You call it Banff, I call it solace.

It's a sleeve, and a good-looking one at that.Reading this site, you might get the idea that all I do is knit, talk about knitting and think about the next time I’m going to get the opportunity to knit. Not quite true, but I am keenly aware that having a knitblog means that blogging about knitting (rather than the cheese sandwich I ate for lunch) is job one around these parts. I don’t start writing until I have some progress to show, and occasionally life intervenes while I’m crafting an entry. In the post originally slated for this space, I started writing about how much I was enjoying two-color knitting with the Festivus stocking – by the time I got around to taking pictures, I was enjoying it less because the pattern was humbling me. These sessions of frogging and reknitting were brought to you solely by my own boneheadedness; though the pattern is written in a minimalist European style, it’s perfectly clear — just read the whole damn thing through a few times before plunging ahead. I was back to enjoying the stocking once more last week, preparing to post away about the joys of knitting for the holiday, when my grandmother died.

Unexpectedly, all I wanted to do was knit stockinette. I am not one for prayer shawls, but I had a need for comfort knitting that could not be denied, and since I am now the Official Knitter in the family, I couldn’t exactly wait around for someone else to cough up a cozy Ene’s Scarf for me (isn’t that version beautiful?). So I turned to Banff. Coincidentally (or perhaps providentially), I had laid in provisions in the event of such an odd knitting emergency – the wilds of EBay recently yielded the perfect yarn at a bargain price. For the record, I am not the kind of knitter who absolutely, positively must knit the item in the yarn recommended by the pattern. But in this case, I’m so glad I can; Tahki Soho Tweed is tremendous stuff. I had to go down several needle sizes to find gauge love; instead of the size 9 I was expecting, I’m knitting Banff on 6s – yes, you read that right. But three and a half stitches to the inch is three and a half stitches to the inch, whatever needle you’re using; I completed the first sleeve in six days, a record for me. And I love it. I can’t wait to wear it, whenever it’s finished (which will probably be pretty soon).

The observant among you will recognize that this means the Lush sweater is even further down in the pecking order with just one sleeve to go. In considering Banff, my thought process went something like:

I want to knit a sweater.
I want to finish a sweater.
I’ve always liked Banff.
I don’t think the Lush sweater is going to fit – it looks too baggy.
The yarn is soooo fuzzy.
I’m not sure I have the skill to set in the sleeves properly yet without working the yarn to death.
Why did I want to avoid seaming so badly?
The Lush sweater looks desperately homemade to me, and I don’t think I’m being overly critical.
Have I mentioned that the yarn sheds like a Golden Retriever?
I could try a different pattern.
I could try a different yarn.
I could knit Banff.

A slightly blurry closeup, because I was in a hurrySo there you have it. My grandmother was not a knitter, not even particularly crafty. But like me, she was opinonated, and as my uncle reminded us in her eulogy, she’d often say to her kids “Why ask me? You might as well go ahead and do what you want, because you’re going to do it anyway.” Apparently that had the effect of squashing childhood urges to do stupid things. I feel like it’s advice to keep right on knitting. Thanks, Grandma. Thanks, again and always, for everything.

One thought on “You call it Banff, I call it solace.

  1. erica

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother’s death. Knitting really helped me deal with losing my grandmother about three years ago.

    I hope you finish your Retro Rib socks someday. After making two pairs of them, I was a bit sick of the pattern. Both pairs are wonderful and while knitting, I really enjoyed the pattern.


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