One of the best things about finishing up a project, any project really, is that sense of accomplishment when you can look at it and say with finality...this is done.
Lately, I have had that sense of accomplishment when I have put new wall paper in the hallway, or bathroom...even if in both cases the kids looked at it and quoted Doctor Who by stating "You redecorated....I don't like it!" with great big grins on their faces....in one case I even used exactly the same wall-paper so it was doubly funny to say so!
I have had that sense of accomplishment in some of the test knits that I have done for different designers. Cast off, weave in the ends, send my notes, block and photo the piece and it is put to rest.
That isn't quite how it works with designs of my own that I am planning on writing up as "for real" patterns.*
I mentioned yesterday that I had nothing on my needles for a few hours and that it (fortunately, unfortunately?) led to an entire line of thought that was busting to get out of my head. But nothing on the needles does not really translate to things being finished when they are designs in progress.
There are the photo's and a standard "lay it on the table and hope for the best" photo doesn't usually sell too many patterns. There is the writing, the editing that I do on my own, the getting input from someone else on the writing, usually at least one more round of photo's hoping that we get some good ones this time, test knitting calls, sending files to test knitters, waiting for input, adding or adjusting things in the pattern....the non-knitting part seems to take up an extraordinary amount of time.
One of the questions that has been thrown around lately is why do all that, when actually it is hard, harder by far than coming up with the idea and knitting it? And I suppose the only answer is, because I don't back down from a challenge easily. Sometimes those challenges are self imposed, like the entire idea of writing up patterns so that other people could duplicate some of the things that I make. (Not everything will ever be a pattern for public consumption...sorry....my kids do deserve one of a kind, specially made for them things every now and then!) Some of them come from outside, thumbing my nose at people who have made fun of my knitting in the first place, showing them that I am not the only person in the world who finds magic in a well placed cable, or letting the yarn speak through a subtle pattern. But I think that most of it is an internal growth thing. Can I get better at all aspects of my life by getting better at doing one thing?
Of course there is also the slightly psychotic getting the voices of patterns that want to be heard out of my head!**
Yesterday, that two hours with nothing on the needles felt a little like exorcising demons who were clamoring to get out.
The question is, which came first the (potential of 24 patterns that needed out of my head) the idea or the theme (that maybe not so coincidentally would work well with 24 loosely related patterns that needed to get out of my head!)?
To calm those voices I cast on for a sock and for another dragon! Sometimes calming those internal voices needs to be countered by knitting someone else's demons for a while!
*The free patterns on the other pages don't count! Even in six months my pattern writing style and ability has changed so much. At least weekly I think about taking them down because they do not represent how I am writing now. Look at them as the difference between "fan fiction" and the published works of any author!
**I also think that everyone needs some kind of outlet in their lives that doesn't necessarily go directly towards paying the bills but is a stretch or a challenge. Many of my friends are runners...it doesn't pay the bills and it certainly isn't an easy thing to do, but they feel compelled to do it anyway.
***Photo's show in progress and detail shots of upcoming releases and the starts of a dragon's wings.