still knitting

20130305-072438.jpg Six months later, I’m still knitting. There is good reason for my D-i-L’s consternation. Sigh. The good news is that I haven’t given up! And finally, a baby sweater is taking form.

I am working a pattern my mother knit many times over for my own children. She insisted it was easy enough for a beginner. Not so much.

My friend, D., was more than willing to help me. It’s just that I needed a lot of help. From the start, the pattern was a challenge to cipher, and missing one long sliver of print along the left side. She’d get me started on the next step, we’d meet after a few weeks, and discover I’d taken a wrong turn. If I had accomplished anything at all!

Sometimes I had unraveled all that I’d knit — multiple times — because I couldn’t tolerate the mistakes. Did I mention I’m a perfectionist? I needed the kind of help you can’t run away from. There was nothing to do but swallow my pride and go to class.

So last week I returned to the sweet fabric and yarn store where I purchased yarn in September. If you’ve read Friday Night Knitting Club (at least the first book, because that’s all I’ve read) then you can easily imagine the scene. I felt like I’d stepped between the pages.

The woodstove roared as the old oak table filled to overflow with knitters. In the center was a large platter of homemade cookies and treats from the general store, just down the street. Extra chairs were brought out of the storage room to accommodate the ladies that continued to trickle in. It wasn’t long before animated conversations, yarns of every texture and color, and knitting needles were flying in all directions.

The instructor sensed my neediness (I cannot deny it) and positioned me at her left elbow for close supervision. She was so kind and encouraging. She noticed I was using a Canadian pattern, with differently sized needles. And the needles I had selected from my hand-me-down collection? “These are like bat wings!” she said. I wasn’t long getting re-equipped.

Two and a half hours later I’d cleared the hump. The hood segment was finally attached to a newly formed neckline. The bodice was shaping up, as I learned to increase. I was on my way. I returned home in a state of euphoria: I can do this!

20130305-100012.jpgAnd there is no time to lose. Ollie is already one month old! Here is sweetness, himself. I treasure every minute I have with this precious babe. I cannot get enough.

Meanwhile, Henry is being knit in his mommy’s womb! He will arrive in June. I wonder what color sweater he prefers? Perhaps his mommy can tell me. I expect his daddy may have an opinion, too.

Last night I met to catch up with my friend, K. Over a glass of wine, I shared my knitting saga. Turns out K has also knit for years. She could empathize. “I’m still making mistakes,” I said, “but I’m plowing ahead anyway. I guess if I am ever going to finish it there is no help for it.” She said, “But don’t you know what they say about knitting? There has to be a mistake. An expert knitter will introduce a mistake! Because only God is perfect.”

Works for me.

~René Morley

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