one of the problems with setting ourselves lofty goals is that we sometimes fail to achieve them. & although this may be premature – there are, after all still, eleven days to go – it’s not looking good.
i’m talking, of course, about my sweater-a-month challenge – march’s sweater (above) is still little more than a wide belt, with less than two weeks left in the month. i’m about 10 inches into the body of the sweater (worked seamlessly in the round a la elizabeth zimmermann’s wonderful recipes), which is plain stockinette apart from a central “jacob’s ladder” cable panel up the front. i’m using rowan felted tweed & 3.75mm needles, which in retrospect was always going to be a challenge to complete on time (with over 200 stitches per round, and eight rounds adding up to only an inch of length, there’s a lot of knitting in this one!). & with the rest of the body, two sleeves, and a yoke still to do, i may not be finished on time.
i could blame a few different things for this – my choice of yarn, or needle size, or the fact that i’m knitting it for the RSA (who likes loose sweaters with long bodies and who has arms like an orangutan). i could blame it on the fact that i’ve been ill for the past week & a half, or the several different yarn orders i’ve had on the go (working full-time sure sucks up your knitting time, eh?). but i’d rather not start blame-throwing.
at the moment, i’m lucky enough to have a relatively goal-free life. my lovely, lovely part-time job has none of the deadlines, projects, or annoying co-workers i’ve had in previous jobs (office work, meh). my small business is pretty much arranged by me to fit around all the other things i want to do. & any challenges that i take on are ones that i’ve set for myself – but when i set myself challenges, they tend to be huge, near-unachievable, and yet i find it inconceivable that i would ever fail. & i’m sure that i’m not the only one who is harder on themselves than on anyone else – “failures” that we can excuse in other people seem that much bigger when we see them in ourselves.
& in part, that’s one of the reasons that i set myself the sweater-a-month challenge. i didn’t honestly think that i would be able to knit twelve sweaters this year (although who knows how the rest of the months will pan out!). & although i’m still keeping it in mind as a goal (& an achievable goal, at that), a certain amount of “failure” might be good for me – i’m doing my best to not freak out about not finishing things “on time”, and am focusing on the beauty of the details…