Monday, January 14, 2013

Late Start

Once again I have found that I am falling short of my expectations for myself. I am two weeks late on starting this blog, something I have really been looking forward too. I had planned to dig in to it as soon as the new year started. Such good intentions. But then life happened. Work exploded and left me exhausted. Then my kids got sick. One late night trip to the ER for a breathing treatment for my son, and then an early morning trip to the pediatrician's office for a breathing treatment for my daughter, coupled with a week and a half of sleepless nights listening to them breath, trying to know if it was time to seek medical attention or time to sit tight (in a steamy bathroom, or in the cold air on the balcony) and I found I had little time or energy for the projects I had so looked forward to tackling. But I'm not ready to throw in the towel. In the true spirit of my goal for this blog I am pressing forward.

The kids are better. Sleep is returning. But work and worry continue to leave me exhausted. After getting the kids in bed I spent an hour laying on the couch watching The Bachelor (guilty pleasure). There were so many things I wanted to do, and so little energy to even decide where to start. I was about to put things off for one more night but then I made myself look at the reality, which was that chances are good that I will be just as exhausted tomorrow. And if I don't get started on something soon I will not make progress, which will continue to make me sad. Imagining the good feelings I will have when I accomplish a task motivated me. So, where to start?

I decided to start with this sweater. (It was that or a calendar, and the calendar, I quickly determined, would take more energy. I picked the easier task.) I started this sweater for my baby girl when she was truly a baby. I made it in the 6-12 month size. It was in the spring. I was so excited imagining her wearing it come winter and hoping that she wouldn't grow out of it before the cold weather hit. I signed up for a class which turned out to be a good thing because I learned that I had been knitting backwards. I was taking the string under the needle to purl and over the needle to knit. I actually made my daughter's blessing dress, my first and only project up to that point, completely using the wrong stitches. Which explained why it didn't look like the picture on the pattern (although I actually love the way it turned out). The teacher noticed I was doing the stitches wrong at the end of the first of the two night class. She said I could either finish it using the "wrong" stitch or undo it all and start over. I started over. It was painful to unravel all the hard work of my first night, but I repeated the saying that anything worth doing is worth doing right and did it. I worked hard between classes and after the classes ended so I could get the sweater done. I loved seeing it come together. It filled me with pride. I showed it to my friends. I didn't need a prompting I would just pull it out and beam as they validated my pride. And then I set it aside. For months. In fact, I forgot about it. I was at church a couple of weeks ago when someone asked if I had knit anything lately and then told me about the sweater she had made for her daughter. It sounded familiar. It sounded just like the one I had made for my daughter. She was now 11.5 months old. I was sick thinking about it. Would it even fit her? Had I missed the chance for her to wear the sweater I was so proud of? I came home from church, found the sweater  and put it on my girl. Thanks to her smaller than average size and the fact that I had made the sleeves a tad on the long side it fit! It might not button, and there isn't a lot of wiggle room, but it fits! Seeing it on her made me beam. I mentioned to my husband about five times in the three minutes she wore it how adorable I thought it was. And didn't he think it was adorable too?

The saddest part of the story for me is that the sweater has been 95% complete for months. How could I have gotten it 95% complete and not found the time to do the last 5%? For my first project this year I am finishing this sweater. It needs to have the loose ends tucked in, the holes in the armpits stitched closed and buttons sewn on. Estimated time to completion: 1.5 hours, not counting the trip to the store to get the buttons. At this point I start to get really disgusted with myself. One and a half hours?! That is all that has stood in the way of completing this project?! But I can't waist time on disgust for myself. I don't have the energy. And it is not productive. And my daughter is eating like a horse and could grow out of this sweater in a week at the rate she is going so the time for action is now! Plus, I am really excited to see the finished project on my baby girl. The last few weeks have been stressful and exhausting and I could use the boost of a little bit of pride at seeing my sweet girl in a sweater I made all by myself.

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