It has now been 31 weeks since I started this granny square blanket, dearest reader, and it’s definitely going to be at least another couple of months before it’s done. My unofficial deadline for this has been the end of July of this year, which would put the finish line around a year after I started it. I’ve had a lot of projects that ended up taking several months to finish, but anything that is still unfinished after a year stands a pretty low chance of getting finished, so that’s my goal post. I have a couple of 60% finished sweaters still stuffed in their project bags, that really, I swear, are TOTALLY going to get done some day, yes – Wait, look over there! Plus…I really really really want this blanket.
However, blankets are realistically huge projects, and I knew that going into it that it wasn’t going to be over in a flash. Anything that needs multiple hundred identically constructed pieces is going to take a while. But I wanted the finished thing badly enough, and still do, so believe you me this sucker is getting finished. And a big epic project like this goes on for long enough that I am finding I rediscover the enjoyment for different parts of it all over again. I’m now back in a phase of making the regular squares (without borders – just the colourful centre parts), and remembering how fun it is to choose colour combinations. Then I’ll go back to the borders again, which are pretty fast compared to the centres, and enjoy that all over again too.
On the other hand, a big blanket is not like a sweater or a pair of socks where there are clearly defined stages of done-ness. It’s very hard to measure progress when it’s so big. I can’t say “well I’ve got the back and two sleeves done so now just the front and a bit of seaming and this sucker will be done by next Tuesday.” Most of the time the best I can do is report on having slightly fewer very repetitive actions to look forward to as compared to the week before. I mean, I hit 200 finished squares on this earlier this week, and that was really amazing. I still need 104 more squares, mind you, but dudes, I have finished 200 of the exact same thing and I am still going. THIS IS FREAKING AMAZING, HOW AM I STILL DOING THIS.
I have, more than once since starting this, worried about how to blog about it, and how often. It’s repetitive, and then more repetitive, and not as easy to blog about in discrete stages. I mostly try not to lift the curtain on my blogging process, because that’s just not how I do this, but guys, I genuinely don’t want to bore you with posting about the same damn thing a million times. I also wonder sometimes if people will tune out as soon as they see a crocheted thing. People come here for the knitting talk, Glenna, why are you crocheting things now.
Except, if I’m being totally honest, I have now reached the point where I’ve completely forgotten that this is a crochet project. I genuinely don’t think of it as a different craft any more, it’s just That Big Blanket That’s Going to Be Gorgeous When It’s Done. It’s in the same yarn I’ve used for knitting, it’s extending the life of my knitting leftovers into a huge epic project that never would have happened otherwise, and really, yarn is yarn. Knitting is still my main craft and let’s face it probably always will be, and this afghan is a welcome diversion down a neighbouring side street that I may well visit again some time, so. I’m all good with it.
In pondering all of this is that, I can only conclude that if this seems tedious then that is because sometimes our chosen yarn crafts are tedious. If you are going to get good at knitting (or crochet), you have to be able to experience the boredom and impatience of being in the middle of a project you wish were already finished, and persevering anyway. Beyond any specific stitches or technique, as crafters we have to get good at repetition and boredom, otherwise we would never finish anything. But the tedium never shows up as well in exciting photos or flashy internet listicles, or in that highly visible and curated portion of the crafty/DIY internet that resists the risk of seeming imperfect or unfinished.
Most of us don’t live in a perfectly curated world, we live in our own real worlds, and damnit, those worlds include tedium. Welcome. If you are experiencing repetition, and boredom, and a desperate impatience to be finished and move on to the next project – you are doing your yarn craft right, and I’m glad you’re doing it with the rest of us, because we live there too and it’s nice to have company. (Tedium usually comes with tea and snacks, FYI. We make it cozy.) The bigger, more epic the project, the more space the tedium takes up, so stretch that muscle and get good at it.
Happy Friday, knitter friends – I hope you have a boring weekend! 😉
Project: Granny square afghan squares (classic granny square pattern – tutorials widely available on the web and YouTube), 3.0mm crochet hook
Yarn: Miscellaneous sock yarn stash leftovers, including Tanis Fiber Arts sock, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock, Madelinetosh sock, Dream In Color Smooshy, Van Der Rock sock (no longer available), Indigodragonfly sock, Miss Babs sock, and more. Border yarn is Sweet Georgia ‘Tough Love Sock’ in birch.