Procrastination, or “l’art de remettre au lendemain”

Not so long ago, I discovered that I had caught a very bad disease, here, in Scotland. My guess is that it is rather contagious, widely spread amongst knitters, and that there is no cure for it. How do I know that I caught it in Scotland? Well, that’s easy: there is no equivalent in French. So it can only come from here, right?

I had symptoms, and was not too sure what they meant. Like, for instance, I started suffering from startitis, also called cast-on-itis: a bad urge to cast on new (knitting) projects while I had already a few on the go. This obliged me to buy more knitting needles, and of course, it goes with an ever increasing stash (my other half joked a couple days ago that I probably had enough to open a yarn shop… that’s how bad it is!).

Another symptom is the stupid deadlines I kept giving to myself, and never managing any of them. You know, like “I really need a new jumper to wear at such-and-such next week. No problem, I’m sure I can manage that in [insert here your choice of 4 ply or DK weight yarn]. It’s only a matter of concentrating on my knitting for a week, right?”

Yes, you got it: procrastination is my disease. The funny thing I found out is that there is no translation in French! No exact translation at least. A close-ish one would be “l’art de remettre au lendemain”, but it’s not quite that either.

I know there is no cure, but I have decided that, really, I need to do something about it – at least, trying to control it a little. Why? Because I found out that I have a ridiculous amount of works in progress (and I don’t even want to admit how many I have – there are a few on my Ravelry project page, but not all of them are listed there…), and even many more things I want to cast on now. Not including about 10 or 12 design ideas that are at very different stages of (non-)completion: from drawings on paper to projects already charted and started, or even two which are complete but the pattern just need to be laid out and checked, or a few pictures need to be taken… See, I’m terrible. But that’s not the worse part.

First BSJBack in January, I started thinking about all I wanted to knit for my baby-to-come-soon, and for my little one too so he is kept warm with enough fitting jumpers and hats and cardis to cover the next months when, I am sure, I will have my hands a little full. Anyway, I started planning (?!) a few projects, decided on some jumpers and cardigans for my son, cardigans for the baby too, as well as a baby blanket.

Scrambled SnakeAnd of course, I continued casting on socks for myself and random other projects, like a toy snake for my son, things like that (we all need a toy snake to use up scraps of sock yarn!)

Now, let’s talk about this blanket. It is very symptomatic of my habits and this procrastination disease… I’ve been thinking about this blanket for a while, I bought the pattern a few months ago as I liked it so much and wanted to support the designer. The blanket is a stranded pattern knitted in Aran weight, and is double sided with two different stranded designs. Well, I thought I would be wise and knit only the stranded front, and use backing fabric for the back. Proud of me, huh?

Ok, now, I mentioned it’s knitted in Aran weight: it’s meant to be a quick-ish knit… What yarn did I choose then? Yup, 4 ply yarn from my stash. A very soft, baby friendly and smooshy 4 ply. Yup. Needless to say that I had also decided to increase drastically the number of repeats of the pattern to reach the baby-blanket size, and even a little more to go up to a cot-size. But at this point, I think I’m totally fine and clever, and I have plenty of time anyway because, remember, we are in January and Baby is supposed to come in April (please don’t remind me that it’s the VERY beginning of April). Pleeeeeeenty of time!

Sleepy Monkey BlanketSo I cast on this impressive number of stitches on small needles, and happily knit my way through 10 or 12 rows, while watching a couple movies. And as I figured out that, at this rate, I’d be able to knit a baby-blanket-worth of stranded 4 ply in 27 days (see I had a plan!), and since it was only something like January 7th, I could just put it aside and knit on something else, right? And now it is almost March and there are only about 30 days left. And of course I had not taken into account the time required to knit the border or to back the whole thing with fabric either (because, it takes absolutely no time, right? Just like weaving in ends in an intarsia cardigan*, you know?). So there I am. I’m sure I could let it wait a few more days “’cause I have plenty of time still and you never know, Baby Number 2 may be 10 or 12 days late just like Number 1, right?”

And for those who follow the blog since the beginning, you will certainly remember the “Maman les p’tits bateaux Vest”… Yes, the project is still on my needles. It’s all charted and partly sized. Yes I knitted a little more on it since last time I told you about it. And yes, I must admit I put it aside thinking I had pleeeeeenty of time to finish because it was a little wide for my son at the time. But I think I now have to hurry up, or it will get too tight on him very soon!

I promise, I’ll try very hard to improve myself. I’ve actually started to decrease my number of WIPs (or so I think). I’ll keep you updated.

I’m seriously thinking about joining a group like “Knitting Procrastinators Anonymous”. Do you reckon it would work?

*A note about that intarsia cardigan: I decided to cast on this amazingly cute cardigan for my son, with a digger, a dumper, etc… And here is what I ended up with:

Yes, it ended up in the naughty corner for a while. I tried to bribe myself into not being allowed to knit more on it until I weave in at least 50% of all these ends. Needless to say it didn’t work. And I picked it up a couple days ago to knit the sleeves and join the raglan… But I’m confident: it will get done and look like a cardigan and not so much like a rug… one day!
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5 Responses to Procrastination, or “l’art de remettre au lendemain”

  1. Tricia Weatherston says:

    If it helps I stopped counting this past January, when I hit 80 and that is exclusive of the 21 wips completed in 2012. It did help me to name them, so they are all written down in a little notebook. I have a 5 year plan to tame them.

    • spinnygonzalez says:

      You know how much I appreciate your support, Tricia! I have not reached 80 (yet?), but then I’ve only been knitting for 5 years. I agree that it would certainly help if I kept track of them. I’m doing better at that though there is still a lot to do… I bet lots of your wips are single socks?

  2. Verónica says:

    I really like the pattern on that last project. I remember my son LOVED excavators and all sorts of large yellow construction vehicles.

    • spinnygonzalez says:

      Thank you Veronica. It is a lovely design for sure, and I am sure it will look great when completed. And hopefully, my little one will like it too, as, like your son, he loves any kind of big construction vehicle. A boy thing probably! But on the other hand, I had definitely not realised that there would be that many ends. I’m not convinced intarsia is doing me any good.

  3. Pingback: Knitting therapy… And a splash in memory of our little star | The Auld (Woolly) Alliance

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