One of the things I have learned about myself over the years is that when it comes to crafting, I am not a very loyal person. Some crafters choose a project, get their materials, and then work on that project–and only that project–until they are done.
I am not one of those people.
Instead, at any given moment, you can find works in progress in practically every room of the house.
(Though not the bathroom. Or the kitchen. Knitting and cooking does not mix. Neither does crocheting and cooking. Though both are perfectly acceptable when keeping an eye on something going on in the kitchen from a nearby room without looking like you’re keeping an eye on anything at all.)
(Have I mentioned my children have been cooking a lot lately?)
(Like, a lot a lot?)
An acquaintance of mine announced a couple weeks ago that she was on a tremendous push to finish up all her WIPs and UFOs so that she could be one of those crafters. You know, the ones who always finish what they’ve started before they start something new.
My mother-in-law is one of those crafters, I suspect, as I’ve only ever seen her with a single knitting project on the go at any given time in all the years I’ve known her.
But one look around my house will only serve to confirm what you might have suspected: staying faithful to a single project until it’s finished is just not my cup of tea.
Case in point: I hooked the first chains of the Mariposa throw in 2013.
A few squares finished, it then took a back seat to more urgent projects for friends who keep insisting on having babies. A few more squares finished and it took a back seat to friends having second babies or celebrating momentous first birthdays.
And so on and so on until, sometime before Christmas, I realized I had not worked on it for a very long time.
It’s a classic case of the cobbler’s children not having any shoes — the Mariposa throw is, after all, destined to belong to me.
But with Christmas crafting finished for the year, it came out of the cupboard once more and with a surprising little bit of faithful crafting on my part and only one emergency run to the yarn shop for more green wool, the squares are entirely done.
(There are more than these – this is just a small sampling.)
It’s astonishing how faithfully I managed to work away at it. Well, except for the times I was working on little hearts.
And then of course there’s the times I wasn’t at home crafting, so had to work on the traveling-in-my-purse project instead.
(It’s Adrienne Lash’s lovely windowpane scarf)
And then there’s those moments when I need a break from work but don’t feel like going all the way upstairs, so I work on a little taking-a-break-at-my-desk project, the Globetrotter shawl.
I would show you pictures, but I haven’t been taking very many breaks at my desk lately and am only about 17 rows in. It uses a new-to-me technique, Bruges lace, and I’m still figuring out exactly how that works, so those 17 finished rows are actually more like 2,986,248,563 rows ripped out and 17 put back in again, but I think I’ve finally figured out how it all works and I am hopeful that I’ll have a finished shawl before I’m a grandmother.
But overall, I’ve been astonishingly faithful to the Mariposa throw. I’ve even resisted an almost overwhelmingly infectious case of New Year startitis (whereby you look at all the yarn you were gifted at Christmas, and all the yarn you never did use from last Christmas, and all the yarn you bought when you were just browsing, and you start 92 new projects with grand ambitions of finishing them all immediately).
Looking back on things, I’ve actually been pretty good at avoiding New Year startitis in January most years. But February? February is an entirely different story. February is the month where I typically either finish up something or get really, really close to being finished something I’ve been meaning to get to…and then I cast on every pretty thing I’ve been wanting to do for ages.
This February, I’m about 3 hours away from being done with the Mariposa throw. All that remains is finishing sewing the squares together and then sewing in all the tails.
(There are a lot of tails.)
So naturally, this happened:
It’s an adaptation of a women’s cabled headband pattern. I worked it up in a super bulky yarn and made it into a close-fitting cowl instead.
I worked on it in bits and pieces over the past 3 days, feeling terribly guilty for being unfaithful to my Mariposa throw will all it’s nine gazillion ends to be sewn in, and before I could blink, it was done.
And then it was around one of the kids’ necks, and then around the other kid’s neck, and now I have to start two more of them lickety split so that everyone has one of their own instead of everyone fighting over this one. So I cast another on.
And then I was wondering if, instead of doing cables, I could make one with a diamond-shaped front-post double crochet stitch, so I grabbed yet another hook and another hank of yarn and started playing around with stitches, trying to figure it out. And then I remembered I had bought the most luciously soft yarn in a delicate cream and gorgeously rich turquoise to make the mittens I saw in the knitting magazine B bought me for Christmas, and I remembered I needed to work up a gauge swatch to make sure I had the right needles, and so I cast that on instead of reading just before bed.
And I liked how the swatch felt so very, very much that on an emergency run to the yarn store for more white yarn to finish sewing together the Mariposa squares (because really, if I’m working hard at staying faithful to the Mariposa, it really helps if I actually have the amount of yarn required for sewing together so very many squares), and upon seeing the “Buy 2 get 1 free” sign on the shelf, I immediately threw another ball of white and one of softest gray into my basket for a second pair of the same mittens, just in a different colour.
So much for being loyally devoted to the Mariposa throw until it’s finished, though I’ve learned something about myself in the process (or maybe just remembered it):
I don’t suffer from New Year startitis like so many others do. Instead, I get it in February, every single year, sure as rain. Or Old Faithful.