I learned quite a while ago that I don’t need to be excited about a project for progress to happen. I simply put the knitting by my chair, try to ignore it, and wait. Inevitably, the fingers twitch and it gets knit up.

I have known this for a long time, but lately I have failed to act on it. This is partly because we don’t have the right setup in the living room yet, and partly because I’ve been better at avoiding things lately.

A week and a half ago, I decided to try it again. I had no home knitting going except the shawl, and it’s hard to pull over a 125-stitch chart and just knock off a few rows while waiting for water to boil. I needed something simpler.

I didn’t have to look far. You may or may not remember that I have technically been “working on” a handspun sweater for over a year now. My guess is that you don’t remember, as it has only made one or two casual appearances on the blog, and I was hard put even to find a picture of it on my computer. I had finished both sleeves and cast on and knit about 6 inches of the body, at which point I stalled.

The sweater came to Germany with us, taking up a good half of a suitcase along the way. I figured I’d have plenty of time to work on it, and since it was one of the few large projects I brought, I thought it would be done in time for me to wear in the fall. I barely touched it. It took up the same half suitcase in all its unknit glory on the way home.

The problem was that there were too many options. There were two (or three. or maybe six, depending on how you count) different options vying for dominance. There was the open-front jacket, and the comfy raglan-type pullover. There was an indeterminate amount of colorwork, in an indeterminate pattern, to be placed in an indeterminate place that would depend entirely on the not-quite certain overall shaping. Oh, the dithering.

So, I knit to the point where I needed to make a decision, and I stopped. For about 9 months.

But then I had no knitting. And it was sitting right there.

My neighbor and I had a very serious and rather long conversation about the state of the colorwork about a week ago, during which conversation Branden was amused and perhaps a bit horrified to hear just how much thought can go into the amount, placement, character, and meaning of color in a knit garment. In the end, we decided that the colorwork had to come out.

Once that was out of the way, I cast on for the body, made a few major and not horribly overprocessed decisions, and ended up with an entire sweater body knit up in just a few days.

There are times that I love bulky yarn.

On Saturday, I looked at the sleeves that I knit a year ago. If I just grafted them on, I’d be done.

But they were sleeves knit to fit a different sweater. And there was still red colorwork in them, all the way at the beginning near the cast-on cuffs.

So, out they came, and I began again. I didn’t end up with a sweater finished in a week, but after a month of no knitting, I’ll take what I can get. It’s amazing what happens when you combine twitchy fingers and some bulky yarn.