Conrad’s Christmas Sweater and the Perils of Procrastiknitting

About a month before Christmas, I decided that it was time to knit Conrad a sweater. I’ve never made him any kind of clothing  and I had no idea what to get him, so it seemed like the perfect solution. I thought I’d have plenty of time to get the whole thing done in time for Christmas.

Fast-forward four months and hundreds of knitting hours later and it’s finally finished!

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It didn’t have to be like this. I’m usually really good about getting projects done when I have a hard deadline, so I’ve been pretty bummed that this gift has taken months longer than anticipated. In my defense, I had a few things working against me:

  • Turns out that starting a sweater a few weeks before Christmas is just a Generally Bad Idea
  • Upon closer inspection (only after I’d started, of course), the sweater pattern I chose was  really vague and didn’t offer a whole lot of explanation. Note to self: Only choose patterns that include a stitch chart from now on
  • I bought the yarn ran out of yarn at the Sheep and Wool Festival a few years ago and of course I ran out. When I went to the company’s website to buy more, of course they’d just recently shut down their web presence. After weeks of hand-wringing and pondering whether Conrad could pull off the knitted tank-top look, I finally found a phone number and ordered the old-fashioned way.

Must learn to knit faster or my husband will be getting a sexy alpaca tank top for Christmas.

A post shared by Michelle Barrow. (@thatgrandmalife) on

In fits and starts, I persevered and now he’s finally got a slightly scratchy but baby-soft alpaca sweater to show for it. Of course all I can see are its flaws, but it’s a sweater! With real sleeves! And a genuine collar! Tryna focus on the positives here.

A very quick but useful lesson on procrastiknitting*

Not gonna lie, I put this project down more than a few times. Whether it was because I was waiting on more yarn to be delivered or because I just couldn’t bear to look at it any more, I could’ve gotten the whole thing done sooner if I’d stuck to a consistent schedule.

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At least I finished it just in time for Spring?

Word to the wise: If you need to take a break from a big project, don’t cast it aside completely! Instead, use that downtime to weave in all of those pesky odds and ends. If only I’d thought of this before I finished knitting then the finishing touches would’ve gone a lot quicker.

I make mistakes so you don’t have to. #yourewelcome

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Origami-syle blocking.

*I was so proud of myself for coming up with this pun all on my own and my ego audibly deflated when a Google search proved that I’m not alone in my cunning wit. It’s supposed to describe someone who knits when they really should be doing something else. But I think it’s perfect for describing people who start on a project and get endlessly distracted along the way.

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