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Laar Sweater: A finish fifty project

Oh boy – can I blame this beauty for holding me up from progressing through my Finish Fifty projects? Maybe a little. Knitting this sweater certainly took some time, but it was worth it. First and foremost, because this honestly is only the second sweater I’ve knit for myself since I was 7! This quickie Purl Bee sweater was the other one. Yowsers. I have done a lot of gift knitting. It feels good to do something for me! Second, I think it’s stunning. The fit is perfect and the color to die for. I especially love the details along the neckline and cuffs.

Two year ago, at the Squam Art Fair, I bought Gudrun’s Shetland Trader book, which includes some fabulous patterns. I fell in love with Laar. An entire year later, at the very same art fair, I found the gorgeous Aurora lace weight yarn from Jill Draper. It seemed a match made in heaven. I finally got around to starting the sweater in February 2013 – you can see my mid-make post about it here.

Honestly, I don’t think I would have even started it if it weren’t for my Finish Fifty commitment. I think I shied away from it because I was afraid of the time required to complete it. I kept thinking it would take up too much of my making time. But, committing to getting through that stack of projects, encouraged me to dive in. The sweater bounced along with me in my purse virtually the entire year. I was a little afraid it might felt as I toted it between soccer games, school plays, and the car line. I worked on it when I could. Yes, I think it did keep me from other things this summer, but I also am proud to have accomplished something more involved and detailed. It feels good to wear something so finely crafted in this quicky-get-it-out-there culture we live in.

Then, comes the bigger question, though. How and why do I buy things that I don’t even start for multiple years? I keep thinking that this is the most pertinent question in this whole Finish Fifty game. What keeps me from this pile projects? In fact, why does it grow at a rate greater than the rate at which I progress through it? (because yes, the list of projects and the pile of bins has grown. Can you honestly say you’re surprised? Am I?) Are my eyes just bigger than my schedule?

I think, the pile is, in large part, a result of the constant cascade of inspiration and ideas that rain down on me daily. I am deluged with thoughts of projects and things I want to make. Some projects remain in that rich creative corner of my mind, some make it to a “must-make” list, some I buy the materials for (and then put them away in a little tupperware box), some I finish. Some projects I dream up and execute in the very same day, some take me years to do, some never get made at all. Maybe, this is just part of the beauty of being a creative person? Maybe I need more discipline on the purchasing front? This would certainly help! Or, maybe I need to set aside more time to make?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the most of my hours and what it is that I lose all my time to. I heard about an author recently, Laura Vanderkam, who suggests in her book Manage Your Time that it’s not about not having enough time, it’s about how we prioritize the hours we do have. She suggests tracking your hours for 168 hours to see where you are actually spending that time. Does the way you spend your time reflect your priorities? Can shift that balance of time spent to better reflect your priorities. Maybe, I need to focus on prioritizing my own creativity over pinterest, that vortex called the email inbox, internet browsing and reading the beautiful blogs of others? What do you think? Do you spend your time in ways you wish you didn’t? Does your time allocation match up with your biggest priorities? Hmmm.

Well, enough philosophizing. I’m just going to go outside in my new sweater and darn well enjoy it!


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