IMG_0855How much does anyone else change their mind about their knitting? Start a project, change your mind, rip it out, start another? Finish a project, sigh in disappointment, frog, cast on, work a couple inches, rip again?

My track record for this is not good.

IMG_0825Exhibit A: a nearly finished pair of Skyp socks out of beautiful blue and speckly Colinette Jitterbug in blue parrot. I’m super looking forward to getting these off the needles and onto my feet, but this wasn’t even close to the case when I first cast this off as a shawl. Let’s not go into which pattern it was – I picked a yarn that I liked but was the wrong weight, so it’s entirely the fault of the knitter in this case. But I cast off, sighed in defeat since I knew it would never block into the big, drapey shawl I wanted, and never cut the rest of the yarn. So a few months later, frog shawl, cast on socks.

IMG_0840Exhibit B: A Schwimmen hat that I love. It’s knit from a skein of Madtosh tosh merino DK in the wiskers colorway – this gray, brown, graybrown color with a lovely sheen to it. But it almost didn’t make it this far – it started off life as a short version of the Honey cowl; but I never cut the end or blocked it. Instead it sat while I knit more gifts, and then got frogged and cast on as a Rikke hat. It’s a lovely pattern, which I’m planning to knit in a different yarn, but I got maybe 5 or 6 inches in before I stalled out and decided that the yarn + pattern magic just wasn’t happening for me. So I frogged again, and cast on a third time, finally for the Schwimmen. I love Shannon Cook’s designs, and this just flew off my needles once I got past the ribbing, so I finally picked the right yarn and pattern pairing.

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Exhibit C: Two Understory cowls. It seems like the trick is not cutting the yarn once the knit object is finished, but that doesn’t always happen. Many years ago, when I was a baby knitter, I made a hugely long cowl out of luscious gray alpaca, and wore it maybe twice. Too tight to triple, too much cowl to wear doubled under a coat, and too long to wear in a single loop without catching on my knees on stairs (yes, I’m short, and yes, I deal with a lot of stairs coming in and out of subways stations during my commute). So years later, I knit myself a red cowl on way too small needles, frogged it, and finally made an Understory cowl in a tweedy red yarn, which I love, but which goes with approximately nothing in my wardrobe (which is all blues and grays and black and a single red tshirt that I’ve had for less than a month). I wear it when I can, but I loved making the cowl so much that I finally pulled out the gray cowl (which was a mess of woven ends – it was before I learned how to do it well!) and cast on a new Understory. I can’t wait till this is blocked so I can snuggle with it constantly.

IMG_0852And then there are all the things that never got finished in the first place. I have a black vest that’s supposed to get a scrunchy cowl neck, which started life as a few inches of a cowl, then a shawl that I didn’t want in black, and then cast on to become a few inches of a different shawl that I decided not to continue with. My last minute slouch from the amazing neon speckled holi festival colorway started life as a different hat entirely – I got a couple rounds past the ribbing and changed my mind. I have a Zombie Vixen mitt in progress that used to be a few inches each of two different socks. I don’t think it happens to me all the time, but a sizable percentage of the things I finish and start to wear don’t start off their lives with me in their final incarnation. Happily, I’m pleased with most of the things I’ve finished lately, and don’t foresee any frogging in my immediate future!

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