And the hypothetical Blue Duck now has corporeal form...
...having been recently spotted nesting in its natural habitat. These rare photographs show that the blue duck is actually a felted knit, with tendencies to gravitate toward fiber crafts of all sorts.
I will be submitting my photos to National Geographic, and perhaps to publications aimed at teachers as well. I do believe Blue Ducks enjoy travel, and I am having difficulty keeping this one out of my knitting bag. However, I feel that if it must travel with me, it will need a name, and perhaps a snappy little hat of some sort.
There has also been much knitting, frogging, and reknitting of the Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend cardie. It is actually finished up to the collar now, and is awaiting the sewing up of the shoulders before I can pick up the sleeve stitches to knit. It feels like I have been knitting it forever, though it's only really been about two months, which leads me to today's pondering...
Instant gratification. There's nothing like it. You do something, you have a result. There are a couple of members of my knitting group who have a new show and tell every week. And not just a sock or a cap, but a whole sweater! That they just whipped up over a weekend! WHAT??? And here I am chipping away at the same cardigan for two months.
So pondering this phenomenon, I have come to realize that I am not in this for the instant gratification. Obviously. I suppose the socks come close to fulfilling that need for me. A week or so of dabbling in front of the TV or the doctor's waiting room and I have a completed project. I know that I can knit a single sock in about 4-6 hours, depending upon the gauge, but I never sit still that long, so those hours are spread out over a week (or two). So I do get things done.
However, I like to make things up as I go. That means that there is a lot of stopping to fix mistakes that seemed like a good idea when I started. I am very particular about how a stitch pattern looks and how the fabric drapes, which means I will rip anything that isn't just so. It also means that, in the end, I will have exactly what I want, not just another finished project. And in the end, that is what it will take to satisfy me.
There's something that I find deeply satisfying about solving problems and coming up with a new way to do things that seems to be integral to the process for me, too. It's that brain-work that balances out the hand-work and makes the project complete. I knit to relax, but I also knit to stimulate my mind. I do not knit just to make stuff--I will not go naked if this sweater isn't finished soon enough--I knit to create. And sometimes, creation takes time.
I also have a tendency to work on a pretty fine scale. I spin fine, fine, fine. Not quite frog hair, but lots of lace weight and fingering weight. The DAAGBF cardie is a handspun 3-ply at 20 wpi--fingering yarn by most definitions. This knits up at about 8 stitches per inch on 3.5 mm needles I am using. So why am I not churning out a sweater every weekend? Oh.
In the end, I will have the satisfaction of a well-crafted, custom-designed, fine-gauge sweater that will last for the ages and I know I will be happy in that. But I would just love the thrill of the weekend sweater every now and then.
Maybe I need to find something in between instant gratification and long-term satisfaction. A little gratisfaction. Or perhaps some satisfication. I actually have project lot of commercially-spun worsted-weight upstairs...maybe it's time to add some balance.
Gratisfaction, here I come!
Except that I will be designing the sweater as I go. D'oh!