"...that knits up the raveled sleeve of care..."

Hamlet was talking about sleep, of course, but I couldn't help but notice that his analogy applies quite literally to this sweater:

Poor thing just spilled its guts.  "The vomiting Sleeve!  Film at eleven."

I promised myself that if I could knit to the end of the skein I was using on the sweater middle that I could take a "break" by working on a sleeve for a while.  No lie, people, I am drowning in the Stockinette Ocean.  I think I'm getting arthritis.  So I made it to the end of the skein, and without even attaching a new one, I gleefully flung the whole works aside in favor of the sleeve.  Nothing like a change of scenery for motivation.  Okay, the scenery is pretty much the same, but the rows are shorter, and some of them have increases.

Increases is right!  The thing was growing at an alarming rate, but not in length - in circumference.   Note to self:  perhaps the sleeve increases need to be farther apart?  Nah,  I'll just block it firmly.  It'll all come out in the wash.  Now it looks like a jam funnel - totally weird.  What in the name of all things linty is going on here?  Note to self:  You have obviously stretched the thing somehow, you are going to have to block this sleeve aggressively.  Another half inch goes down and it's even worse.  Note to self:  sleeve blocking will have to be brutal.  Now it's starting to feel like a horror movie: something is wrong, and I can tell by the theremin music in the background.  Just to reassure myself, I check the needle size.  Yeah, I know this is the size three.  I can tell because the number "3" is rubbed all the way off.  See, I'll even pull out the size guage and prove it...CRAP.  It's a size 4.  That's when the sleeve threw up.  Projectile yarn.  Spewed like a frat boy on a Friday night.  

There, there little sleeve.  You'll feel better in the morning.  Want a cool washcloth?  Yeah, me too.

Can't See the Forest for the Trees

Today the view from my lap looks like this:

And it's pretty appropriate, because I seem to have lost perspective on a few things.  Today's gentle reminders to myself include:

1.  I will not die if I miss my publication deadline.  I hereby declare that instead of going fetal every time I look at a calendar, I will calm the hell down and enjoy the PROCESS of sample knitting.  The sun will still shine, the rain will still fall, and the front doorknob will still come off in my hand every third Wednesday, weather or not I achieve my literary goals. 

2.  While I acknowlede that there is more in the universe than my narrow little existience, I must also resist the pull of Project Lust; the force of nature that compells me to pick this, of all times, to take up, say, papermaking or sashiko quilting, or Renaissance dance.  However focused I am on the project at hand, the instinct to begin something new gains power in direct proportion.  I will stomp on this impulse, remembering that diluting my attention is the opposite of getting done.

3.  I will be nice to my loved ones.  Phillip has filled my car's cupholders with golf balls (your guess is as good as mine).  The children insist that they exist solely to eat sugar and watch television.  Even the kittens are climbing the walls (literally, using the draperies to belay one another).  None of these things is intended as a personal assault on my well-being.  They are just life.  My life.  However bizarre it may be.  So the people/creatures I share time and space with deserve my love and patience, regardless of any other demands placed on me.

4.  If these reminders fail to work today, I will remember that tomorrow is another gift I will be given, in which to try again.