Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Year of Multitasking

It all started innocently enough. I decided that 2011 would be the year that I finally jumped into the craft of knitting, in addition to my already existing mad crochet skills. I already have two completed projects (a pair of slippers and a hat) under my belt. I thought the easiest way to maintain balance would be to alternate between knitting and crochet projects. This worked for a while.

But then I started on THE project, you know the one, I've mentioned it often enough. Yes, I am talking about the Doctor Who scarf. Good lord, for such a simple and straightforward pattern, this thing managed to completely derail me. I would find myself going for a whole week without doing any knitting or crocheting, pick up the scarf for a day or two, and then more days of not doing anything. Blame it on the tediousness of the super simple pattern, blame it on February, whatever the reason, I was not happy with my crafting lethargy.

THEN I looked at a calendar and realized, holy cow, there are quite a few people in my life having babies in fairly short order! People that I actually do want to make baby blankets for. (The count is now up to five, good gravy.)

I have always preferred to just work on one project at a time, only occasionally taking a break if I had a specific very small and quick project that needed to get done, and then going right back to the main project once finished. But I finally had to face facts and admit to myself that a) if I want to ever actually finish the Doctor Who scarf, I can't just put it in a drawer until I feel like picking it back up again, I need to keep it going, and b) if I want to get all of those blankets done in a timely manner, I needed to get started on them pretty much nowish.

So, I have come up with a solution. Monday through Friday I will work on baby blankets. Saturday and Sunday I will work on the scarf. I put this plan into action a week ago, and so far I am pretty pleased with the results. This past weekend I made some decent progress on my scarf:

Doctor Who scarf as of March 17, 2011.

I felt much less pressure while working on it this weekend and once more found myself actually enjoying the project. Excellent. Goal achieved, huzzah! I have come to terms that this is a project that will get done when it gets done, and I am okay with that. Besides, it is starting to get warm here anyway, I won't need it until October at least.

I also have been plowing along with Baby Blanket Alpha:

Baby Blanket Alpha as of March 15, 2011.

This photo was taken Tuesday night, so I have actually made a bit more progress than what you see. It is about a third of the way done after less than a week of work. This bodes well for baby blankets!

Speaking of finished knitting projects, that hat I mentioned earlier is indeed the Jayne hat that I took with me to Seattle to work on. I started it on the plane on Friday morning and finished it as we were leaving the airport Monday night. I worked on it in between panels on Saturday and while waiting in line for our photo op on Sunday (causing me to now really want a couple of these). I am pleased as punch with how it came out, even though the entire time I was making it I worried that it would be too small. But it actually fits just right!

Jayne Hat by Cori 2011.

Pattern: Jayne by Heather Hill (inspired by Joss Whedon's Firefly)
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky by Brown Sheep in Autumn Harvest, Sunburst Gold, and Rust
Needles: Size 10.5 (US) Circular and DPN

Modeled by moi.

Note: Jayne hat also looks good on mini-Browncoats.

So, I have already been discovering the necessity, benefit, and possibility of multitasking in the crafting aspects of my life. If you had asked me a week ago I would have told you that was more than enough, thank you very much. I have enough going on in general without doubling up in each different area.

Then Leigh Butler announced that as of tomorrow she will be starting a new series of posts for Tor's website. I have long enjoyed her Wheel of Time re-read posts, and she has captured my interest with her writing style and turn of phrase. Tor is apparently pretty pleased with her as well, because they asked her if, in addition to her weekly Wheel of Time posts, she would be interested in doing a series of re-read posts for George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Here's the thing though: Leigh has never read the series. Not because she didn't want to, but because her devotion to Wheel of Time has sucked up enough of her time and energy that she didn't want to dive into another vastly epic and intricate series that is sort of taking its time to get finished. It's a testament to Martin's writing that fans are so vociferously annoyed at waiting for the next book in the series (which finally has a hard set release date for this summer), though it would be nice if they would go about expressing their desires in a more polite way. But I digress. The point is, Leigh decided she would be willing to give it ago, though instead of a re-read series, her posts will actually be a read-through. Two chapters a week.

Now I, like Leigh, have also had this series on my radar for quite some time. I too have hesitated to jump into it, though unlike Leigh this was because I already have enough other books to be reading that I don't need to jump into yet another big long addictive series (sadly, even though I have been reading at a pretty steady pace this year, my book pile has still only grown larger since last I showed you a picture). But. Two chapters a week? That really is not an unreasonable task. I read way more than that even on my slowest reading weeks.

So, I have finally, at long last, broke my hard and fast rule about reading more than one book at a time. Going forward, in addition to my regularly scheduled reading pile reading, I will also be reading A Game of Thrones (the first book in the series) along with Leigh. If I enjoy it enough, then I will pick up the next book when I am done.

My copy came Tuesday morning and I read through the prologue and first chapter that day. Can I just say, I really kind of want a direwolf now.

This also has the added bonus of ending up saving me about forty-five bucks (well, thirty six if you subtract the cost of the book) next month. I was planning to subscribe to HBO's forthcoming television show based on the series on iTunes (we haven't had any of the premium movie channels since I stopped working for the cable company and I refuse to add any just for one series). But since the first season is supposed to roughly cover the first book, I don't want to watch until I have read the first (and maybe the second as well) book completely through. So, I will probably just end up watching it on Netflix instead once I've finished my reading. Huzzah!

As a second added bonus, I won't be tempted to read the comments section on Leigh's posts (something that can suck up a great deal of time and often make me quite irritated at other people and the world in general). Since most people who will be reading her posts will have already read the entire series so far, she hasn't forbidden spoilers in the comments. So in order to avoid the risk of finding out something I don't want to know until I read it, I will just know to stay away. Excellent.

Hmm, maybe this multitasking thing is gonna work out for me after all.

1 comment:

  1. Your Jayne hat, quite simply, ROCKS!!!!!! I keep thinking I'm going to start knitting again and do my own Four scarf one of these days because they look so cool. Then I remember that I'm horribly lazy about knitting and it usually takes me no less than three years to knit a scarf with just one color that's a regular length.