Sunday, January 20, 2019

Crumpled Knitting and a Blue Bottle

You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your kneesfor a hundred miles through the desert repenting.You only have to let the soft animal of your bodylove what it loves. -- Mary Oliver, from "Wild Geese"
I was so sure I'd have a finished project to share this week. I had been sailing through the final sections of my vest, but I seem to have hit a series of setbacks that pushed the finish line out of my reach this week. I think they call this problem, "Life."

Just as I was doing the final bind-off for the collar, I realized that I had completely forgotten to do one of the stitch patterns for the final four inches of the left panel. It's like I left the planet for a while as I was knitting. I thought I could live with it, but it bothered me so much that I sat back and sighed and ripped back those last four inches to re-knit it again. Pah.

And then, I worked my way back to the final bind-off again and finally finished it. I was pretty happy, especially because I still had plenty of yarn leftover. And then, I tried it on and realized that the fronts were floppy and not sitting right, and while they're the right width, they just looked too small. So, I did the thing I hoped I would not have to do: I picked up a trillion stitches along the front right edge, all along the neck, and all the way back down the left front edge, and I am now in the process of knitting twisted k2 p2 rib all along these trillion stitches. So. Dang. Tedious.

So, here's my crumpled mess. Yay knitting.

I think I'm officially tired of this project, and I'm not even really sure I'll like it in the end. I've changed the pattern so much that I've ceased to call it by the original pattern name. Right now, I think I'll call it annoying. I'm hoping that will change.

Meanwhile, I've distracted myself with baking sets of bagels with the 2-ingredient dough recipe I made some pretzels with a while ago:

And yesterday, I was thrilled to bring home a bargain: a set of cobalt blue vintage glass items I bought from a local lady for $5.00. I've been trying to be really careful with my money since the holidays, so it was nice to bring home a little treat for myself:

The bottle is quite a bit taller than I expected. It's really hard to capture the scale of it:

I think this photo really shows it true to size... and also shows how pleased I am with it:

They're now living with some of my other blue vintage items above the fireplace, where I can look up and admire them regularly throughout the day. When the weather improves, I imagine the tall blue bottle holding a pretty long-stemmed flower, while some of the others will hold some shorter bunches of posies:

Except we're all having trouble imagining the spring right now. I think we're all in hibernation mode right now. Seymour and I competed for the title of longest afternoon nap today. I think he won:

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Oliver last week. I only recently discovered her poetry, and she was one of those rare gifted people who knew how to express all of the things I wish I could say, especially when I am struggling through tough times. She often wrote about the brevity of life, and the challenge of living authentically, not as a luxury, but as a necessity. It's something I think about daily: about how the search for contentment has become a method of survival for me now, that pushing through the misery of a terrible job and impossible situations were shortening my life. Her words were a justification of this truth, and they're a balm to me in my daily struggle. Here's to her wisdom and to her willingness to share her words with the world. May she continue to inspire us all.
tell me,
is it you plan
to do with
your one wild
and precious life?
-- Mary Oliver


thecrazysheeplady said...

Your bagels look great!

AdrieneJ said...

They taste even better!