I love knitting sweaters from the top-down. For you non-knitters (I must bring you over to the dark side!), that simply means knitting a sweater starting from the collar or neck, and then working your way down to the yoke. The sleeves, then, are put on "hold" (on a scrap piece of yarn), until the body is completed. Finally, the sleeves are knit in the round.
Knitting Pure and Simple has wonderful step-by-step pictures here: http://knittingpureandsimple.com/resources/knitting-your-first/
(I apologize for this horrible, super processed picture)
I am currently working on a cardi for Baby J, using this pattern. And I have divided for the sleeves (the sleeves are now on hold, and I'm on my way to finish the body of the sweater).
This is a big deal; I'm now committed.
By moving on, I am affirming that:
1.I believe in this pattern (I have read through it and understand the designer's directions. I've made my notes, looked at pictures of completed projects by other people, researched suggested modifications).
2. I love the yarn enough to make a garment with it (I've put it up to my face and neck to make sure it's soft enough. I've read reviews that this yarn holds up, and doesn't stretch or lose its form).
3. I have the stamina to get through to finish this project (I want for me/my child/my friend to be able to wear it in the end).
Can I change my mind and have the poor mess sit in my WIP basket forever and ever? Of course! But after I've decided to divide for the sleeves, I'm pretty sure I want to get to the end of it. Through hell or high water, skipped stitches and wrong stitches, I will bind off the project, somehow.
I've recently divided for the sleeves, also, in my writing life. After months of stitching my outline together, trying on my plot, feeling it against my heart, and gauging it against my hopes and dreams, I finally felt I was ready. And I've moved on to query.
The reality: finding an agent to represent me could take months. Years!
But I've picked my story, chosen my words, rewrote them (and again, and again), done my research, and hoped that I perfected my query letter. Now it's all about stamina, and belief, and in my case, a little (A LOT) of prayer.
Am I scared? Yes! Do I feel vulnerable? Extremely!
But I would have never completed this dress for Sweet R had I let it intimidate me. I would have cried myself into a corner during deployments had I not been strong enough to endure those lonely nights. Surely, I will survive this too, right?
I will. I will.