Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sweater Promises

I imagine Heaven would have very nice weather - perfect climate where you can wear a leather jacket or shorts and a sweater. --Hilary Rhoda
It's been a tiring couple of weeks around here. Work has been difficult... very difficult. It's starting to look up, but, combined with some poor weather and not being able to get out for walks, or even up to the gym has made for a really difficult, depressing time.

I suppose that's why I haven't made much progress on my current knitting project. The strange thing about working on something simple and uncomplicated means that it just becomes... well... more like work. And when you're not in the best of moods, seeing little progress is all the more depressing. This is the sort of project where you knit for an hour, and you look at your work and swear you should be further along... so you knit for another hour to try to make it go faster, only to feel the same again... Sisyphus for an eternity. (I get classical when I'm depressed):

I think it's during these times when I start searching for something, anything, where I can make some kind of progress. I was lying awake one night (as one is apt to do when you eat a burger too late at night), and I started thinking about my Bloomsbury Sweater that I made this time last year. I've been struggling with it, because the neckline was just too wide for it to sit properly on my shoulders. It was really frustrating to have to keep tugging at it to keep it from sliding down, so I'd been contemplating on what I was going to do to fix it:

I thought about adding some kind of inside button/strap combination to keep anchor it against my bra straps, but I knew deep down that it was never going to work. I thought it would be better to try to undo the neck ribbing and lengthen it upwards somehow, but since I knit it from the top down, that was going to be a complicated job. You see: knitting has a direction, and trying to to force knitting to work in two different directions, particularly when there is lace and ribbing involved... well, it's like trying to teach a dog to drive. It's not easy, but it takes some work.

In the end, as I lay awake in bed, I searched on my phone until I came across this post which gave me some good tips. I felt pretty confident that I could do it. I had a plan. I figured I could knock it out in half an hour.

Turns out that plans made in the middle of the night are a teeny bit flawed. After an hour of wrestling with the neckline, I had a big ol' mess on my hands:

But I got up and ate some dinner, and after that, I sat down again, and something just clicked. It seemed to fly off my needles after that, and soon, I had a sweater I could wear comfortably. I knit about two-and-a-half inches of ribbing, starting with a needle size one smaller than what I'd used to knit the sweater, then one size smaller than that for the next inch, and then one size smaller than that for the last couple of rows and the bind off. I wore it the other day and felt quite comfortable... and somewhat triumphant. It's nice when stuff works out:

I've had a bit of a reprieve at work, and things are feeling slightly better, and I am therefore more hopeful and positive. It also helps that I've had a couple of nights of good, uninterrupted sleep, and a really nice visit with a good friend yesterday. We got chatting about friendship, and what it means these days, and I'm grateful to have people like her in my life. Besides: she convinced me to stop in at the yarn shop, even though I don't REALLY need anything, and it's there that I picked up these skeins of Rowan Creative Linen, a 50/50 cotton linen blend. I felt a teeny bit guilty about it, but I rationalized that 1) I don't have much summer yarn, 2) I have a pretty solid idea in my head of what I'm going to make with it, and 3) it was 50% off. 

And heck, it's been a rough time. I just want something to look forward to:

Anyway, I feel more grounded and settled at the moment, and I just came home from a yoga workshop. I feel relaxed and more open-minded, so I'm going to go and relax on the couch and do some more work on my current sweater. Tedious at it is, it's nice to have a bit of predictability... and I predict it'll be a while before this one is done. Ah well... it has the promise to be a nice, wearable, comfy sweater. And a sweater promise is one of the better promises in life.

Happy Sunday, all.

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