Begin with the End in Mind

Thank you to everyone that has taken time out of their day to check out the new blog. It is one thing to write but quite another, and humbling I might add, to be read.

I have made progress this week on my “Copilot” cowl using the “Life Begins After Coffee” colourway. I’m liking the way that it is coming together and the way that it is adjustable and as such, my row count may be just a little off what the pattern required, BUT it still works. I am about 1/2 way through a single skein and will likely add the second one that I have set aside to give it that extra bit of snuggle for the coming cold months. I’ll let you know as I get there. There is still plenty of time to change my mind.

Are you a starter, finisher or in for the journey kind of person?

Let me tell you I am a starter! What I mean by this is in my experience as a fibre artist, I have met people, who like me love to start projects and have a heck of a time finishing. Others won’t start another project until the current project is finished and then there is the third type of person for whom neither starting or finishing is gratifying but rather the journey itself. A single project can have progress or regress and neither is of any concern. Simply the act of being in the moment with needles in hand suffices. I aspire to be in the moment with my work and although I can find that place for a brief time, invariably I return to my starter roots.

The finisher, in my experience judges completion over the struggle of undoing in a cost versus benefit analysis that can boggle the mind of any but themselves. I have a finisher friend whom I love dearly. For her, mistakes are simply pattern variations that don’t change the wear of the project and likely she is right when she decides only she will ever see them. No judgement! She is a beautiful knitter and I for one have never seen one of her pattern adjustments that hasn’t been clearly pointed out to me by her.

So where does this leave us starters? Some with piles of projects holding needles that we desperately need for another project or taking up yarn that may be better suited to something else? Worse yet, a project looses its rhythm including the needles, (borrowed for something else) pattern (because we needed the paper to write something else on it or inadvertently moved to a different pile and it is never to be seen again) or the desire is lost that was there when we began.

My pile became a problem, not just for me but those I shared space with and so here was my solution....

Begin with the end in mind.

It has become a bit of a joke with my knitting chicks and now my husband around October 1, how many projects are in the hopper. This is because what works for me is to finish in a year what I start in a year. This sounds easy enough if you are a finisher and is of no consequence to the journey taker, but for me it is a source of great angst.

I begin about October 1 assessing what is started and move forward with great purpose finishing! I remember that first year. It nearly killed me but dang it, I managed to cut the string of that last project moments before the New Year rang in. Another year I recall my knitting girls (who to this day I love for the care and joy they have shared with me) each grabbed a project and started finishing for me knowing there was no hope of me making the last day of the year’s midnight. Last year I finished early. Eighteen HOURS early! That was almost worse than working to the last moment as I didn’t have a project that I could complete in that time and I actually felt the anxiety of NOT having a needles in hand. Good grief! Now we know I have a problem! lol.

So, here we are 2020. Another year with more projects. I have 5 to finish. The cowl above (hence the option of the second skein), a blanket that I am weaving from yarns that Tyler has dyed, a traditional Icelandic sweater that is a commission piece for a fellow shepherdess knit from wool from her flock, a fleece that I have begun to spin from our first bottle baby (Spring 2019) Tera and a painting that if I am brutally honest was not begun in 2020. Yikes!

The cowl is coming along with 28 days to go. The blanket will be off the loom. Of that I am confident. The Icelandic sweater (pics to follow) only needs the steeking to be secured with ribbon and then a quick blocking to finish. An evening’s work at most. The spinning is my worry at this time with 3 fleeces total from Tera to be spun. Two of the three are carded, 2 skeins are complete but the 3rd fleece is only washed and waiting.

I may have to kick it up a notch, or now begin, with end in mind, moderate the process to simply complete spinning the 2 fleeces started, knowing the 3rd is waiting for the New Year.

The painting.... that may be a lost cause having missed a deadline already so can justifiably be left as I didn’t start it in 2020. Right?!


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  • Rhonda Aydt on

    Interested in pattern for the co-pilot cowl. Where can I locate it?

  • Cheryl Williams on

    Where can I find the pattern for the copilot cowl?

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