Saturday, June 03, 2006

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways. Approximately 17,171 stitches. Plus a few more several thousand to go. Italian asked me if making a sweater is hard. I had to think about it. The actual process of knitting a sweater isn't that hard. It's just knits and purls afterall, something that most beginning knitters can do. Sure there is some shaping, instead of knitting just one stitch at a time, you knit two together. It's the completion of a sweater that drives knitters batty.

When Italian asked the question, I immediately began to think of the Yarn Harlot spinning all those meters of yarn for Joe's gansey. I thought of the boyfriend sweater curse. I thought of how I'm tempting fate by knitting my spouse a sweater during the 7th year, the year of with the notorious itch. I thought of the lady in her 80s at the hobby store when I bought yarn to make what I thought would be a sweater for Italian, and her response when I told her it was to be a sweater for my hubby. She said, "Humph, I did that once." The yarn later became a hoodie for Little Clover. I thought of all the things that knitters say when contemplating making their first sweaters. Finally, I thought of all the knitters who won't make sweaters. It's not the sweater that holds them back. It's the commitment. It's the time to actual knit on it and to keep knitting, and to keep knitting. I feel for the Yarn Harlot. She may be close to finishing the spinning, but she still has to cast on. Maybe she can get Joe to diet just a wee bit. Then she can make a sweater one size smaller. I'm just saying. One must be wise in making a sweater and use whatever strategies one can.

Those 17,171 stitches are just the front, and not even the whole of the front. Each stitch is a bit of my time, a bit of my skill, and a bit of my future. I have many more stitches to go (and at this rate, many more hours, so many that maybe Italian will get to wear it sometime in Alaska - maybe). When I think of how much I have left, it doesn't bother me. I've hit the sweater high, kinda like the runner's high that a marathon runner gets. I'm in the zone and every few rows, I look at what I've accomplish and can't wait to see what else I can do. It'll be a long process and I've often wished that I were a faster knitter, but I'm enjoying the process. You see, I know the sweater is going to be around for a long time. I look forward to seeing it every evening. I know that it's there waiting for me and will keep me cozy. I think I'm even going to be a bit sad when it's finished.

So, no, making a sweater really isn't hard. Okay, I've had my moments. (Remember the naked trees - aka telephone poles - incident? I've moved on.) Overall, though, I'd done harder things. This sweater, is a very long, at times uphill with no downhill in site, marathon walk in the park.

(see the trees????)

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