In fact as of last evening, the five strips are all but done. They're patiently resting on stitch holders, waiting for me to confirm row counts before I execute the bind off. Once that step is completed, I can begin assembling the pieces into a finished whole.
From one perspective, this project is zipping along at a rapid pace (for me), and if I can sustain it, the entire afghan will have moved from cast on to completion in a matter of weeks. From another perspective, this WIP has been in the works for the better part of a year.
I cast on for the first strip of the existing version 17 days ago. However, I've been swatching and test knitting (and ripping and frogging) these yarns off and on for more than nine months. Last fall, for instance, I knit two full strips in the reversible cable rib stitch before I finally faced facts: There just wasn't enough of the red mystery yarn to make the afghan work the way I'd envisioned it.
The test strips went to the frog pond, while I headed back to the drawing board and knitting chair. I focused on finishing other projects, but I continued to sketch, swatch and frog to come up with a new approach for this one. In the end, I returned to my roots and chose the fluted ridge stitch, which produces a reversible fabric that looks the same on both sides.
Here's the conundrum: Ravelry confirms the official start date was less than three weeks ago. However, the ongoing experimentation and constant knit-frog-knit cycle makes it feel as if I've been working on it forever.
These contradictions led to this realization: This is a simple, straightforward project. Now. The path I traveled to get there has been long, convoluted, time intensive and occasionally frustrating.
Sometimes there really are two sides to the story. Sometimes both sides are true.