I’m a big believer in using the last few weeks of the calendar year to review my accomplishments and set new goals for the coming year. While I don’t believe in resolutions per se, I do know myself well enough by now to know that without some goal or higher purpose in sight I will waste inordinate amounts of time doing…well, nothing. I am a ruminator by nature, and I can stare into space and brood for hours if I don’t keep myself in check. Oh, the novels I’ve written in my head!
The one thing I’ve learned is to make my goals more process oriented than results-oriented; for example, “send out X pieces of writing”, rather than “get published”, because while I can control the quality and quantity of my writing, I can’t control the whims of magazine editors. While I try to make sure there are few “stretch” goals on my list, I also try to make sure that there a few things that are totally do-able if I just put some time in. Some years are better than others in the accomplishment front. Some years have had really major things on the list, like “move to NYC” or “find a new job”, and some years have less dramatic things like “submit one essay somewhere, anywhere” and “donate clothes somewhere, anywhere”. Some years I do pretty well, and then some years December appears out of nowhere and becomes one mad dash of trying to get things checked off my list.
Then 2011 came along. It may go down in my personal history as one of the strangest ever, and I’ve had some pretty strange times these past few years. I did go to Ireland, and I did manage to sell a quilt (via a charity auction, but it still counts in my book). Those items were on my 2o11 goal list – but that’s all I managed to get done. Instead of checking off other things, like writing, I mysteriously found myself having to buy a new car (oh the horrors…the salesmen had me in tears for a week), serving as the treasurer of my quilt guild, and spending a ridiculous amount of time at the dentist’s office, in a position not conducive to anything but having one’s teeth cleaned and/or drilled. (Not to mention the money spent, despite having what is purported to be very good dental insurance.)
So December came, and I reviewed my list, and for once in my life I just gave up. My apartment still looked like a bomb went off, there were half-completed knitting and quilting projects everywhere, books not read, essays not written (let alone submitted….), plus I still had a cold, and I just decided not to care. There was really no way I was going to get anything else done between family and work stuff. I decided to find one project to finish, and I swore I would finish it before even THINKING about buying any more fabric or yarn. Then my sewing machine died, which meant I had to find a knitting project.
I fished through my knitting baskets and unearthed a blanket I started 4 years ago, when my niece was in kindergarten. School exhausted her – she came home every day, sat on the couch with a snack, and promptly fell over asleep. The only other time I’d ever seen anyone fall asleep so hard, so without warning, was in college when I had a roommate with narcolepsy. At any rate, I decided to knit her a blanket to sleep on the couch with, and found this pink, purple and white Malabrigo yarn that was perfect for a 5-year old girl.
I don’t know what happened, but I knit up two skeins of yarn and let it disappear into the nether regions of my basket. I had one skein of yarn left, and I have no idea what I was thinking because 3 skeins of yarn is not enough for a 5-year old sized blanket. It’s certainly not enough for a 9-year old sized blanket, which is how old she is now. And the yarn is discontinued, of course. But I figured I’d have enough to at least wind up with some sort of baby blanket, and decided that since it’s thick yarn on size 10 needles it would be a quick finish. I knit, and knit, and knit some more….
Now what you have to understand is, this yarn is really soft and when knit in a double moss stitch (knit 2/purl 2) it becomes this lovely mass of squishiness that is kind of hard to resist. It’s like bubble wrap – you just can’t NOT touch it. Or, if you are a cat, you just can’t help kneading it with your paws whilst your person is trying to knit it….or dragging it off the table onto the floor and sleeping on it. *sigh*
And then I got sick of it. Sick of knitting it, and sick of fighting the cat for it. Right now it’s on the couch, still on the needles with 1/2 a skein left to knit, and the cat’s using it as a pillow. But really, it’s okay. It was exactly the excuse I needed for this: