When I started knitting again a few years ago, the first thing I did was finish a scarf I had started seven years earlier. Indeed, it took me seven years to knit a scarf, but I did finally finish it. Of course, the coat it had been meant to go with was outgrown by my daughter years before it was finished, but she was gracious enough to pretend she liked it anyway.
Leaving projects unfinished has become a bad habit. When the yarn dust settled after my Christmas gift-giving knitting, there were two partially-finished projects left on my needles. Both projects had been started, and abandoned, in 2009. I decided to start the new year with a clean slate and finished everything I started.
The first project was a lace ribbon scarf that I was making to use up some leftover yarn. I knitted a couple of hours a day for 3 days and it was finished. Rather than leaving it lay somewhere, I blocked it right away and it was ready by the next morning. That was all it needed. I'm wearing it as I type this, because I really like it.
The other project was a pair of mittens - my first attempt at mittens - that I knitted from a skein of beautiful alpaca yarn I had picked up at a harvest festival. When I followed the pattern my mittens turned out too short, so they had to be taken apart at the top of the fingers and made longer. One was done. The other was waiting. It took less than 30 minutes to fix and I now have a soft, warm pair of mittens that I could have worn last winter if I had taken just a bit of time to finish them.
Once all my needles were empty, I tackled a quick knit that helps me meet my One Small Change goal for the month: replacing our disposable kitchen sponges with reusable, eco-friendly alternatives. I found a pattern for knitting scrubbies. Strips of tulle are knitted with the yarn to make them good for scouring pans. I just happened to have a roll of tulle that I bought years ago for who-knows-what, so last night I enjoyed the satisfaction of a quick knit.
The pattern, by Julie Anderson, is available for free on her blog.
Perhaps my favorite thing about the scrubbies is the needle size. They just happen to require size 10 needles, the size of my new Buddha knitting needles, gifted to me at the holidays by a yoga student. How awesome are these?