I am feeling a tad guilty, a tad lazy, which explains the lack of blog posts lately. As much as I love knitting shawls and blankets, I can tell that they also become a form of avoidance technique -- avoidance of issues of Fit and Frustration.
When I learned to sew a few years ago, the big trend is sewing was Home Decor. Pillows, draperies, etc. My judicious teacher pointed out that this trend had something to do with frustrations over the challenges involved in making clothing that fits and (preferably) flatters. With pillows and table mats, one could still feel creative and enjoy playing with textures and colors, while removing the single greatest source of disappointment.
I recognize a similar impulse in my love of blankets and other squares and oblong shapes that only need to be draped casually, and not worn. Sweaters don't just need to be knitted, they need to be knitted right, and then assembled right. I do feel pretty confident on this score but when I hit a hurdle, it takes me forever to tackle it. I'd much rather add a garter stitch log to a fairly mindless log-cabin project, instead of turning off the TV or other distractions and actually figuring out how to fix the problem and finish the sweater to my satisfaction.
Case in point: the ribbed jacket. I add a neck curve to the back, blocked everything, and proceeded to sew up the shoulder seams. How this could happen, I don't know -- but it was only at that stage that I realized I had about one extra inch of back shoulder width compared to the front. In other words, I hadn't spaced my decreases wide enough when re-knitting the back. Today, I frog and do it again; this should only take ten minutes or so. Then I can finally get to the collar and button band...but only if I set aside my silly, addictive garter stitch project for the duration.
While meditating on my lack of stick-to-itiveness, I pulled out a few odd skeins from the ever-so-slowly-shrinking stash, and knitted these mittens for the current afghans For Afghans drive. I followed Elizabeth Durand's easy pattern for a bit of piece-of-cake knitting with a bit more shaping than my beloved garter-stitch squares. Who knows -- I may branch out into actual gloves one day.