Sunday, December 9, 2018

Planned/Unplanned

Man plans, God laughs. -- Yiddish proverb
There's comfort in planning. It gives you a sense of control, of intention. It is the precursor to the sense of accomplishment, the feeling that the end result is the product of your effort, your intention, your careful discipline...

And then, life happens.

I was carefully picking my way through the last bit of November, carefully planning my holiday spending, rationing my kitchen supplies, making the best of online sales and local shopping opportunities to get ready for December. And I was nearing the end of a knitting project, just one or two rows left before I would soak and block it and get ready for my next project.

And then, life happened, and I found myself in an airport trying to get home to help with a family emergency back home in Winnipeg. The first day there, I thought I'd stay for a week. The second day there, I thought I might be there until after Christmas. Ten days later, I found myself back here on Vancouver Island, blinking, wondering exactly what happened and what it all means. That night, I was gifted with a night of stomach flu. And here I am, three days later, eating solid food like a pro and turfing out anything in the fridge that looks even remotely suspicious.

So yeah, that's why I haven't been posting. But here I am now. Seymour has been looking after me and doing a pretty good job of it:


While I was packing to leave for Winnipeg, I put together a few outfits and pyjamas and toiletries, and then I stood looking around the room and decided that I better bring some knitting. I had a feeling I'd need to keep my hands busy, but I didn't want to bring a complicated cable project when I wasn't sure how well my brain would be operating. So I packed a couple of skeins of a lovely muted purple Fleece Artist 2/8 that had been living in the stash for a while with only a vague idea in my mind of what I would do with them.

I got to the airport and found out my flight was canceled and had to sit around waiting until someone could tell me just what the heck was happening. After pacing the departures hall and crying at the check-in desk, I sat down and cast on and just started to knit. By the time I landed at midnight, I had a strip of ribbing which looked quite nice... there's nothing like knit 2, purl 2 to keep you kind of sane...



And then the next day, I realized it was too small and ripped it all out again.

I worked on it over the next few days, both at home and at the hospital. I am making a version of Cirilia Rose's Loro Vest. I've been fascinated with the construction of this vest, and have been daydreaming of making my own version for a little while now. By the time I got back to the Island last Wednesday, I had made quite a bit of progress...

And then I realized that the cable pattern was just not working with my altered gauge. So last night, this is what I had on my lap:


But darn it all, I want something to work out. I worked on it doggedly, patiently, brow furrowed and lips pursed. Tonight, it looks like this: 


I have one more side to fix. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, my other project was sitting there unfinished, unsatisfyingly so. I decided to pick it up and get it to the final bind off. I added a folded hem at the top and bottom because I plan to make it into a wall hanging, and I want to use some bamboo stakes to sort of frame it to keep it flat. I sat back and looked at it, and decided I could not ignore a mistake I'd made quite early in the cable pattern:


The cabling is so complex and continuous that there was no way I could just let down the stitches and flip the stitches around behind the branch. The only thing I could do...at least the only thing I reasoned I could do... was cut it. I sat there and traced the line of the stitches until I found a stitch I felt brave enough to cut. I admit that I gasped when I did it. I caught all the loose stitches with spare double-pointed needles and got to work. I used duplicate stitches to reinforce the area and tacked down all the ends in the back. And then I soaked it, spun it, and stretched it out to make sure my hack and slash solution was not a disaster....

And by golly, I think it worked:



The only thing was that the whole point of me making this thing was to finally make use of some beads that I've been holding onto for the past couple of years. I wanted to stitch them on so that they hung from the branches like leaves or ornaments. Now that I've made it to this stage, I can see that I just don't think it'll work. I think they may ruin the beautiful simplicity of the cream cabling. So much for that plan:


I'm going back to my family in a couple of weeks for the actually PLANNED holiday break, and hopefully, things will be settling into some kind of normal. If there's anything that has been reinforced for me over the past few weeks, it's the reminder that things go wrong. Pema Chodron says, "If you're invested in security and certainty, you're on the wrong planet." Ain't that the truth. But the thing is, these things don't happen because of something we did or something we deserved. Sometimes, they just happen. What matters is how we treat each other and how we treat ourselves through it all...

...because all we have is each other.

... and the time we have together...

... and maybe we can choose not to dwell on the things that go wrong but the fact that we're imperfectly human...

... and we imperfect humans do best when we stick together.

Have a good week.

1 comment:

thecrazysheeplady said...

Beautiful knitting. Beautiful post.