembered to take pictures of the yarn in hank form next to the working yarn in project form. I may have turned on my work and decided that it is ugly or finally pretty.

Some times, I see nothing but the work.

Some times the end comes a little too quickly.

I’ve been known to be inches from the end of a sweater, with the washing, blocking, and sewing still to do, and look at new projects I could start. What kind of inspiration will I have today? Will it be the yarn or the pattern? Will it be a glorious victory or a concession of reluctant yardage? Big or small? For me or someone else? New or old? Thoughtful or convenient? What the hell am I going to make?!? Once I’ve matched and bagged patterns and yarn, I return to the project-at-hand and finish it with the same care and patience of someone who isn’t anticipating something new and exciting. Lulls are rare; they usually pop around when I have too much going on in my life and I can’t manage to distract myself enough to calm down for some knitting. Those times are rough.

The end of a project is always bittersweet. The hours I keep are odd and long, and I can think of nothing except finishing. Everything else falls away until I can reconcile my work. It’s not just, “After this row,” it’s silence sprinkled with occasional uninterested grunts of acknowledgement thrown out that mean, I’m not hungry; Yes, please; Not my problem; Baby, could you handle this and grab some water while you’re at it? I must admit I have the best husband because he can recognize when my passion has turned into frenzy and he silently manages everything. He’s the best and he’s mine. Seriously, though, my project tunnel vision can be severe.

However determined I may be to finish my work, I must not rush. I must contain myself enough to finish the work with the same care I started. The end is exciting and brings a new set of challenges in the form of weaving in ends and sewing, if the pattern calls for it. Honestly, I’m great at that stuff and I like doing it but I hate buttons. I think it’s the fact that I usually have to put on real clothes and go to the fabric store for buttons that is the real deterrent, but I digress. Rushing invites mistakes. Some people like mistakes. They are seen as organic features of the construction process, unique only to that one garment. I don’t share this opinion. I see a mistake, I fix it. The patterns I choose are (for the most part) written well and the mistake is a human error. I don’t really feel like publicly displaying my errors and flaws, diminishing the handiwork that is Hand/Homemade. No! I prefer to rip back the stitches or isolate the repeat and get that motherfucker right! The only time I’ll let a mistake go is if I’ve been fucking up the ENTIRE time and I realize on the final boarder what exactly was supposed to happen. True story. I kept up with whatever it was I was doing and called it a design feature. Thorough and consistent incorporation of a flaw negates the mistake and creates a design feature. It’s good, right? I thought so.

Coming to the end a project, a lot of things go through my mind. The number one question is: What will I make next? Today, the answer is: I don’t know, and I think at this point I don’t need to know. I have the Husband Sweater v. 2.1 to keep going, and an unfortunate bordering issue on a baby blanket to finish. I’d love to make a few choice sweaters for myself but I also have some blankets to make for the boys. This morning I thought of making a sweater for Turtle this summer. Perhaps then I would be able to make something for him to wear in the winter while it’s still winter. Admittedly, my planning and execution need to come to some kind of agreement so this just might work. For now, I’ll enjoy the end of this project and the continuation of the next.


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