I was wor­ried I was loos­ing steam on com­plet­ing my cardi­gan so that I can still wear it before it gets too warm. This yarn didn’t even make it into my stash, because I started work­ing with it right away. I thought this would def­i­nitely keep me on track with my New Year’s res­o­lu­tion to clear things out, fin­ish old projects, and not let new ones pile up.

Once I reach the sec­ond sleeve on any sweater, no mat­ter how much I love it, it is a dan­ger­ous time for the project. By then, I’ve done every other piece needed. The pat­tern has been mem­o­rized. The chal­lenge is gone. The puz­zle has been solved. I tend to ask out loud to no one in par­tic­u­lar, “Why do sweaters need the sec­ond sleeve? I already knit one. Isn’t that enough?”

I had hit that lull in the project, but I also real­ized that I got side­tracked as well. This is noth­ing new. I tend to have mul­ti­ple projects going at once. Some­times that helps me be more cre­ative and pro­duc­tive. If too many are going, how­ever, it has the oppo­site effect, so there needs to be a care­ful bal­ance to keep push­ing me forward.

Five lit­tle projects cre­ated the diver­sion this time:

Knitted dream pillowBack of dream pillow.

1. I taught a friend’s girl scout troop how to knit a while ago. Her daugh­ter is one of my son’s friends. She didn’t want to make a purse, so we fig­ured out another way to use her knit­ted square. She asked if we could make a dream pil­low with it. A lit­tle over a week ago I sewed her pil­low with the knit­ted square as the front and a scrap of her old jeans with a zip­per clo­sure as the back. I also made a sep­a­rate zip­pered insert filled with buck­wheat hulls. She can add laven­der and other things as she chooses.
Johann's pick pouch. 2. I also sewed a small zip­pered pouch for Johann to keep his picks in. Now when he goes to prac­tice his gui­tar, he can find them, a novel concept.

3. I finally fin­ished the Jane Austen hand­bag I was work­ing on over Christ­mas vaca­tion. The top edg­ing turned out a lit­tle tighter than I’d like, but over­all, I’m pleased with it. Now I have a nicer way to carry knit­ting projects with me to Johann’s gui­tar lessons or wher­ever. Plas­tic shop­ping bags weren’t cut­ting it.

Modern reticule from 2011 Jane Austen Knits magazine.4. and 5. A col­lege friend’s wife had her sec­ond child a few months ago. Babies don’t stop grow­ing to make it eas­ier for you to knit them a gift. The 3 — 6 month size jumper kit, which I bought for my now nearly 12-year-old son, that is still float­ing around my sewing area some­where is proof of that. So I decided to hurry up and knit a teddy bear for the tod­dler big sis­ter and a pair of baby socks for the new baby brother.

Note to self: do not knit socks when you are run­ning a fever. You might for­get to turn the heel and not real­ize it until you start to decrease for the toe. Now that the socks have been cor­rected, washed, and blocked, they are ready to be mailed with the teddy bear.

I also real­ized that in a state of sleep depri­va­tion before I got sick, I for­got an impor­tant increase on one edge of the sec­ond sleeve of my cardi­gan. I found my mis­take and fixed it, but not with­out hav­ing to rip out and re-knit 8 inches. It was painful, but will be worth it in the end. If the sleeve doesn’t fit right, what’s the point?

So now I’ve fin­ished all those lit­tle projects that needed doing and I’m ready to block my cardi­gan pieces before the final fin­ish­ing. If I can get it done this week, I will still have time to wear it this season!

Knitted teddy bear and baby socks.