10.11.2007

Still finishing.

What is it about sewing up and blocking a UFO that instills such lethargy in me?

Yep, I'm still finishing The Mystery Sweater. I've got one sleeve sewn on, and it looks fantastic, thanks to this book... so why haven't I done more? I think part of it is because the only time I have to work on it is at night, when I'm too tired to sew. What I really need is to block out a couple of hours where there are no interruptions. Maybe Husband can take Baby A.K. out for a little while this weekend so I can finish finishing.

But I admit, time isn't my only issue. I love the process of creating things. I'm not a fast knitter, but that's ok, because I actually like to watch each and every stitch form on my needles. I love watching a sock or a sweater grow from cast-on to bind-off. I love to knit a few rows (rounds), then stop... just to look at what I've done. So when I get to the part where I have to put something together, it's like admitting that the project is ending, which is a little sad (maybe I'm a little sad for admitting that). Finishing is also the most crucial part of a project: no matter how even your stitches are, or how complex the Fair Isle is, it means nothing if your finishing sucks. So having that pressure hanging over my head isn't the most fun part about knitting for me. I'm trying to make friends with finishing - instead of loathing, resisting, or hiding from it, I'm trying to change my thought process and just... do... it.

My friend Cris weighed in on finishing a few days ago... what about the rest of you? Can anyone suggest ways to get past a finishing phobia?

2 comments:

Deb S. said...

I can only speak from a quilter's perspective. I don't really like making the binding to finish a quilt. And I don't really like sewing it on to the quilt. But I love once the binding is on and I'm doing the blind stitching on the back because I know what that is done, all I have to do is slap on a label and I'm done.

The great part about being done is I can start a new project. Since I multi-task in my work life (I'm a programmer, woe is me), I tend to work on one (yep, you read that right) quilt project at a time. So for me, finishing usually isn't a problem. Time however is another story .... And don't even get me started on having UFOs hanging around!

As for some of my quilting buddies, they have problems finishing because they want to use that fun new material or try that new technique or they just get bored.

Cris said...

I tend to be the opposite at the end of a project: at the start, I'm all gung-ho because it's something new and progress is easy to see; the middle bogs down a bit as the initial charm wears off and it's harder to tell that I'm getting somewhere. But near the end I typically pick up steam, because (A) I know I'll soon have the payoff from all my work and time, (B) I want to see what the darn thing looks like finished, and (C) most importantly, I'm already deep in planning for my next project! I want to get through THIS thing, so I can start THAT new sparkly project over there. So I'm typically through the end of one and whoosh, straight through to the next.

All of my projects to date have been relatively simple to finish up, not a lot of serious "finishing" techniques needed. The current major project will be a different story, a kimono jacket from "Knit Kimono" by Vicki Square. I'll be learning several techniques along the way, including a couple of different methods for sewing seams. I intend to just take them one at a time, as I need them.

Experience is the main thing, I think. Good instructions are a big help, but there's nothing like actually having done something yourself. Finding small-scale ways to try out different techniques could be helpful -- practice sewing together a couple of throwaway swatches, for example, before sewing together the big scary sweater pieces.

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