Friday, May 30, 2008

Self-Diagnosed Knitting Malaise

Malaise - Not Maynoise. According to Wickipedia:

Malaise is a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness, an "out of sorts" feeling, often the first indication of an infection or other disease. Often defined in medicinal research as a "general feeling of being unwell". This usage may have originated in folk medicine, but it is adopted from the French word meaning "discomfort," "feeling faint," "feeling sick."

While I feel fine physically, the general discomfort, discontent and uneasiness described in the definition fits. This feeling has been with me for a several weeks now. Not depression - just un-eas-i-ness. Like something big is about to drop out of the sky. Don't know quite why. But . . . anyway, enough already about my general mental quirks.

The malaise feeling has spread, or is perhaps exemplified by my knitting life. I have that annoying feeling that I have way TOOOOOOO many projects on the needles, UFO'd or whatever.

On the Needles - As far as actually on the needles, let's see, I am currently working on Talia - only I'm kinda not really knitting this week, just thinking about it. My knitting moments have come few and far between, and when they have appeared, I haven't had the Talia vest along with me to knit. It's getting at that big, bulky, AWKWARD stage to carry around. So I have to knit it at home, but I haven't been knitting at home in the evening as I usually do. Instead, I've been downloading podcasts at night and watching old episodes of The Office.

I have a bunch of unfinished things that are niggling at me from the recesses of my yarn closet. Like, there's Wrap Me Up - that one really calls to me right now. I started it last August on the way to Stitches and I really find myself wanting to work on it again and finally finish it. But dang it, that thing is even bigger than Talia and isn't a good take-along project.

Then there's crochet that has been calling to me again as well. I've been wanting to go back and work on my Larger Than Life crochet bag, which I've only completed one square of. Remember that one? It would be a fun carry-along project. The yarn is Berroco Comfort, which is a fabulously soft acylic yarn. I'm making this bag in 1970's colors and if I could find a regular tote to sew these onto in order to avoid having to sew an actual bag myself, I would probably be more motivated to work on this project.

And then there's socks - I've been wanting to go back and do a pair of socks from the Morgan-Oaks 2-At-A-Time Sock book. I downright LOVE that danged book. So I may just break down and cast on a new pair from her book. But I hate starting anything new yet. If I'm gonna work on socks, I really should first do the mate for this one.

The organized (and sane) side of me says that I probably need to do that thing again where I sit donw and make a list of all my projects - the almost finished, the started but abadoned (UFOs) and the stuff I really want to make and get them in some priority.

But something in me says, "I need to have FUN - isn't knitting supposed to be a source of FUN". Speaking of fun, I'd better QUICKLY get ready for work. But I think tomorrow is going to be spent having some fun for a change. Yeah!!

Question to the Peanut Gallery: what do you knit when you are confused about what to do next? Does Ravelry make that project confusion worse, or is it just me? Yet I LOOOOOVVVVE Ravelry. And now podcasts. I think I'm getting myself more and more confused.


Kay said...

Ravelry helps me, because I can see all of my WIPs in one spot. I have a number that I won't exceed in WIPs. It's possibly a foolishly large number (six) but if I am getting near it, I know I have to finish some stuff before I allow myself to cast on a new project. I tend to finish stuff in spurts, once I get on the finishing kick I'll wrap up three things, bam-bam-bam.

I'll bet if you finish something the malaise will vanish!! Nothing like those got-it-done endorphins :-)

ColorJoy LynnH said...

I'm all about socks when I'm undecided. Or I go stare at the stash and look for a yarn to call my name for something small like aran-weight wristwarmers or some fat-yarn footie/slippers.

Color and wool... mostly socks. That's my answer to mental malaise. The physical kind is a lot harder to deal with.

Kim S. said...

Try this: pull something from your stash that you love, pick up a pair of needles and just cast on 30 or so stitches. Start knitting with no real plan and just let your mind wander. Sounds really pointless, but it has worked for me.

The Corner Muffin Stop said...

I love Ravelry for the free patterns and to see what others have done with yarns I have or yarn they have substituted on projects. Like Kay, I also like to see all my WIPs in one spot.

I let a project sit for 8 years before finishing it - glad its done.

In the interim I knit some dishcloths and a prayer shawl before finishing the sweater.

Ask the yarn what it wants to be. (Yeah I know it sounds sort of strange but it has worked for me) That's what I did with my most recent projects and wow they are pretty neat.

Ellen Bloom said...

I've made a few of the "Larger Than Life Bags" except I didn't make them that LARGE. I only used 4 squares for each side. Who needs such a huge bag? AND, I did what you were thinking of doing....I attached them to an existing canvas tote that I had or that I picked up at Michael's on sale!

When I'm in a knit/crochet funk, I usually make a few dishcloths. I call them "spa" cloths. I save them to give as gifts with a bar of fancy soap. People love them and I get to try out a new stitch.

Hope the malaise passes soon!

Elysbeth said...

It can be challenging when you are missing the project that will fit into the right niche. My stuff zips along until it hits the unportable stage and then stalls.

You could toss just enough stuff in a zippy for a square of the bag - Make the squares, the bag will come.

Or sometimes, I just need to swatch, different yarns, different needles, just doodling around with my stash until my nerve ending have mellowed back out. It lets me "love on" the yarn without committing myself to a project.