I think I have figured out (to a point) my sudden rash of new projects and sleepless nights. Things are changing around here. We've bought a house and are still trying to settle in, Bobby is getting older and more able to communicate, I'm pregnant (and if that's not its whole own bundle of change than I don't know what is), and our friends are leaving the country (not just the state, mind you, no, a whole other continent).
Knitting is, for the most part, predictable. I know that if I use these needles and that yarn, knit so many stitches a certain number of times I'll get a sock, or a vest, or a sweater. I can see what is happening and when things don't happen the way I expect or want them to I can see where I went wrong; I can fix it. I get an almost infinite number of do-overs. I can control knitting, or at least I can control it more than I can life. (And yarn, unlike that chicken in my refrigerator, doesn't have an expiration date.)
In life we don't get do-overs, we don't get to try something 4 different ways to see what we like. Instead, we get to make choices and live with the ways it turns out, for good or bad. We cast-on and do our best, hope for the best. And then, we have to hope for the best through all the unexpected changes.
We may start with wool, and suddenly we discover alpaca sliding through our fingers (wouldn't that be nice!). Then the chunky yarn goes to a sport weight and now it's a variegated sock yarn. Then we discover, much to our dismay that someone has changed our needle size. Life is navigating and negotiating all of those changes. Figuring out what to do with this unexpected combination. We're just chugging along trying to make it work and, on good days, trying to make it work well.
Sometimes you can look down at what you've done and it's nice. The finished fabric hangs together beautifully. Other times you have to shake you head and acknowledge that those were the places you were learning (and that it, apparently, took a long time to get it figured out).
Sometimes you have people around you that can lean over and say, "Maybe if you relax a bit your knitting will stay more even. I've had to knit with those needles; trust me, I know." Other times you just sit and stare at it, completely lost.
I'm sure I'll look back on this part later and see what was going on, that before I could get set-up for the beautiful cabling that's coming up I had to change my yarn weight, color, fiber, and needles. But this transition time, this is the part I don't understand. And not understanding, that makes it hard.