Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Knitting Olympics and Laura's Near-Death Drive Home

The Knitting Olympics. For those of you who think I'm making this're wrong. Just because I don't have to take performance-enhancing drugs and lie about it to become amazing and be-medalled, doesn't mean it isn't a big deal.

Wait--does Advil count as performance-enhancing?

I have already announced to those of you who happened to get cornered that day at work or later that night after I got home or even in the days following that I will be knitting Uhura from Twist Collective from the Curse'd Patons Grace, miraculously turning what was once a source of familial shame into a beautiful tank top I will wear for yea--well, summers--to come.

But here's the thing.

I need a size 6 circular needle to do this Uhura thing, and I'm using my size 6 right now on my Jen Cardigan from Kim Hargreaves' book Precious. This has nothing to do with the movie by the same name (based on the novel Push by Sapphire) nor does it have anything to do with Jennifer, my friend and partner in various crimes (one of which is the two of us being so single and so amazingly eligible at the same time).

I should add that I don't feel like spell-checking Kim Hargreaves' name, so I'm not. Rachael will tell us if I'm wrong. This is one of those things that she will know, because she is a genius.

So, in order to knit Uhura, I have to finish Jen (the cardigan, not the person, I have no desire to "finish" Jen, as it would involve my breaking several major laws end with my trial and conviction in a federal court). Henceforth (in this post) Jen will be the cardigan and Jennifer will be Friend-Jen. The one that walks and talks and plays her clarinet when the clarinet feels like it ought to be played. Which isn't now.

Let's all take a moment of silence in honor of Jen's broken clarinet.

Okay. Thank you.

I have been furiously knitting away. This began with my purchase of season one of the Gilmore Girls, because I managed to knit a whole glove on size one needles during season one and part of two when I watched the series the first time, my knitting-speed increasing exponentially as I became more and more emotionally invested in Luke and Lorelai's relationship.

But I had no more yarn as I left work on Wednesday, pulling out of the alley and recalling the two phone calls from Paul from earlier that day, calls made to tell me all about how deadly 15 was and how I would, if I drove upon it, surely die.

However, since hours had passed, I left town via 15. Then, moments later, turned back around and went to 24, because 15 had been closed off by emergency vehicles due to some kind of accident. That brought the accident count up to 3--two that Paul saw (not counting his own near-death near-accident) and one that I couldn't see because of all the police cars blocking my way with their flashy lights.

However, my alternate route was also iced over, and when I'd finally inched to my turn, I discovered that what Paul had suggested as a better option than black ice: drifts of snow, was actually a combination of black ice and drifts of snow.

The result? Laura had to drive fast enough to make it through the drifts and slow enough not to die when she hit the ice afterward.

This was the point when I considered turning back. The problem? Turning around on the one-lane road with all its ice and drifting.

Hey--guess how they told passing motorists where the ditch was? They dug a trench out on the sides of the roads so you'd know where to avoid. Everything in the middle was fair game! That road should have been a sporting event.

The real reason why I didn't turn around and beg Jennifer for a spot of floor to sleep upon was the knitting situation.

I didn't have an extra ball of yarn to work with, and I needed to get Jen the cardigan done before Friday and the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

So I inched home, got out of the car, and watched Criminal minds while I finished the ribbing of my front right panel.

Did I mention that I had to drop two stitches down the whole length of the sweater and pick them back up, adding buttonholes as I went?

Because one needs buttonholes. Otherwise, buttoning doesn't happen.

Oh, speaking of buttoning, I need five more buttons. Which means I have to order them, because they only had eleven at Knitting Off Broadway when I discovered the perfection of these particular buttons with this particular pattern. So, I have to order those.

Also, now that the thing is actually done, I've discovered that my brain either doesn't work or the pattern is wrong, because the sleeves are freakish at the tops with their uneven decreases that totally don't match the front or back of the sweater where they are connected.

They are supposed to match.

So I have to rip those out and re-knit the last three rows on each, something I don't relish doing, but am willing to endure if the result is a sweater that looks like the one in the picture.

But all that can wait.

Because when the torch is lit, my new project will begin. Those buttons can take their time coming...


  1. Yes, 15 was the pits - I drove it Thursday Morning - and survived. And I have a spare size 6 circ needle you could have borrowed.

  2. I would offer to loan you a needle, but the only size 6 I have just got taken out of my finished Olive, and is being used for Myrtle. Yeah...I wasn't entirely sure whether I'd want to knit the 32" or 36". Experience says that 36 is the better choice, but I can knit the 32 without buying another skein of yarn. So I thought that I'd knit a couple inches of the back and see how it blocks. And then I realized that this thing is knit in one piece. So cross your fingers for me. This may get messy.

  3. We're good on needles for the moment--I've finished the knitting for Jen the cardigan and am now well into the back of my Uhura tank top. So that's good.

    Rachael, I am right with you. I so hope you have enough yarn.

    Yesterday, Mom looked at me with misery in her eyes and told me: "Laura, I don't have enough yarn."

    I said, "Of course you do, you always freak out like this when you're knitting a sweater."

    "Yes, she replied. "But it's taken me four skeins to knit the front so far (she's at the armholes now) and I started with ten."

    I'll pause while we math away. Four-plus skeins for the front and back leave us with maybe eight and a half used up before we hit the sleeves... She may just have a very nice vest when all this knitting is over.