I just bet
I admit it: I don’t believe in mental blocks. I’m compassionate enough to recognize that people do experience the inability to write or the inability to create, and that must be a horrible experience. But I don’t see writing as creation, but work. Even if you can’t get anything down that’s any good, you can put down a sentence.
Knitting is the same thing, surely. All you have to do is knit the next row, follow the next direction, make the next stitch. There’s just no room for being unable to continue. It doesn’t make sense.
So why did my NaKniSweMo sweater (Ravelry link) sit practically untouched from early November until two weeks ago? A lot of reasons — Christmas presents to finish, a sudden fingerless glove obsession to indulge, etc. But as hard as it is for me to admit it, psychological factors did come into play. I got it into my head that I had finished the first section of the top-down raglan (only a few rows, I thought), and next would have to divide for sleeves and figure out whether the thing was fitting. I simply wasn’t ready to face an operation I had never performed before and a test that could betray my incompetence.
But having reached the end of a small project, and not yet ready to start something new, I pulled the barely-begun sweater out of the knitting bag just to confirm my memory of where I was. Lo and behold — I was nowhere near the point where the sleeves get put on hold. There were about 60 rows of increases on stockingette to do before then. Suddenly the block dissolved. That I could do! And when Noel was away at Sundance, the revived sweater became my evening knitting project.
Before I knew it, I really had reached the point to divide for sleeves. And now my curiosity overwhelmed me: was it really going to fit? Unable to restrain myself, I laboriously put the whole thing on waste yarn and draped it over my shoulders.
To my disbelief, it looked … just about right.
I can’t really credit that my seat-of-the-pants calculations (lighter weight yarn, ballband needle size recommendation, making one size larger than needed to compensate for the smaller gauge) are going to work. But I can see that it’s going to be somewhere in the ballpark. And now I can’t wait to get to the next part — completing the V-neck and joining in the round — so I can try it on again. Suddenly my reluctance to be confronted by evidence of failure has changed into eagerness to see the gradual, magical appearance of something garment-shaped out of those row by row, stitch by stitch, section by section directions.