September 27, 2005
'Tis the season to feel guilty. And nothing brings that home more than going to an Afghan A-Long and realizing there are people out there who ONLY KNIT FOR CHARITY. I'm sitting there and really feeling sheepish what with my beautiful shawls and socks and sweaters - ALL FOR ME! Confession time: Guess what I sent to the Dulaan Project? Did I send any number of handknit hats, or mittens, or scarves or anything? NOT EVEN ONE SIMPLE HAT! I sent a box of hats and gloves and scarves that were all store bought and two winter coats that we don't wear anymore. I know, I know, I still sent something, but I DIDN'T KNIT IT MYSELF! My knitting time is for me. Let's dissect that sentence: my knitting TIME is for me. Granted I may have more knitting time than most. I don't have any kids. I work for myself and at home (translation: if I feel like spending the day knitting, the only person who suffers is me. And maybe G, but he likes when I do that. Really! He does!) But that time is my own and I don't want to share it. That's not to say that I don't knit for others - I do! But I knit for those close to me - so that I can still visit with my knits. (Notice the possessive pronoun there. MY knits. Even when I let them go they're still mine.) You need money? I'll give you the shirt off my back. Literally. But my knitting time - find your own! ;-)
So, of course, it was a particularly sobering experience sitting in Kay's lovely living room, knitting to help others. Strangers. I may never see that afghan again (not counting the 365 more days it will take to complete this incredible work of art.) As I was picking up stitches and carefully knitting along the borders, I couldn't help but think about the woman who spent countless hours knitting these squares. What made her choose this color combination? How did she decide on their names? What was she thinking while she was knitting? Was she wondering about the person who would be cuddling under the blanket? Someone sick? Someone young? Someone in love? The possibilities are endless, of course, but what did she choose to focus on? I tried my best to do her perfect squares justice, in heart and hand.
It was a very fun night - I met new people, hung with old friends and had a blast. Can't wait to go back for some more charity work. (Details over at Kay's. I didn't take any pictures. NONE! I was too busy concentrating on my work.)
BUT, that doesn't mean the guilt is over. When we were talking last night we all realized there are projects promised to SOMEONE ELSE that sit in the corner gathering dust. Either we haven't finished it, can't find the pattern, the yarn's not right - EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES! NO LONGER! Introducing, the newest KAL to hit blogland:
Now, this isn't going to be one of those fancy KALs where I set up a separate blog and we all help each other feel guilty about not finishing our projects - the guilt is all your own! But leave a comment here and pledge that you're going to FINISH THAT FREAKING THING! Take the button, put it on your blog, and remind yourself and all the others out there that you DIDN'T KNIT WHAT YOU SAID YOU WOULD! Maybe you told your mom, dad, kid, cousin, sister, brother, grandmom, grandpa, niece, nephew, best friend, neighbor, sister-in-law's cousin's friend's son's bus driver's mail carrier's dog that you'd knit them something and just never have. HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO ATONE! DO IT NOW! YOU CAN BE FORGIVEN!
Okay. To start the ball rolling, I'm going to pledge to knit my father that sweater I found in Anthropologie. I've taken the time to find the cables. Hell, he BOUGHT the yarn himself a year ago. (Well, I bought it, but he paid for it.) And I need a fun cably project anyway. So DAD, this GUILT-ALONG's for YOU! I'm going to try to chart the cables in the next couple of weeks and cast on for a swatch. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
Who wants to guilt along with me?
brilliant idea! this could be just the kick in the Black Water Abbey ass I need ....
Posted by: ann at September 27, 2005 02:50 PM
Can't do guilt...it's a four letter word...well, not really, I realize that, but you know. Good luck, anyway. ;-)
Posted by: margene at September 27, 2005 03:48 PM
Ooh, I noticed that sweater too. It's very classic. I'm sure your dad will love it. What is the yarn?
Posted by: Janet at September 27, 2005 03:54 PM
I'm a no guilt girl. That said, you've inspired me to finish the sweater for my daughter that just needs one sleeve. That's it. Glad that you had fun last night :-).
Posted by: Kathy at September 27, 2005 04:16 PM
Well, it's not really a guilt-a-long, since it's for me, but I pledge to finish that damn Einstein Coat!
Posted by: Carole at September 27, 2005 05:02 PM
Aargh! You got me! I have started a Prayer Shawl group at my church. It has taken off in ways I never could have predicted, so many people have been touched by this ministry. There are quite a few women that are knitting their little hearts out keeping up with the demand (and the demand has been pretty great). Here is my confession. I, the chaiperson for the group, have not finished ONE prayer shawl myself. NOT ONE. No one has noticed I don't think. I promise to finish one.
Posted by: Teresa C at September 27, 2005 05:12 PM
I up for it. I told my husband that I would knit him a sweater, I only have 6 in. done on the back and he's a XL. He keeps asking for it too, I have all the yarn and the needles. I need to get it done by Nov. 1st, because I can't be knitting and giving birth at the same time. So I got to get it done. No blog, but sign me up.
Posted by: Leslie at September 27, 2005 05:13 PM
Nope. Not me. I am proudly, inexorably and irrefutably all about knitting for me.
Posted by: claudia at September 27, 2005 05:17 PM
So much guilt, so little time!
Count me in, I have a few 'need to do's around here. It'll be fun to move them out.
I charity knit once a year and even missed this year. Otherwise, I totally agree with you on the MY knitting.
Posted by: Laura at September 27, 2005 05:20 PM
Hysterical! I have only one guilty project, and that is Charlotte's Web. I started a KAL for it (a knit-behind, no less), gave myself a one-year deadline and still didn't finish it. I am honestly only feeling guilty about it because other people knit it, and as KAL mistress I feel that I should have, too.
That said, I have many gifts in the works, and those come first, so I won't be tackling Charlotte until next year. Perhaps if you have a Knit-Behind Guilt-Along I can join that!
Posted by: Julia at September 27, 2005 05:23 PM
Oh dear, guilt-ridden knitting? I'm not too sure about that. Those who knit only for charity? Well, to each his own.
Posted by: Colleen at September 27, 2005 05:45 PM
I have two children, how much guilt can I take in a lifetime? My daughter has been actively guilting me into finishing a sweater she said she would knit - she made me buy the yarn with that promise and then somehow it was my fault that it was not ready for pictures day. And I believed her.
Posted by: Lu at September 27, 2005 05:46 PM
I can't wait to go read all about it at Kay's -- glad you had so much fun.
To guilt or not to guilt, that is the question... I go back and frickin' forth about that. I'd love to knit for others, want to knit for others, sometimes even sorta promise to knit for others -- and sometimes I actually do knit for others (last year's thrummed mittens x2 pair -- for one or two or four things -- and booties and baby hats, too, and I've actually finished two afghan squares). I'm still thinkin...
Posted by: Vicki at September 27, 2005 06:45 PM
What a siren song for a little Catholic girl like me! Count me in...now to decide what project I feel guiltiest about!
Posted by: Anita at September 27, 2005 07:18 PM
I spent this whole weekend atoning for not knitting "stitches of love" for my boyfriend in months.
Posted by: Lauren at September 27, 2005 07:19 PM
Hmmm...a guilt project...let's see, there's the afghan I started for my sister-in-law because she bought a house, then realized my mother would have a cow if I made an afghan for anyone but her, and the guilt I felt there slowed up my work on the afghan...guilt on so many levels! Yeah, I'm in. Finish the damn afghan and toss a coin to see who I give it to. I certainly don't want it myself anymore.
Posted by: Amy at September 27, 2005 07:30 PM
What did you find objectionable about the Peruvian Highland wool? I have been considering buying some. Is it like Cascade 220 Quattro which is also Peruvian wool? Thanks.
Posted by: Daisy at September 27, 2005 09:24 PM
Heh, cute idea! Unfortunately, or fortunately-as you wish- I have no guilt in the knitting arena. I do plenty of knitting for charity. I do it because I like it. I love it, in fact. I find it fascinating, though, that when I post about something I knit for Dulaan, that's the day when I get few to no comments.
Posted by: Norma at September 27, 2005 11:10 PM
I'm in. Endless ribbing, a couple of cables, and an elven name up the middle. Yikes. Guess who THAT'S for....
Posted by: Lee Ann at September 28, 2005 06:49 AM
Girl, I have enough guilt... but I will definitely watch your Guilt Knitalong! This idea is too funny. That sweater for your dad is great!
Posted by: Lolly at September 28, 2005 07:29 AM
An ex-boyfriend who lives in Southern California requested pastel-colored vegan mittens about seven months ago. He is not joking; in fact, he asks me where his mittens are all the time.
I ungraciously dumped said ex ten years ago. We're still friends, and he is far better at keeping in touch than I am. Since he's vegan, I only have to use acrylic, and mittens are so easy to make. I've been putting it off because I'd rather be knitting for.... myself.
Guilt guilt guilt.
Posted by: parikha at September 28, 2005 07:45 AM
Yup, Eleanor's pink sweater, the one I had high hopes for. Maybe I'll just finish it in stockinette and embroider some flowers on it. She'll like that better than the traveling stitches I had planned.
Love the guilt, and I think it's the perfect time of year to atone for our abandoned knitting projects. It seems like a lot of us are doing it anyway. L'shana tova! Now, back to work!
Posted by: mamacate at September 28, 2005 12:06 PM
It was great meeting you the other day, I had no idea that you were january one! Count me in for the guilt along, although if I finished all of the projects currently making me feel guilty, I probably would be doing the guilt along until 2007.
Posted by: Brittany at September 28, 2005 02:12 PM
I am SO in on the Guilt Along. Hey, I'm all about guilt. I've got a baby blanket that needs finishing that I just couldn't bring myself to complete. Now, between my mom and this along, I should have POUNDS of guilt to go on!
Posted by: La at September 28, 2005 02:23 PM
Brillinat idea, but then I wouldn't expect anything else from you. Hmm is this just for guilty knitters or also for guilty sewers? I have enough unfinished projects for all of us. ugh
Posted by: Kimberly at September 28, 2005 02:54 PM
Here's when I feel the weight of guilt on me: it's when I have said out loud that I am knitting something for somebody. When I PROMISE them something. When the thing is already out there in somebody's mind before I even make it. There's the rub. If I don't promise them ahead of time, it's a piece of cake.
Conclusion: never pre-give anybody a handknit. When I have a handknit to give, give it. But don't pre-give. It's a recipe for disaster.
I just offloaded two sweaters to my sister Buffy--one that I'd promised her, and the other that I'd made for her as atonement for not finishing the first one!
I have one more pre-given handknit to finish, and then I'll enter a new world of burdenless knitting. Wheeeee!
Posted by: Ann at September 28, 2005 05:03 PM
In my mind, it's the Dad-along. I'm on the second front! Guilt lifting, every day, every fat gray skein!
Can you believe Ann has been hogging the blog so much that I haven't posted about our Knit Up yet?
I feel guilty about that......
Don't feel guilty about not knitting 'enough' for charity. There are so many ways to be charitable and try to heal the world. Most hobbies are purely hobbies so the issue doesn't come up. xoxo Kay
Posted by: Kay at September 30, 2005 06:22 PM
I'm in, I feel the guilt everytime I see the WIPs in the basket. I have 4 guilty objects waiting for my attention.
Posted by: eyeleen at October 4, 2005 11:40 PM
Ok, ok.......YES, I too feel the guilt. That baby afghan is burning a hole in my bag and the baby won't be a baby anymore if I don't get off my butt and finish the thing! I'm going....I'm going........
Posted by: Lisa at October 17, 2005 01:12 AM