I’m working on a stealth project. It’s a secret, at least for a few more weeks, and I’ve committed to a deadline for it, and to put it rather bluntly, I knew it was going to be a bit of a stretch. Not impossible, but definitely a stretch. It’s like what I want to get down is on the highest shelf in the kitchen. I can totally get it down if I want, but not without hauling a stool over so that I can climb on the counter. (As an aside, if you haven’t ever lived with a person who’s a little on the short side, you wouldn’t believe how much mountaineering they do in the kitchen. To get my roasting pan I have to pull over my step, then a stool, then slide over the coffeemaker so that I can stand on the counter. I have an old and tall house. I feel like getting down the potato ricer I use twice a year is likely going to be the cause of my death.)
As a general rule, I like deadline knitting. I know a lot of people don’t. To them, knitting on a deadline takes out all the fun. This totally relaxed, easy-going knitting thing turns into a stinking slag heap of pressure every time you start making rules about how fast it has to go, and they hate it. Me though? I like knowing how I’m doing. As long as I set the deadline right and keep it within the realm of the possible, I think having benchmarks and goals keeps me feeling productive, and on track and like a person who gets things done.
I don’t even mind when I get the deadline a little wrong. It’s okay with me to stretch my skills, to stay up a little late one night or two – I feel like these bursts of concentrated work is good practice for being faster and more efficient – even when I’m not on deadline. It’s when I often learn something, or figure something out. The pressure (a little) is good for me, and makes me more creative and productive. I like a little pressure so much that sometimes I even procrastinate to create that pressure – with occasionally disastrous results if I mis-judge the amount of pressure I need to trigger creativity.
Today I was sitting and swatching, and charting, and figuring out where this pattern is going, and I did the math. X number of stitches per inch, multiplied by the number of inches I’d like the thing to be when it’s done, and then clicked “=” and just about fell off my chair. I did the math again. Same number. I checked my gauge – double checked my math and then sat there staring at the number. It was still the same. Now, I know math is like that – sort of predictable, but that’s never how it’s been for me. I’m not someone who can look at even a simple equation and predict the answer, and my guess on how many stitches this would be was way off. Crazy off. Crazy like asking a three year old to to your taxes kind of off.
This is going to be a big stretch, and I’m already feeling the burn. Nothing can go wrong here, or I can’t predict the ending. Stupid math.
Tonight the sprint starts, but for now, a few presents? The lovely and generous Aubrey over at Goodies Unlimited has a very, very generous gift. She’s got FOUR gift certificates for me to give away, and each one is for $50, with her picking up the postage. It’s a wonderful thing.
If you don’t know Goodies Unlimited, you should. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and her stuff is amazing (our family has an unhealthy addiction to the Stress-Free Green Tea soap and the Everything Balm.) I know this sounds like an ad, but there’s no affiliation, it’s just fabulous stuff made by a really generous lady who always supports the daylights out of this community. I like her, and I like her stuff, and I hope that Cheryl A, Sandra F, Micaela R and Sharon G enjoy it as much as I do.
Peace out. I gotta knit.