Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Knittervention of sorts

Yes, you read correctly.

Recently, I was at my guild's, Lebanon Valley Knit 2-Gether, retreat.  There was good food, good friends both old and new, good teaching (thanks Cathy Briscoe) and a knittervention.  A knittervention is an intervention for knitters.  There had been a contest to see who had the most UFOs (Un Finished Objects).  I brought all my unfinished class samples only and got a fair number, 8, done.  I was not the one who was knittervened. 

This post will not disclose more about this event though.  I follow the line of what happens at knitting retreats will stay there.  You can join the fun and education by joining the guild.  We meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  The location is St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Lebanon.  If you want more details, you can email me, leave a comment on this post, or check out the guild on Ravelry.

This post will be much more concerned with my personal UFOs not taken.  I would have needed a truck to transport them for one thing.  Yes there are that many.  Why???  Good question.  Possibly because I get side tracked by the new and shiny.  Definitely when the new class patterns come out and I think I have to get new samples made.  (I have found after long and hard study that people like to see what the finished thing will look like in real life.  Pictures are fine for books and magazines.  When taking a class, people want an actual whatever to hold, see and investigate.  I'm that way.  I got to see the Galaxy Shawl by Cathy Briscoe before I went.  It helped me decide what yarn to use.  Some of the shawls were done in really interesting yarns and others, one in particular, in yarns that didn't speak to me  Colors and textures had a lot to do with my choice after seeing the samples.)

But back to UFOs.  I recently started rounding them up from the far reaches of my home.  They had been threatening to take over certain areas.  Each bag held a project.  Each basket too.  Then I had a bright idea to catalog them.  I'm not sure what that was to accomplish but it felt right and so I started.  In an Excel spread sheet, I put the name of the project, the recipient if it was a gift or class sample or guild project, etc.  I put a starting date or as near as I could get and a finish date if I needed it for a present.  I hit 36 UFOs, not counting guild or class samples.  I don't think I'm done with the hunt though.  I haven't been through my craft room or other parts of our basement.  I may have missed some as well in chests and closets also. 

As I did this I discovered that some projects had missing instructions.  Some were missing tools like needles or hooks.  Two items had no yarn with them.  That's not a good thing.  I did my best to get each bag what it needed.  Then I started packing them away within easy reach.  Class projects were 1 to a gallon or two gallon zip bag, then lined up in a re-usable shopping bag, one of the big ones.  I did the same with the guild projects.  The rest that were personal or gifts went into large Rubbermaid containers as a way to contain the totes and baskets and such.  Boy are there a lot.

Now I will have to make some decisions.  Do I keep or frog the ones that need something like instructions or yarn to finish?  What size needles or hook did I use to get the gauge of the item here?  Where am I in the pattern?  Why did I stop this project?  Do I need outside help to work through either my mistakes or pattern mistakes or understanding confusing directions?  A further sorting will get the ones that need to be frogged (ripped apart, rip it rip it.  get it?) back into hank form so I can wash the yarn carefully to get any kinks out.  I can take the knit projects to guild meetings for those I need help with.  And sometimes it's just a  fresh set of eyes on what is being really said in the pattern.  I can mark the patterns for those that I lost my place in and keep 1 in the car for travel creativity and get it finished a little faster.

The only good thing that came out of this is that I now know what I have going.  I've got a good reminder of who they are for and I am reliving the good feelings I had when I picked the yarn and pattern for each one.

A knittervention can be a very inspiring thing.  It can also be pretty funny, but you have to be there.