Thursday, April 07, 2011

Unraveling a friendship

We’ve all had them: those projects that we really like, that we dream of, visualize, fancy. Yet…they are filled with pitfalls.

First you swatch. The gauge, not quite right.
Swatch again, again, the math just a smidge off.

In the end, you decide…I want this project, I will knit really tightly, really loosely, on mismatched needles…I will mold myself to make this work. Rarely DOES this work.

Work around in hand, you cast on. Knit eagerly, but…it’s not right. The work doesn’t match the pattern. The pattern is a lace shawl, why are you suddenly knitting a 3 armed jumper for a turtle? You decide you’re tired. You’ll go to bed, and when you’re fresh, you’ll start again.

Okay, pattern, yarn, needles, good light, nice drink, everything you need to create a masterpiece. You carefully read the pattern. It sounds like it works. You cast on again; noticing the yarn is starting to look a little frayed. Quickly you find yourself back at the same wall.

Exasperated you hurl the project into a corner. You check the Web for errata. Aha! There it is- errata. You didn’t realize the pattern was written by a Murri in native dialect then translated by Ainu before being published in the form you purchased. With such a complex difference in backgrounds and terms…no wonder you were confused. It was a communication problem.

You break off the old yarn. You’ll start fresh with new yarn symbolizing your new understanding.

You make progress. Until you notice…what’s that sleeve like thing doing there again? There are NO appendages on a shawl! How did you end up here again?!?!

You set it aside. You get on with other knitting. Knitting that behaves. Knitting that works with you to create lovely things. Knitting that entertains, amuses, fulfills.

Occasionally you walk by the table, lightly touching the frustrating project. Lulled by the yarn, the tactile feel, or the depth of color. Your annoyance fades.

Perhaps, one day, you need those needles. The yard gnomes have made off with every other pair of needles that size you own. It’s a bizarre holiday in which all purveyors of craft supplies are closed. You are forced to go back to that project.

You pick it up, intending to place the triangle shaped round shawl on a leader line and use the needles elsewhere. But the yarn draws you in. You fish out the pattern and decide on a “quick row.”

Fatal mistake.

You’ve wandered out of the DMZ and are now back in the sphere of influence known as enemy territory. You realize this only as you hear the click of the landmine when you step on it.

Slipping free of this situation becomes your only goal, you no longer care about the potential beauty of the shawl. You want only to survive with everything intact.

You ease the needles away from the laddered stitches. You hold your breath, and in one desperate move- whip the cable from the work and leap back. The yarn falls on the floor, where you immediately begin a frenzied unraveling, winding it into a ball for the stash. You put the pattern at the bottom of a stack at the edge of the bookcase and bless yourself for a narrow escape.

Sometimes, when you are hunting through the stash you come across that ball. And the pain is still tangible. You think of all the potential that is contained in that yarn. But it still hurts so much that you can’t cast on again because the wound is too fresh. So you set it aside and knit a life with projects that don’t require so much effort to be happy with.

1 comment:

ChelleC said...

Hugs dear. And well stated. Remember, there are lots of other yarns and projects where that one went astray. And not all of them are Mohair (metaphorically speaking).