Posted on 17 Comments

Obsess much?

Obsessing about the September Sweater, at Polka Dot Cottage

Neil often says I obsess about things. I bristle at that description, because it makes it sound so negative. I prefer to think of my creative interests as cyclical. It’s not that I am obsessing about fabric today and then ditching it to obsess about yarn tomorrow. No, it’s more that I feel like sewing today, and tomorrow I will feel like knitting, because it’s a gently repeating cycle, much like the seasons of the year. It’s just the nature of things, when you are multi-crafty, for your interests to ebb and flow. If they didn’t, you’d always have far too many things going at any one time (or far too few). It could be pure chaos.

Still, there are times when I think “obsess” is absolutely the correct word to use, and usually those are the times that I can’t get my mind off of one single, particular project. I think about it when I am trying to sleep. I think about it over my morning coffee. I think about it while driving… every moment of downtime is an opportunity to work out one more aspect of the idea.

Obsessing about the September Sweater, at Polka Dot Cottage

I obsess when there is a problem to solve.

Some of you may have seen this coming, when I started posting about knitting my September sweater more than a month before September was even scheduled to start. You might have had your suspicions confirmed when I posted a second time on the topic, this time with swatches. Well, let today’s post put any of your doubts to rest – I am well and truly obsessed with this sweater!

You see, the moment I began to think about changes I could make to the pattern, the project graduated from “Something I am Planning to Knit in September” to “Something I Must Ponder During Every Unfilled Moment of Every Day Until I Have a Plan.”

So, it began with the yarn choice. Did I want to try a different brand? Would they knit up the same way? The answer was yes, I could feel free to swap in a washable yarn this time. Yay!

Obsessing about the September Sweater, at Polka Dot Cottage

Once that question was answered, it became all about color. I waffled between oranges and grays far longer than any person should, before finally throwing up my hands and saying, “hey, I have a gift card, let’s buy one set of each!” My favorite orange and my favorite gray, as it turned out, were both Cascade 220, so the swatching I did with Berroco Vintage was rendered pointless.  (At least until next year. We’ll see what happens then.)

Obsessing about the September Sweater, at Polka Dot Cottage

Once in front of me, I knew I wanted the orange for the September Sweater. (The gray will become the Portulaca cardigan someday when there’s time.)

Here’s the thing, though. This would not be a true obsession, if answering one question did not immediately lead to another. And that is exactly what happened. One look at the beautiful rust-colored yarn made me think that I’d really love the yoke to have leaves on it, instead of the usual Tea Leaves Cardigan‘s ruching.

And so here is where we are now: poring over stitchionaries, looking for leaf motifs that I could adapt into a new yoke design.

Am I insane? I don’t design knitwear! What makes me think I can make up my own sweater yoke? Yikes.

It’s the puzzle that is fun, though. And I enjoy it because it’s kind of mathy. I’ve got an idea that will allow me to knit up a small portion of the yoke as a sample and see how it compares, size-wise to the original. If I can make a straight substitution of my stitches with the original, that will be ideal.

Obsessing about the September Sweater, at Polka Dot Cottage

It’s entirely possible that this exercise will go the way of the previous swatch: comparing two ideas, only to end up choosing the original. As cool as I think it will be to have an orange cardigan with a leaf motif, I don’t want to end up with something that is so autumnal I won’t want to wear it in the spring. I have to think for a while on whether there will be a danger of that.

Still, I will make the two swatches because (a) it will be interesting to me, (b) it will be a learning experience for sure, and (c) I am far too obsessed with this idea to let it go until I try!

I’ll let you know how it goes. And, as always, I welcome you to chime in with any experience you might have that could help me! Or, failing that, you could tell me this: do you obsess? Got anything driving you batty at the moment?


Sign up for occasional Polka Dot Cottage news and get a coupon for 10% off your next order!

Don't worry, we won't bother you more than once or twice a month!

Posted on 17 Comments

17 thoughts on “Obsess much?

  1. welll..I’m at the office and my mind has been all day in the little dress I’ve started to cut yesterday and that I realllyyyy want to sew. I’ve been talking about it with my friends all day that they just tell me to shut up! 😉 Yes…I think I’m bit obsessed too 😉 but it feels soooo good!! :))

    1. I hope work ends quickly for you so you can get to the fun stuff!

  2. I think lots of creativity comes from obsessiveness! 🙂
    Mmm, love that pretty orange!! i am doing a sweater yoke now. I was procrastinating on starting, but it actually turned out to be easier than it looked. I am following Ann Budd’s top down sweater guidebook.

    1. I should take a look at that book. I’m pretty much taking a pattern I know fits me well, and seeing what happens when I change things here and there. It’s kind of fun playing with all of those stitch counts and measurements, making sure everything adds up. The only way to really know, though, is to try it!

  3. I totally do the same thing! Usually, it’s over a new project before I finish the current one…

    1. Heh. I’m currently crocheting a blanket, so you know I hear you on that one.

  4. I can totally associate with your post!

    I have been obsessing about a crochet baby blanket I’m making for a friend. After spending yesterday evening ignoring my poor husband while I crocheted the edging on the blanket for four solid hours you would have thought I would have had enough. Nope!! I spent my twenty minute tram journey to work doing a few more stitches and then grabbed time on my lunch to do a bit more!!
    In’t that my boss

    1. Sorry. Phone had a spasm. . . .

      If it weren’t that my boss sits in front of me I’m sure I could have snuck some in during the day too!!!

      Now, its 9.45pm in the UK.. I’m just about to pick it up again!

      Glad you chose the orange btw!!

      1. Isn’t it funny how our brains just hyper-focus on things? Have fun finishing your blanket! 🙂

  5. Yep, currently obsessing with throwing pots, mostly bowls because I love bowls. However, it’s not like polymer clay – I have to fire this stuff then glaze it then fire it. And the glaze options needed pursuing… and on and on and on.

    Also, making yarn bowls and big big dishes because it sounded cool as gifts for friends without any idea of how it should go. So, obsessive experimenting too.

    1. Oh, I think it’s probably a very good thing that I have resisted pottery so far. I could totally see myself going bowl-crazy. I’m a little jealous of all of your experimenting. Have you posted pictures anywhere? (I haven’t been keeping up with anyone very well lately…)

      1. I posted a couple pictures of the first batch from class on my Flickr but because I don’t own the kiln – it’s a community one – I have to wait until I have enough to fill it before I run it. Which is fine but it means spending a month or two of building then a few days of glazing. Hoping to fire next week, glaze then final fire.

        Once the regular classes start up again I’ll have help filling the kiln so I can, hopefully, go much faster. Or I’ll do what I’m thinking about and get my own glass fusing and ceramics kiln…

        Will post excessive pictures after! And next time, gonna try ceramic buttons and stuff

  6. Got anything driving me batty at the moment? Well, since you asked….. 🙂

    I assume that the diagram at the top of the post is for the sweater you’re making for yourself. If so, you have the buttons (those are buttons right?) on the wrong side.

    You asked, and I know squat about knitting but I do enjoy reading your posts.

    1. Ok wise guy. I wasn’t paying any attention to where I drew the buttons because I knew I’d put them on correctly when the time actually came 🙂

  7. […] all of the distractions of a sweater-ish variety, I am still plugging away on my mod floral blanket most […]

  8. […] (actually, let’s just say “commitment to” – it sounds so much less manic) my September Sweater project, I happen to have some right here: I’ve been swatching […]

  9. […] happens. You know how cyclical I am with my creative urges. It’s just photography’s […]

Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.