Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How I Got Over My FO-bia

Last week I had a bad case of FO-bia. I had a big project, a deadline, lots of yarn to distract me and the fear of failure. For most people, the FO-bia usually strikes at before the Christmas holidays, or a dear friend or family member's birthday, but for me, this FO-bia was brought on by wanting something fun to wear to my cousin's wedding.

Just before I went to Newfoundland, I cast on for the Travelling Vines shawl from Dogs Steal Yarn. I had been hoarding some very special green yarn for a special project - Tangled Skeins yarn - Silk and Camel blend. (Yes, Camel. I KNOW!)

I had about 3 pattern repeats done when I landed in St. John's and about 5 done when I got home (You can't knit lace during the down times at a conference: There just aren't enough down times!). I was bound and determined to get the shawl done before my cousin's wedding this Friday - the 27th. Failure was not an option.

As far as I can tell, there's only one thing that can help you when you have the FO-bia and that thing is monogamy.

Now, we all know that the majority of knitters are fickle people. We flit from project to project like butterflies in a field of flowers. In order to get the shawl done I needed to ignore my inner knitter.* Basically, I told her to shove it and I committed myself to the project. I arrived home from Newfoundland on July 13th and I started knitting.

And I knit.

Travelling Vines shawl

and knit, and knit and knit. I screened my phone calls. I locked the door. I pretended I was Deb Barnhill, the knitting machine with a 50gram-a-day habit. I slept, ate and drank with that project. The shawl may have accompanied me to the bathroom.

I even borrowed The Ninja's copy of the new Harry Potter book and didn't read a single page. Not one page. Not until I bound off the stitches on Sunday night.

Travelling Vines

Yarn: Silk/camel blend
Needles: 4.0mm Brittany
Pattern: Travelling Vines - Dogs Steal Yarn

On Monday night, 10 days after I got the FO-bia, I blocked the shawl. And then I sang the theme song to Rocky.

This kind of commitment is rare for me. To say I'm proud of myself, well, that might be an understatement.

Now I've got a raging case of Startitis.

Oh, let's just look at the shawl again, it's just that pretty.

Travelling Vines

*Inner knitter: You know her, right? She's that voice in your head that hollers, "Buy YARN!" whenever you encounter a yarn shop. She's the twitch you get in your fingers during a long meeting. She's the child-like creature who makes you want to gather all the yarn at a sale into your arms and holler "MINE!" while you fend off other knitters with your tiny feet. Yeah. Her. You know who I'm talking about.


  1. I feel like a proud momma. I know I had nothing to do with the simply stunning work you produced, but to think my insanity inspired your frenzied work makes me, aw, shucks. I just like it.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Congratulations on being a monogamous knitter (it doesn't matter for how long, just that you did it!)

    F(or)T(he)R(ecord): I wish I could knit like Deb Barnhill too - she really does knit like a machine! I can't even imagine doing 52 pairs of socks in a year plus other projects.

  3. Steph, that's gorgeous! Congrats! The colour is beautiful, and it suits the pattern so well :)

  4. Ooooh! I love that scarf/shawl! I might just have to add it to my list of must-knits. Good job. It looks lovely.

  5. Anonymous6:40 p.m.

    That was in the bathroom with you? Great. I had that on my head at KOL, you know.

    I kid.

    So freaking lovely.

  6. It's beautiful! Great colour!

  7. I am all too well acquainted with my inner knitter. I think she's moved to becoming my outer knitter.

    Gorgeous shawl! I admire your perseverance and commitment to monogamy.