I am ever so thankful that the deadline for my Mystery Project has been
extended. Over the weekend I ended up trying out and then
scrapping two more construction schemes. The worst of which was a
re-work of the center-out disaster from last week. The result
still looked like one of Madonna’s nose cone outfits. I can’t show pix
for several reasons, not the least of which being that I’m working from
a very limited amount of yarn, and the abortive attempts have been
ripped out and re-used.

The latest attempt circles back to the original idea – a stockinette
piece knitted back and forth in the flat. I’ve moved back to
double strand, as the single strand stockinette after fulling was too
flabby for my intended use. I moved the increase points several
stitches in from the edges. This is creating a smoother contour,
and a shape more true to the design paradigm furnished with the
assignment. The flat construction is also much easier to describe
in written directions, a good thing as part of my directive is to
create a project that’s not too intimidating for relative beginners.

I’ve finished one of the two identical pieces that make up my Mystery
Project, and am well along in piece #2 (a duplicate of #1). The
third piece is differently shaped, and needs to be knit in an
inconvenient direction in order to keep the coefficient of shrinkage
uniform among all three. Why three pieces?? In this
case I thought that having a seam would be a strengthening and
supportive feature, with the extra thickness of the seam allowance
acting as a skeletal element.

Of course the scariest part will be the fulling. I’ve adjusted
the proportions of the knit original to mirror the shrinkage ratios of
the swatch. It looks rather odd – longer than it’s wide but if
I’m lucky, it should end up being close to the target
measurements. To top it off, I’ll probably be fulling this by
hand rather than in the washing machine. My machine is not very
good for this sort of thing.

As someone who believes in statistics, probability and the value of
planning rather than luck, I am not that comfortable right
now. Plus I’m fighting off project fatigue.
That’s the feeling I get when I’ve learned about all I can from a
particular effort or am confronted by a problem I don’t think is worth
the tedium to solve, and am not looking forward to the slog to
completion. Deadlines make it worse. This is the point when
I often set work aside, or feel the seduction of a parenthetical
project. Several are calling to me siren-like right now.
Not the least being a beautiful skein of blue/green hand dyed sock
weight merino graciously given to me by uber-talented June
Oshiro. That’s
calling out to become a pair of fingerless mitts. It’s a reedy
little voice, but an insistent one, and it gets louder every time I sit
down to work on the Mystery Project.

Moral of the story:? Knit for fun, not profit.

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