Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The day after

Knitting had me looking forward to this year's Christmas in a way I hadn't in a long time. I was putting a lot of thought and energy into what I was giving--knitting scarves was a long lead project, after all--and I was giddy with the joy of knitting.

That excitement took a hit when I found out that my parents would be moving at Christmas. This is a repeat of six years ago, although it's not like they had a choice in either case. My mom got a job at another church and was/is to start the new position effective January 1. Still, at the end of a stressful month and a roller coaster year, I was hoping to ease into the end of 2006, not have the holidays dampened with thoughts of sorting through old things, packing, and loading.

It didn't help that my pre-Christmas December was a blur of screenings and other work. As I prepared to travel to be with my family, I was near my breaking point. Before arriving I told my mom in no uncertain terms that I was in no mood for any chop-busting from anyone and that I had been dreading the holiday because their imminent move meant relaxing would not be an option. (Yeah, I know, what a festive attitude.) While she wasn't as sympathetic over the phone as I would have liked, I think the message got through. Today was the day to pack, and she didn't belabor the point that my help was needed.

In other words, when I was asked to do something, I did it. (If I were a better person, I would have done it without the internal grumbling but so be it.) If I wasn't given anything to do, I wasn't nagged for sitting around or knitting. It turns out that there was more time for knitting than I estimated, a happy development in what I was counting on being a lousy day. Sure, I'm tired and trying to block out what's going to be a draining Wednesday, but I now have knitted a scarf to call my own.

The big question about this scarf was whether or not I would be able to finish it today, although the matter had nothing to do with time. I bought four balls of Knit Picks Andean Silk in cranberry and assumed that the yardage would be plenty for a scarf 72-78" long. Not so. After two balls of the worsted weight yarn I was double wrapping, I had around 33". The numbers didn't magically change as I neared the ends of the other two balls.

I momentarily considered placing an order for more yarn and leaving the scarf in limbo until the additional balls arrived. Knit Picks ships from a warehouse in town, but assuming the best, I probably wouldn't receive the yarn until Saturday. In the worst case scenario, it wouldn't get to my door until Tuesday because of the New Year's holiday. Although I wanted the scarf to be six inches to a foot longer and have fringe, waiting that long was unacceptable. I wanted a scarf for myself, and I wanted it now.

So I knitted as much of the remaining yarn as I could, bound off, wove in the ends, and had my own scarf. Do I love it? Yes. The color is beautiful and looks very good against my blue coat. The slightly shorter length hasn't bothered me so far, and I don't think I'll miss what I could have added on if I were more patient. I'll be sure to post a photo (and pictures of the other completed scarves, some with their owners) when I get home and have had some time to make the necessary tweaks.

There was other work to be done, but later this evening I took a stab at knitting a dishcloth. I printed off this pattern and made my own adjustments. (The pattern calls for 46 stitches on US 7s. I cast on 40 stitches on US 8s.) After knitting one repeat, my gauge appears to be way off. It's supposed to be nine inches. I'm at approximately 12 1/2". I was going to stick with what I've done, but now I'm thinking I'll frog it and start over. When I'm feeling sharper I'll have to do the math to get the right number of stitches.

Wednesday brings two things: a moving truck to be loaded and my return trip home. (The latter won't happen until the former is complete.) It's not going to be fun, but I'm catching a break in getting out of any obligations beyond this. I have to work, so I can't make the trip to the other side of the state to unload the truck. Assuming I don't collapse when I get home, I'll update the site with the big post of all my knitting to date.

Next...the twelve FOs of Christmas...and one for me.


At 6:36 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

can't wait to see your scarf!

At 10:27 AM, Blogger donnadb said...

I was intrigued by the big reveal -- it inspired thoughts that I was not expecting, about the way families treat each other and my feelings about all that. I'll blog about it tonight. Thanks for the inspiration (in every way).

At 1:36 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

For me, one of the surprises of this blog is that I've chosen to write about what I'm feeling whether it's related to knitting or not. The pseudo-anonymity makes it easier and safer to do, and I know I feel better getting it out. (Don't worry everyone, I have too great a sense of propriety to make anyone uncomfortable. I wouldn't be comfortable spilling my guts about anything and everything.)

Ultimately that's why I'm going to continue to use a nom de plume even though I have no problem with regulars knowing who I am. Since I'm in the public eye on a local level (and internationally, I suppose, on a tiny, tiny, tiny scale), it's a safety measure for me.

As an admirer of what you do, Donna, I'm glad I could inspire in any way. This blog and the readers and commenters are inspiring to me. It's a nice change of pace from the competitiveness in everyday life.


Post a Comment

<< Home