Wednesday, 20 June 2007


I've recently been after myself about finishing up my works in progress. You see, sometimes when making things, I find myself challenged to the point of not going on until I've had time to think my way out of the difficulty. Such is the case with the two projects I decided to show you here.

First up is a pair of socks I've knitted. I really wanted to post a picture of beautifully finished socks. But. No. It seems that's not the case. So here they are - shown as my recent frustration.

I faced several setbacks with these babies. The biggest, as always, is my lack of knitting experience. Which leads to many beginner mistakes made continually. I want to say here, that I think I should receive some credit for even continuing to attempt any knitting projects due to this handicap ;o) Anyways. I did finally get the socks knitted - after unravelling them to correct the infamous pointy toe mistake, oh and ah, to add to the foot length (yes, there was lots of unravelling, let me tell you). Now after sticking with it to make it through those mistakes I have to face the final step. Grafting the toe. Arrrrgh. I'm gonna say right up front - I like knitting, but I HATE grafting. This hate is directly in proportion to how ugly my finished project looks. All due to the crappy kitchener stitches I seem to make (see above photo). sigh. Now I've read how to make these stitches in the knitting books. I have seen them done online. I have even had kind, dear, sweet Nicola show me how to make these stitches. And yet. Well... Mine still don't turn out worth a hoot. I am not sure why this simple stitch evades my mastery. I am this close to just sticking those socks under the needle of my sewing machine or better yet, serging the suckers! Ha! Let's see them unravel from that!

Seriously, I know I won't be satisfied until I master this stitch. It's challenging me, and frustrating me. So, I'm setting those socks aside once again while I regroup.

Hey, I don't need those wool socks for another few months anyways, right?

Next project to share with you is faring somewhat better at the moment. This is a quilt I designed and am making for my youngest son (blame his taste for the super bright fabrics). I'm turning my efforts back into finishing this project after figuring out how to deal with the challenge I faced with it.

Everything went along fairly smoothly initially in assembling this - right up to the point where I was machine quilting it. I thought I was just kicking butt with my freehand machine quilting ( note the danger when you get too self assured with any kind of handiwork) and it wasn't until I had used a full bobbin of thread that I took the time to fip the quilt over to check thoroughly for problems. *Now unless you think I never check to see how my stitiches are on the underside, well, I actually do - but I missed seeing the tiny wrinkles with this project - the stitches were fine though*.

Okay, you know what I'm going to tell you, right. Uh-huh. There were problems. Lots. The wrinkles I'd quilted into the back were tiny and if there had been only a couple of them, I would've carried on. There wasn't just a couple though. The next course of action involved the seam ripper. Now here's the part I HATE about sewing. Picking my stitches out. I believe this is because I see myself as more of a going forward kind of stitcher. So, I really don't enjoy going backwards, so to speak, which is what you're doing when you have to remove all your stitches. I spent a lot more time picking those stitches out than it took for me to put them there to begin with. That done, I set this project aside until I figured out how to prevent this situation from happening again.

I think I've got the challenge dealt with and now I'm back to being inspired to carry on and finish this quilt. The above photo shows the quilt awaiting my machine quilting. (This made possible only after all that stitch removal, re-ironing the backing and the quilt top separately, and then going through the whole centering and pinning process all for a second time...)

Funny, but it seems like whenever a project frustrates me and then I figure it out - well, that project just inspires me to tackle more projects and um, er, while frustrated on at least one project, I always have something else to work away on. Hmmmm... sounds like I have a project formula here: Inspired=Frustrated+Challenged


Heather said...

It always kind of surprises me to hear things like that from you because I tend to think of you as capable of anything when it comes to any kind of needlework-type thing and your work is always so incredibly beautiful when you are done. Hope you have some nice, non-frustrating projects on the go for this sunny day.

Katherine said...

I'm still learning like everyone else, but thanks for thinking so highly of my abilities!
I meant to sound a little more light hearted in my post - I'm not really going around frustrated - I just meant to share some of the bumps in the creative road from my experience.
Truth be told, if I was really so frustrated I wouldn't keep diving into these kind of projects! ;o)