I’m not the type of person who feels guilty often – it happens so infrequently, that if the trait is genetic, I’m clearly a mutant. But lately every time I pick up the needles, I’m flooded with guilt. Why? Because I’m working on anything other than the wire votive sleeves.

In fact, after I grandly announced the color scheme of the second sleeve, I quietly put the whole wire-knitting kit and caboodle away, and it hasn’t seen the light of day since.

Jody is so right: “Life’s too short. Knit what you love, and love what you’re knitting.” And I haven’t been feeling an ounce of love for wire knitting since… well, since I knit my own votive sleeves!

I’m sure you’ve seen the 48 Things meme, and while I’m not going to be answering it, I’ll tell you this much:


Inability to force myself to do things I don’t want to do.

At the same time, when one’s mom oohs and aahs over a certain handknitted item, and specifically asks for her own, what’s a knitter to do?!? Let’s see – she generally doesn’t wear handknits, and already has a shawl, the only thing she’s ever asked me for, so how can I say, “no”? The venture is neither expensive, nor time consuming – just a few bucks and a few hours are enough for one of these puppies. I even have a Professional Bead Slipper at my disposal, who gently slips a bead towards my knitting every time I whine, “next!”

I’ll be seeing my parents for Thanksgiving, and while I don’t intend to push myself to any extremes, I am making a pseudo-promise: as long as I’m not dreading it too much, I will finish the other three votive sleeves for my parents by the time I see them. How’s that for non-committal? Hahaha!

P.S. I just received my copy of Victorian Lace Today, and, OMG, my brain has stopped functioning! Sensory overload! People, there are such gorgeous, wearable patterns in there, I’m about to pee in my pants from excitement. Unfortunately, I had to send my copy back because it was damaged during shipment… but as soon as I have my replacement (1 week, give or take), I’ll fire up the scanner and show you some goods.


41 thoughts on “Non-committal

  1. betzig

    Me, motivate to do something I don’t want to do? Let’s just say I’m right there with you. As for the Victorian Lace Today, I am so amazed by the patterns and they were just as wonderful in person. I look forward to seeing which were your favorites. 🙂

  2. JennyRaye

    Saw Victorian Lace Today this weekend at the local B&N and it was all I could do not to plop down the $30 right then and there. Gorgeous patterns that I can’t wait to try!!!! The penny-pincher in me took over because I knew I could get it elsewhere on the ‘net for more than 30% off. But I had the shakes walking away from it…..and not just from the semi-frigid temps in the store. C’mon folks, it’s fall, highs only in the 60s in Va, let’s cut the a/c back a smidge.

  3. Stella

    I hear you. Doing things you’re not all that into is bad enough without making yourself feel bad whenever you’re NOT doing them.

    And hooray for Professional Bead Slippers! Mine doubles as a Human Swift.

  4. Susan

    Really, that votive stuff on wire looks kinda hard. Why would you come home from a hard day and do something hard? Challenging is ok. Thought provoking, great. Hard? No.

    But keep working on Granny’s socks. They look great! I’m new to the socking world, and have to say that I’m loving it. They’re so much more fun and fast and satisfying than, well, almost anything else! Thanks for your inspiration!

  5. jacqueline

    i am just dying to see victorian lace knitting in the flesh….i literally cannot wait but need to wait until next month before i can order it from amazon! and now with your tempter i am way too excited about seeing your teasers.

  6. Carole

    I’m thrilled to hear that you like the Victorian Lace Today book. I’m looking forward to hearing more about it. Then I’m going to put it on my Christmas list.

  7. Christie

    I think as long as you can commit to getting them done by the time you see them that is good. It is a painful undertaking, so why would the Grumperina want to cause herself unwarranted pain? Methinks that you should break the 3 up so you have time for your body to snap back. 🙂

  8. Margaret

    A lurker dropping in to say, I was very fortunate to see Jane Sowerby’s Victorian Lace program at Stitches East, and all the shawls were in the XRX booth all weekend. Amazingly, they are even more lovely in “person” than in the photos. There’s a real range of skill levels in the patterns, so, something for everyone who wants to try lace.

  9. Wanda

    there’s nothing worse than having to knit for people when you’re not motivated. But as you stated, it is for your mom, so you kind of have to do it, but do it in your own time. If you get it finished by Thanksgiving, great! If not, then you’ll get it done.

  10. Kim

    Okay, here’s the plan: Go to Cost Plus or Pier One Imports, and buy the dam votive holders and be done with it!! Make sure you peel off the ‘made in china’ sticker though before gifting it to mom. Mums the word. We won’t tell a soul….. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

  11. AJ

    I suffer from the same infliction. That’s what makes us good knitters! We can procrastinate and justify it all! 🙂

  12. Siow Chin

    I’m excited about the Victorian Lace book too having seen photos on the blogs of some of the shawls being modelled at one of the fairs. Can’t wait for your review.

  13. margaux

    i was looking through the Victorian Lace Today book at my LYS… each shawl is GORGEOUS. I already have two in mind! I feel you with the knitted gifts… when you’re not feelin’ it, you’re not feeling it..

  14. minnie

    holy cow! i almost peed my pants, and i didn’t even see it in person! i’m glad your link was amazon, because i have it permanently logged in, and i put it on my wish list. here’s hoping!

  15. maritza

    *handing Kathy a Depends* That book is amazing – it is going to make me break down and knit lace again. Sooooooooooo many drool-worthy patterns. Can’t wait to see what you will make from it!

  16. Dorothy B

    I saw that book and wanted it, but I couldn’t commit that much yarn money to it. I have to go finish the damn laundry now, it’s been sitting there for nearly a week.

  17. Sil

    Dude, they probably forgot all about liking yours. Play it cool over Thanksgiving and see if they bring it up. Avoidance is your friend.

  18. Tonia

    I have the Victorian Knits book and there are so many pictures to drool over. I have never knit lace before and the book has me so inspired. I have a few things that I want to finish first, but I can’t wait to pick my forst project from it.

  19. mari

    I got my copy of Victorian Lace and aside from the capelet/shoulder coverings I would make everything else in there and am trying to pick one for after the holidays to do as a treat for me.

    Sometimes family knitting obligations are the worst kind, and you just try to suffer through them. Think of it this way, a Victorian Lace project could be a true treat after completing those votives. I don’t envy you working with that wire that’s for sure.

  20. Ruth

    Oh, that book is to DIE for. I have been drooling over it ever since it entered my house last week … I hardly know where to begin. (O.k., I know where to begin. I begin at one of my favorite eBay vendors for bargain prices on Kidsilk Haze! But which pattern?)

  21. Jodie

    I am always looking for wearable lace. So many of the patterns are too busy for my taste. I can’t wait to see some of what is in the book.

  22. ZhiWen

    LOL, I was wondering what had happend to the votives 😉 Won’t the end product make you feel happy though? Satisfied with finishing (UFO UFO…) something that you’d been dreading to do? Also, they are so beautiful.. Good luck!

    Hmm, I have seen the book on Amazon, but not too sure whether it held any project that were interesting. Yup, please put some project images up for us 😀

  23. kris

    mmmm lace …

    you lucky girl, i’ve looked up “professional bead slippers” in the yellow pages countless times with no luck.

  24. Carol

    I’m exactly the same way. I call it penance knitting. Have to do a few rows of that before working on something I really want to do!

    My daughter’s pre-school has been gushing over her Odessa hat and asked whether I would contribute a couple to their holiday fair for auction. Is this ok with you? I’m in Auburndale so maybe you’ll see some little heads with them on!

  25. Jackie

    I have been debating whether or not to buy that book for a while now, so I’m glad to hear that the designs are both beautiful and wearable. Can’t wait to see the scans! 🙂

  26. Monica

    I suck at the whole “knit what you have to when you don’t feel it” thing, too. Maybe an incentive will help you? Something on your wishlist? Of course, if you’re like me, you’ve got most things you need…

  27. becky

    I strongly endorse the “only knit what is fun to knit” philosophy, but I do make exceptions for loved ones who ask very nicely and truly appreciate the time and effort. In my head, Victorian lace = itty bitty needles that will poke my fingertips cruelly while I go cross-eyed reading charts. Anybody else?

  28. v.j.

    Can you part with your votive sleeves and give those to your mom? At last at the moment it would be a solution. Later you can finish these, if you feel like it.

  29. Stephanie

    Ooh, deadline-ish knitting. You’re very brave. Sometimes those projects you “should” do can’t compete with those projects you “want” to do. Just life, I guess.

  30. bonnie

    Uh-oh! And here I was planning to make 9 of these for Channukah (just because I knit through all the board meetings this year and want to take a “knit” menorah to the dinner). Looks like I’d better get started!

  31. Holly

    From the shady side of 50, I am a firm believer that life is too short to do things you don’t want to do or don’t enjoy doing. I also think knitting for family is the hardest — our inner knitting child still is concerned about being criticized. And we take their disregard for the hours we have invested personally (when that happens).

  32. craftydabbler


    Inability to force myself to do things I don’t want to do.”

    That is so me. Almost to the point of losing a job in the past. I just can’t do things I don’t want to do. It is almost like something physical happens when I try. It makes me feel like a spoiled brat sometimes.

  33. Kat with a K

    Good luck. That’s why I’m not doing any holiday knitting this year. Or at least, it’s one of the reasons.

    And I got my Victorian Lace book today too, and OH MY GOODNESS. I totally agree. And am in an argument with a friend over whether fichus have any use in the modern world.

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