Head Above Water
In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting about this whole Olympics endeavor . . .
1. OK, I admit it, this was a good exercise for me. I tend to be a fickle knitter, shifting to a different project whenever I get frustrated or bored with my current project. Giving one project such single-minded devotion for more than 2 weeks was hard, but definitely worth it. That's not to say that I'm now going to become a knitting serial monogamist--I kind of like having several projects on the go, even if it means I don't finish projects as quickly as I finished this one.
2. Feeling pressured to complete this project was NOT a good exercise for me. As anyone who knows me knows well, I am extremely competitive, and even if this Olympics is not about "competing" with my fellow knitters, it was hard not to compare my own progress to others' and get stressed and frustrated as a result. Frankly, there were many points during this project (such as the 3rd time I restarted the sleeve cabling) when I just stopped enjoying knitting. I never want knitting to be stressful or unpleasant, and there were certainly moments of both here. It also brought out so many aspects of myself that I don't like: my stubbornness, my low frustration threshhold, my tendency to take out said frustrations on everyone around me . . . you get the picture. Let's just say that I'm not the only one around here who's happy that the project is over!
3. If I were to do this again (Beijing in 2008?) I think I would avoid any project with as much patterning as this one. No Fair Isle, no cables, no lace--just lots and lots of stockinette stitch. This project was complex enough (at least for me) that I was not able to knit anywhere at any time, because I really needed adequate light, time, and concentration to work on this sweater--and even then, I made mistakes.
All that being said, I am inordinately proud of what we all accomplished during the Olympics. I've so enjoyed seeing everyone else's projects, their challenges and roadblocks and achievements. When I felt like hurling my cable needle across the room, what kept me going was the knowledge that 4000 other knitters were out there, around the world, facing the same challenges I was. Thank you.