Monday, January 31, 2011

Knitter's Dilemma - Solved!

Some of you may remember that I wrote back in September about the dilemma I faced as a member of the Philosophy Department's knitting group, aptly named The Knitted Brow. I was working on squares to stitch together into an afghan. My problem was that the needles I had chosen were small, so that each square took FOREVER to complete. My dilemma resulting from this was that I faced three unpalatable choices as to how to proceed: 1) abandon the project; 2) knit on it for the rest of my life; 3) settle for a very very small blanket.

I chose option #3. I am here to report that option #3 turned out to be a fine option indeed. I finished the blanket today, hooray, hooray, hooray! (I'll try to take a picture to post of it, but I'm not very good at that sort of thing.) The blanket has 25 squares, in shades of gray (the dominant color), lavender, pink, and purple. It is really not all THAT small, now that I blocked the squares - wet them and flattened and stretched them out a bit. It looks actually quite lovely draped over the arm of the couch in my office, where its smallness is not immediately apparent. And now I can begin knitting something else. I'm thinking toward a hat.

I always like to distill lessons for myself from my various life experiences. So on this one, I'm thinking:

1) Something really is better than nothing. There is something singularly unsatisfying about nothing. I would have felt sad if I had simply tucked my sweet little squares away and given them no purpose for their existence.

2) It can be worthwhile reconceiving your original vision of a project in light of subsequent discoveries once the project is under way. You do not have to stick with the original vision or die.

3) I myself am happier when I don't have projects that go on forever. This is why I teach MWF rather than the much more popular Tuesday/Thursday - because I can't stand to teach those 75-minute Tuesday/Thursday classes that seem to go on forever. This is why I write relatively short books, rather than sprawling epics. This just seems to be part of who I am. And it's hard to change who you are.

Oh, it's lovely being done with that blanket, and on such a cold, snowy, snuggle-under-a-blanket day, too. It's a very small blanket for snuggling, I admit. But it really is better than no blanket at all.


  1. Oh, Claudia, I am in complete agreement with you! I stopped making afghans years ago and now I make scarves and I make snowflakes instead of doilies. Snowflakes can be hung on the Christmas tree or double their usefulness as exquisite coasters! AND I still have a sweet and satisfying sense of accomplishment even though the projects are small! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

  2. I love this. I think your project might make a fine lap blanket for keeping warm while writing.