B is for better

And Boring. Boring, boring, boring.  This week has had few charms, my pets, and worst of it is the horrible monotony of being sick. I do feel better today (much, actually) and tomorrow there’s things I have to do, but in the interest of being as well as possible for that, I decided to take another indeterminately long day of rest.

That’s another day of tea. Another day of audiobooks. Another day of this insanely boring green thing that I swear I am about to bite into a thousand bits and swallow.

sirensong2 2016-01-22

See that? See how it looks completely the same? I’m onto a whole other chart, my friends, and you cannot stinking tell. It looks just the same. Another row of 300+ tiny little stitches that just sit there smugly getting no bigger, while the ball of yarn gets no smaller, and I am just about ready to snap.  Now, to be clear, this is not the fault of the pattern (which I suppose I still love) or the yarn (which I can’t really tell about right now) and more to do with what was a grievous error on my part. You cannot mix a boring work in progress (no matter how lovely the result will be) with days of tedium and monotony.  I started this shawl on the way to Costa Rica. I knit it by volcanoes (!) by rivers (!) while nice people brought me champagne by a pool (!) It was brilliant then, didn’t seem at all boring, but now? Now, on day four on the chesterfield, this is just…

Look. I don’t want to use foul language here. It’s unbecoming a knitter, but I did want to explain why there’s every possibility that when you come back here again – that shawl may no longer be with us.

62 thoughts on “B is for better

  1. Maybe you should put aside the boring shawl, and work on something a little more interesting for the recovery period? I’m so glad you are feeling better. Here’s to a complete recovery! {{{HUGS}}}

  2. At least you’re feeling better! That means the knitting can actually seem boring. Pick up something more stimulating and have a great weekend!

  3. I’ve just recovered from a nasty cold. During it, I finished up a lace shawl that has been on the needles since last spring. It had about 300 stitches of itty bitty fine yarn on the needles. I cast off this morning. It can be done!! Such a sense of accomplishment!
    Take care

  4. In my humble opinion, the boredom might be in part due to the circumstances. And by all means, cast it aside. You’ve had a rough week; you’re allowed to do something else.

  5. Cast something else on, and put this away for a short while. Work on a hat, or a sock, or something that is very potato-chippy. The monotony just serves to keep you bored and not feeling any better.

  6. What do you do with UFOs that you never return to? I know some (Joe’s Gansey) makes reappearances based on need and fullness of you IP basket. Do you ever have any that never are restarted and die a slow forgotten death? Your sweater that shall ‘remain nameless’ was completed when the time was right. Do some just vanish?

  7. I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better. I’m sure that cuddling in bed with your project in hand helped as much as the prescription from your doctor. Perhaps the healing power of yarn should be studied by scientists? It is so grey and boring and cold here in the GTA right now, maybe you just need a project that’s not monochromatic, like some bright stripy socks. That’s what’s currently on my needles.

  8. I was under the impression that what that shawl really needs is a gradient. Baby puke green in the middle of winter can’t be helping!

  9. Would it be a good shawl for endless meetings?

    You are not feeling it at this point, cast on something that would be a happier knit…maybe a hat? Something that is a quick finish project.

  10. Yes, put aside the shawl, and find something else. There must be one or two UFO in your stash. Or just start something new. You’re entitled. Keep that tea coming, and take care of yourself.

  11. Well, at least you are feeling much better, even if the knitting is boring. Perhaps a really gripping audiobook is called for, something that is so compelling that you’re barely aware of knitting at all (because even though we all love knitting, there are those times when it’s not as compelling as we might like).

  12. I think the entire province of Alberta has this very same malady. Hope you get well soon! Maybe start a tiny fun project just to get past the tedious knitting.

  13. Yes, I agree with comments above: something more cheerful is called for as a respite from the shawl’s sameness. Get another project before you kill this one out of sheer rage. It’s too nice for that. Go back to it when your life is hectic and full. Get something finished for the LRP box. Glad you’re well enough to rant again.

  14. The ability to be cranky is indeed a sign that you are on the mend. I’ve had a cold in tandem with you: cursed the necessity of fringe; but am now looking forward to swatching for a new baby coat. Please give your endless project at least a 10 day reprieve.

  15. Make it a travel project. That way you won’t need any other projects on your trip. In the meantime, work on something quick like a cowl with chunky yarn for your gift box.

    Glad you’re feeling better.

  16. Glad you are on the mend! When I feel like I’m making no progress on a project, I clip a marker into it. Then I have proof that I am. However, that wouldn’t make you like the shawl any better….

  17. Nooooo, please don’t rip it out. I am making a scarf ( definitely diagonal pattern) with the same yarn! Nabbed a skein of babs for 50 cents at thrift shop. I know!! Amazed that the YH is working on something similar.

  18. Reading all of this (and the previous post) has made me feel the need to cough now. I know your germs cannot travel a gazillion miles down to where I am. Maybe it’s sympathy coughing.

  19. I zoomed in to get a closer look at the color(s). Put it in time out for awhile and cast on something more cheerful while you’re still on the mend. You loved it in Costa Rica. You may revive the flagging relationship when you’re well again!

  20. OK. You ARE feeling better. Merely grumpy, rather than having a nuclear meltdown.

    But, if that shawl is getting to you, put it aside for a while, unless you’re knitting it on a deadline. If so, try something a little less complex and lots more colorful. For example, a scarf with stripes of many colors. Add in some cables, if not too complex. (Or, you could work a row on Joe’s Gansey — just for the sake of getting it that much closer to done.)

  21. OK. You ARE feeling better. Merely grumpy, rather than having a nuclear meltdown.

    But, if that shawl is getting to you, put it aside for a while, unless you’re knitting it on a deadline. If it is getting to you, try something a little less complex and lots more colorful. For example, a scarf with stripes of many colors. Add in some cables, if not too complex. (Or, you could work a row on Joe’s Gansey — just for the sake of getting it that much closer to done.)

  22. Nooooooo don’t make the shawl disappear. You’ve put too much into it already. Switch over to working on something complicated now to stave off the boredom. Bring the shawl back out to work on when your mind is engaged in something else and your hands can go on auto-pilot (got any boring meetings coming up? church?)

  23. Kinda sounds like boredom to me. When I’m sick I never get bored – I fall asleep so fast that I can’t get bored.

    Whatever you decide to do, I beg of you not to bite the wrap into pieces (1,000 or otherwise) and swallow it. As wonderful as wool is (and I know you love wool, so that’s probably what you’re knitting with), I believe it is not helpful to a scratchy, coughing throat and gord knows what it would do to your stomach. So then you would feel crappy again AND not have a wrap. Don’t do it!
    I know you’ll find a solution. Let us know when you’ve decided.

    Chris S in Canada

  24. I think it’s beautiful and i can see the change in pattern but not stitches. Perhaps gently lady it aside till you have another awesome trip?

  25. It’s not the shawl, it’s you. You are sick and therefore, not yourself. Put the shawl aside and knit something else. In a week or two, the shawl will seem brilliant again, since you will be back to your normal self by then. Step away from the shawl… If you really must do something to the shawl send it and the pattern to me and I’ll finish it. Nice shawl, sick knitter.
    Julie in San Diego

  26. Sounds like you’ve been hit with a proper flu bug. So sorry to hear that.
    And, I think the shawl is actually getting smaller. Is that possible? Maybe you’re delirium tinking.

  27. this is why I always have at least 4 UFOs going at any one time (in addition to a needlepoint and/or a cross stitch) – if I get bored with one, I switch to another. Sooner or later they eventually get done….and as lovely as audiobooks are, when the visual of the knitting is boring you, what about a nice romantic movie? I can recommend ‘A Little Chaos’ – watched it tonight and swooned over Matthias S. while knitting my boring little shawl.

  28. When this happens to me, I bundle the boring knit with a show. So I can only watch my show while I knit the particular project.. Some Netflix recommendations : Broadchurch, Mr Selfridge, the 100. I got this idea from a podcast sometime ago. She called it ‘temptation bundling’.

  29. The solution seems obvious to me! (though perhaps a bit impractical). Start a more challenging/stimulating project, get well, and then take the green thing (and Joe), right back to Costa Rica!

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  31. I’m so happy you’re feeling better. As for the boredom, I find that when the pattern is tedious I need to use a fiber which is not. Maybe your problem is the color of yarn you’re using combined with your surroundings, the weather, your illness. After all, you did say you didn’t feel this way while knitting on vacation. Maybe it needs a time out for sunnier, healthier days.

  32. I always know I am really, truly sick when all my knitting seems boring. When I had appendicitis (but didn’t know it yet), I couldn’t stand to look at socks, then my favorite thing in the world to knit. I suspect the issue isn’t the knitting or the pattern or even the knitter but the illness. Here’s hoping you make a swift recovery and the knitting gets more appealing as a result.

  33. Lovely shawl, nice colour. Its just the ‘flu getting to you. Put the shawl in the back of the cupboard for a couple of weeks, and make something a) quick and b) colourful – how about pink and orange socks?! Theres bound to be someonw who will like them. And it will cheer you up no end! Good luck!

    • I was just coming to post the same thing! A quick pair of mittens will take the edge off and let you return to the lovely postcard from Costa Rica. Which will be amazing come March, when that green will look like spring.

  34. It’s interesting. The yarn color (from the pictures) looks almost like your long lost Birch shawl. I seem to recall a masterful description of the black hole in regards to that beautiful and much loved project. I think it’s the color that triggers the black hole.

    Also happy early blogiversary!

  35. Wouldn’t it be nice to swap a project that just won’t seem to get finished for someone else’s similarly unfinished project? At least there would be a break in the monotony.

  36. Steph!

    Put the shawl down and just…walk away. Cast on something else and come back to the shawl in the spring.
    I have done this very thing and…it really works. Deep freeze for a boring knit.

  37. Glad you are starting to feel better. I think only a knitter (or crocheter) would truely understand your feelings of boredom on the project. Hope it ends soon!

  38. I agree with putting the project aside temporarily if it’s boring you to tears. But come back to it soon when you’re feeling well! I’ve always loved colors in that pea-green range. And the flecks of reddish coloring makes this yarn even prettier. I think you’ll see the beauty again when you return to it later!!

  39. Like many others I agree th shal is too pretty & too far along to frog. Put it into the mindless I don’t need to pay attention pile & knit it during bus rides, meetings, or maybe a movie. Make something more difficult now that you are on the mend.

  40. I hope you are ALL all better soon. Every project tries my patience when I’m sick. You need a one-night stand with a ball of bulky yarn, some 9 mm needles and a great cowl pattern. That shawl will look a whole lot sexier afterwards. ;-)

  41. You can’t really blame the shawl for seeming boring. After the FABULOUS tam that you just finished, nearly anything else would seem drab. I recommend more colorwork, in something vivid; do you have enough yarn for another hat?

  42. I love your choice of words when you are ready to rage-quit a project or something is vexing you. I’ve adopted “hate it with the white-hot passion of 1000 suns” from your blog years ago and it has served me well. :)

  43. I just discovered your blog! Made my day better immediately. I am sick with a dry cough for 3 weeks now. So needless to say I am determined after discovering you and your humor that I will be perkier. Thank you…get better! Cheers!

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