Suffering from Startitis

Confession Time
If you have picked up Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's newest book, Things I Learned From Knitting (Whether I Wanted to or Not), or if you are a frequenter of her blog, you will know of what I speak. As she puts it in her first chapter, "startitis" is "the almost overwhelming urge to start a new project or ten or twenty, regardless of what's on the needles now and how much you love this current work." That's me. I am limited only by the number of needles of a certain size I have (and whether I have dupes at all for the new project--oh heck, I admit it, I have pulled the needles out of a UFO to start another item). (OK, I admit it, I've bought new needles in a size I have already so I could start something new.)

Whew. Glad we got that confession out of the way. If I were Catholic and needed absolution for that, I think the priest would crack up behind his little screen. Or scratch his head in total amazement at my feelings of guilt.

Knitting what?
So, Stacie, what are you knitting these days? Glad you asked.

I gave the little spumoni sweater to Leonie last weekend (that is Leonie above, with a raspberry in her hand). Our visit to Seattle was out-of-this-world good and fun, but it was also that city's hottest weekend so far--much too warm for a sweater--didn't see her actually wearing it 8^( but her mama will send me a picture. Rather than rest on my laurels when I returned home, I started catching up on my ravelry site and reading my favorite knitting bloggers' latest entries.

That's when the startitis started. I saw something called the "Six-Hour Throw" on wickedgoodknitta's ravelry site and thought, "Ah! A really good use of Homespun," which I originally abandoned about three months into my adult knitting life. This throw is knitted with four strands of varying colors on #50 needles (the hugest I've seen--imagine using broomstick handles!--the only thing bigger would be needles made out of PVC pipe or something), in stockinette, and the effect, for wickedgoodknitta, is quite lovely.

[Warning: if you are an afghan lover and you knit/crochet lots of these, what I am about to say may be offensive.] Actually, I have always thought afghans were ick, something my grandma made and slung over the couch, in hideous colors, acrylic yarns, and lacy, fiddly patterns. Retro. And not in a good way.

Yet I like throws (OK, they're just afghans of a smaller type), and the simpler the stitch, the nicer the yarn, the more I like them.

So I ran out and got all the yarn, finally found the "speed stix" at the bottom of the needle display, and raced home to put dinner on so I could start this amazing throw. And immediately got a clear sense for what people meant when they said (on all these other ravelry-ers' project descriptions for the 6-Hour Throw) that it takes a while to get the hang of knitting with these huge suckers. A while? How about severe hand cramps and muscle pain? It may only take six hours, but after yesterday, they will be doled out one hour per day.

And I'm not lovin' it. Until I truly have the knack for using these needles and four strands simultaneously, I think I'm not going to love it because I find it hard to adjust the tension, and it's turning out loose. Not to mention when I inadvertently drop one strand and don't realize it until rows later. Not to mention that this color combo turned out . . . bleah. But I will forge on ahead, finish it, mend it, and call it #1. Then I can get yarns I like better, bring the needle size down a tad (to #35!), and try again.

Now, having said all that, here is what I have so far, with a knit border to keep the stockinette from curling.
"Artistic" shot:

And in other startitis news, I got some sock yarn from Knitpicks in brown and teal, as well as a self-striping blue, to make baby things. Rowan's booties came out so cute in Happy Feet that I decided to try a few other things in sock weight yarn. And I have several partials of really amazing handspun from midnightsky fibers that I want to use for a funkified scarf. I also ordered a skein of Cherry Tree Hill's Possum lace on deep discount at DBNY. And a few skeins of Organik from the Fibre Company (via Granola Yarn, my favorite "little" online yarn company). This is all assuming that I don't pick up one of the UFOs and start working on it, or embroider my Cosymakes hats, or clean up the stash, or ??????

Chemo Catch-up

DH had chemo #3 last week, finished his five days of megadoses of Prednisone, and is now dealing with the fallout from all that. Stomach pain that nothing touches, hoarseness, tingling fingers and toes (makes doing his job at the computer agonizing at times), continued pain in the location of a few of the tumors (though they are supposedly shrunk down now to almost nothing). So in other words, he feels pretty lousy. But between spoonfuls of rice this a.m., he told me that he has it good--he can still go running with friends, he has a comfortable home and his family around him, he works at home so doesn't have to be exposed to many germs, and he has good medical care. Hard to feel it's worth complaining about, perhaps, but it's still not an easy road, and he's only halfway through his treatment. We'll just have to keep on keeping on, while everyone we know sends us all the positive energy possible to support him through this. 8^)

1 comment:

Mary Anne said...

oh my gosh, those needles must be ginormous! I can well imagine the hand cramps. I hope you do finish, with no injuries.

Re the cancer - feeling grateful for all the good stuff in your life is great, but you're right, it's not an easy road, and sometimes you just have to acknowledge that. Lots of good vibes coming your way.