Posted by: jinniver | June 1, 2008

I can haz patience?

As my mother was wont to remind me during both of my pregnancies, I arrived late. Two weeks late, to be exact; I was due on July 10 and didn’t show up until July 24. And I’m pretty sure that’s the last time I was willing to wait for anything.

Children have gone a long way towards teaching me patience–in self-defense, if for no other reason. Take just now, when I took Lexie upstairs for her afternoon nap. In passing the closed door of my son’s room–where he was supposed to be taking his afternoon nap–I caught the unmistakable smell of…diaper cream. Sure enough, when I opened the door to check on him, I found him playing contentedly with some toys that were smeared with diaper cream…as was he, from head to toe…and his dresser…and some clothing in the dresser. He told Steve and I as we patiently cleaned him up and set the room to rights that he had washed his hands.

But that patience just does not seem to be carrying over to the rest of my life. Certainly not to my fiber arts life.

Let’s start with my sewing. I’ve got several projects I need to get going on. My baby girl has been in her crib for several months now, and all I’ve managed to finish so far is the canopy. Granted, that was the toughest part, since I was largely winging a heavily modified bed skirt pattern. But you’d think once the toughest part was done, that I’d be able to zip through the bed skirt and bumpers. Haven’t found the patience to tackle the tedious measuring and sewing yet. Same goes for Steve’s Hawaiian shirts, which I’m actually really looking forward to sewing, for all of my mock groaning.

Then there’s my quilting. Lexie also is still without a quilt of her own–that same pile of fabric waiting to be made into crib bedding is intended for her quilt. Even though quilts are more exciting than straight sewing, I haven’t even found the patience to sit down and figure out what pattern I want to use. I’m extremely excited about the Blues Block Swap I’m doing, and I love the fabrics I picked for my blocks…but although I selected a fairly simple block pattern I’m still finding myself gritting my teeth as I cut and sew, cut and sew, repeat…

Lastly, there’s my knitting. I’ve already talked about how I’ve got three WIPs on the needle and yet am itching to start some more (and I have: another pink scarf our guild will be selling for breast cancer awareness in October). And it’s not that I’m bored with the process. Okay, maybe Lexie’s curtains are pretty mindless, being straight garter stitch. But the drop stitch pattern for the Zombie socks is as much fun to see develop as it is scary to do, and although my Sunny Summer Sky t-shirt is plain stockinette stitch, it’s exciting to see it come together. I’m knitting to a pattern I wrote for my specific shaping needs and am planning to add short row shaping at the bust–first time I’ll be trying that–so I’m dying to see what kind of a job I did. In fact, I’m so intrigued about what the short row shaping is going to do that I was strongly tempted to knit the front first, but I need the back done so I can line the two pieces up as I go to make sure the shaping ends up in the right spot.

Therein lies the problem. I’m very much a results-oriented person. It’s not that I don’t enjoy getting to the result, because I do. But once something becomes even a little bit routine, I start wanting to–in the immortal words of Prince Humperdink–“Skip to the end.”

I managed to avoid this problem with Lexie’s Fair Summer Isle dress because it was a smaller project and I was doing something different throughout–I had to pay close attention during the decreases in the skirt, and then I was doing the fair isle pattern which was a blast, and by the time that was done I was almost done with the dress.

So, I’m going to try to start focusing more on the now than on the future, and remind myself of why I enjoy knitting so much. And, when that doesn’t work, I’m going to try distraction. I’ll go look at my new yarn–but no touching!–and make some plans about what I’ll do with it. Oh, and I’ll focus on the anticipation of the custom stitch markers I’ve ordered…although that’s going to call for more patience. Son of a…



  1. We have a technical term for this…Startitis…it is explained by the Yarn Harlot. I think with all the yarns on sale and new patterns introduced for the season it really helps (hurts) the condition. I don’t know if you read her blog or any of her books, but she brings it up from time to time. I am sure you realize this is tongue in cheek, but Startitis really does happen to knitters all the time, I know I’ve started more in the past month than I have in a long time. There is no known cure.

  2. […] to make applique, since the quilts with appliqued blocks will fetch a higher price. …I can haz patience?I’ve already talked about how I’ve got three WIPs on the needle and yet am itching to start some […]


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