Thursday, March 26, 2009

The 75% Point of Despair

In every project that I do on a deadline, I hit what I think of as the "75% Point of Despair." It's the time I get close to the end of the project, close enough that I can start to taste what it will feel like to be done but with the finish line far enough away that I despair I will ever reach it.

The worst part is the certainty that the project I happen to be in the midst of is the biggest pile of crap ever knat upon. Every unevenness in tension starts to alarm me (should I have gone back and redone that part of the waistband?), even little inconsistencies that the rational side of me knows will block out (that little voice whispers insistently: but what if they don't?!). I start thinking of all the other ways I could have done it -- a different edging, a contrast color, a new stitch pattern. It looks too plain, or too tarted up. I am convinced my gauge has been thrown off no matter how often I measure it (it's hard to make progress when you check gauge five times per row). I think of the stuff I see in books or magazines or on Ravelry -- a Norah Gaughan here, an Eunny Jang there -- and shudder at the thought of my crappy project just a click away from those masterpieces. I look at it, its unblocked, sad mass of stitches cowering meekly under my scowl, and know that I just don't have enough time to redo it, even if my dissatisfaction were rational and I could figure out its source.

I'm around that point now, and I'm working with someone whose work I have long loved and who could make a paper hat folded from newspaper look like Chanel's best creation. (No pressure there.)

So I'm very happy that I will be greeting someone special at the airport tomorrow,

dude




in time for a meet-and-greet Friday evening and a lace class Saturday at Loop. The 75% Point of Despair hardly ever lasts, but even if it tried, how could one possibly stay mired in the depths of despair when Franklin's coming?

13 comments:

subliminalrabbit said...

oh. mygod. i feel EXACTLY the same way, often/even when i'm knitting from someone else's pattern! (should have modded that waist shaping, used a different cast-on, EWW what is up with my tension?!!!)

love the franklin piccy!

Lisa said...

I am so disappointed that I cannot come tomorrow night :( I could use a good giggle this week.

Thea said...

I think we all reach the point of self doubt on every project - design, or straight knit - especially around the 3/4 point. It just goes on that long... but your work is always gorgeous and I'm sure this one will be too - love the photo, have fun!

puffthemagicrabbit said...

I would normally say that Franklin needs no tarting up whatsoever- but that has to be the best picture!

Go to bed- tomorrow morning when you see the beautiful sweater you are making, you'll wonder why you even had any doubts. Its gonna be incredible- I know this.

travellersyarn said...

I thought that I was the only one, but for me it is 80%! At 80% the urge to start a new project becomes overwhelming....

Leslie said...

Love your Franklin picture!

Penny Nickels said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! I totally agree, often I work on something for so long, I can't even tell if it even looks good anymore or if it was a stupid idea to begin with. Thanks for sharing, Blingee is boss.

Carol said...

It will be fine! I love love love your stuff. Here's hoping it's already blown over. Have a great time with Franklin!

Tina M. said...

*snickers* You know you're BFF when you can tart him up like a Pretty Pretty Princess devotee and walk away with no hard feelings. Seriously one of the BEST friend gags I've seen in a while. :)

Jen said...

Ugh, that TOTALLY happens to me too! It's so comforting to know that I'm not alone -- because it's happening to me right now with my current project. Halfway through the hood of a baby Tomten, no sleeves yet, and the whole thing just looks like a pile of arse to me. I must believe this too shall pass.

anne marie in philly said...

he is even sexier in person..take it from me, ladies (and gentlemen)! w00f! w00f!

Barb B. said...

It is such a comfort that you have the 75% thing! I am looking a sock right now and wondering what the hell I was thinking.
Lots of envy on the visit.

Cindy G said...

Oh Thank You! Not that I want anyone else to feel that moment of despair, but you expressed it so well.

Also thank you for the Franklin (and Delores). I'm considering the "set as background" option.