I started knitting the Frost Flower Lace Shawl just over a month ago.
Almost as soon as I began, our parish magazine dropped through my door with the programme and entry form for the village produce show. As I flicked through I saw class H13
I tend to give away most of what I knit, so with little choice from past knits, I decided I’d enter the Frost Flower Lace Shawl. The deadline for entries was 12th August, which gave me just over a month – which didn’t seem long for 492 rows of knitting when I was finding the fiddly lace pattern slow going.
I started calculating…
Completing 492 rows in just over a month meant I needed to knit 15 rows a day, but I set an initial target of ten rows a day, figuring the ‘lace ladders’ and stocking stitch would be quicker than the more difficult lace pattern and I could increase my daily row rate nearer the end.
The yarn – Watercolours and Lace 50:50 silk wool – was a real joy to knit and when I strayed to work other pieces of knitting the thicker yarns felt like rope in comparison. (BTW I’m not being paid to say that.)
However, I did have a challenge with the yarn. It was very soft and slippy. If I dropped a stitch, it ran down through the knitted fabric faster than Usain Bolt being chased by a Tiger.
I was very much enjoying knitting my ten rows a day, but I was also driven on by the thought that if I didn’t keep at it, the shawl could easily end up in the UFO pile with me forever avoiding all these fiddly rows of lace knitting. I was also growing uncertain about my ability to tolerate the boredom of 180 rows of lace ladders and 100 rows stocking stitch – the sort of thing I’d knit in the car, but this yarn was too slippy to be knitted in the car unless on the motorway.
But as fate would have it, I reached the lace ladders just before the
outlaws in laws arrived for a week long visit. This meant lots of sitting down talking – not good for complex knitting, but great when you don’t really need to concentrate.
My plan worked well. By the time the in laws left I’d not only finished the first half, but that included knitting 100 stocking stitch rows instead of 50, as the Watercolours and Lace yarn knitted up tighter than the suggested yarn.
By now, I’d also worked out that if I kept up my ten rows a day for the second half, I’d be well into the lace ladders again by the time my nephew and niece-in-law arrived for a long weekend, and lots more knitting while chatting would be possible.
By the time Nephew and Niece-in-Law left, I’d only got 30 rows of stocking stitch to finish. With the end so close and the yarn so lovely to knit, I was fully enthused and completed the knitting at the end of last week. That only left sewing the ends in and blocking over the weekend.
I really love the finished result. It’s so soft and pretty.
I’m also really pleased with myself for doing all those text book things that I know help us achieve a goal:
- Know exactly what you want to achieve.
- Set a realistic deadline.
- Break a big goal into baby steps.
- Make what you’re doing as pleasurable as possible.
What do you do to encourage yourself to complete a project when the going gets tough or dull?