Friday, November 28, 2008

Obsession for Knitters

I go through these phases with my knitting. I've been working on a sweater for my dad for at least a year, and most of that time "working on" has looked a lot like "ignoring that thing shoved in my drawer," but yesterday I pulled it out of the drawer, read the stitches left on my needle like some secret coded message from my past, and managed to resurrect the sweater from that place where well-intentioned knitting projects go to die.

I began slowly enough, before Thanksgiving dinner, knitting a couple of rows, while chatting with my family in the kitchen as they made stuffing and dressing and mashed potatoes. I even allowed myself to be interrupted so I could set the table.

Had I stopped there, I would be able to say that I still have a healthy relationship with my knitting, but I didn't stop there.

No, I got home from Thanksgiving, plopped myself down on the couch, and didn't even remove my coat. While TV droned on in the background, I finished the sleeves and then sewed up the seams so that what I had finally looked like a sweater. This process took three hours. Three hours of me hunched over my knitting, barely moving except to change the channel so that I could watch the Office instead of whatever was on after Moonstruck. At some point, I removed my jacket. Buddy gave me that look that means, "This means you aren't going to walk me again tonight, doesn't it?" and then sneaked off to sleep on my pillows (which is not allowed). Still I knit on.

Finally, I could look at the tiny stitches through my sleep-deprived eyes no longer, and so I stood in front of the mirror and tried on the nearly finished garment. It needs a neck. One of the seams is only partially sewn. The end of the knitting and sewing marked the beginning of the worrying stage of my obsessive evening.

It's big on me, but is it big enough? Will the sleeves be long enough. Will it be too tight for my dad's belly? Will the neck be weird? Will I be able to figure out how to attach the neck? How will it look after it's washed and blocked?

No wonder I didn't fall immediately into a deep sleep when I finally moved the dog's smelly body off of my pillows, swept aside the sand, and pulled the covers over my head. I have knitting fever now, and the only cure is a completed project.

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