First, for those who asked, in a concerned way: no, I did not finish the shawl in time for Halloween. I am not in any way bitter about this, because Susan sent a loaner(!) Charlotte’s Web in a similar color – so lovely, it was an inspiration to me and difficult to return. So my Halloween costume was complete [I was part of a group that went as the Bennett sisters from Pride and Prejudice, and for the record, I actually sewed part of my dress, though not the part you see here with the fancy scoop-neck elastic. -- ed.]. Thank you so much, Susan!
You would think that without a deadline, I would return to the Meadow Flowers Shawl invigorated…but no. I am not abandoning it by any means, but an odd moment brought me to my senses. Every Monday, I reflect on what I might take to Knit ‘n Drink Tuesday at the local watering hole. Meadow Flowers is not appropriate for a dimly-lit bar, and with my Trekking socks finished, and the Retro Ribs finished, I felt as though I had nothing to knit. I even swatched for the Ribby Cardi, but found that true gauge would require new needles – roadblock, as they say on the Amazing Race, so no go on short notice. Of course, there are socks: “I need to cast on for a new pair of socks – I have nothing to work on!”
But that’s not true.
There’s always the Cabled Rib Cardigan from Men in Knits. Started in September 2004, I stalled out shortly thereafter because a. it’s a big sweater with no end in sight and b. there are twenty cable twists on the back every four rows. Fiddly. I think this is what happened: I figured out how the pattern worked, then yawned at the prospect of repeating the same exact pattern for yards of knitting. But now, it’s the perfect almost-mindless project for the months of sweater weather ahead. And, slowly, I can see it growing. There’s
ten inches and some change twelve and a half inches here, with four two and a half inches to go before the armhole shaping (be still, my heart – Shaping! Something besides “knit, purl, cable!”). Bonus “yarn pron” b r o o k l y n t w e e d-style stitch closeup here.
Because I am independently crazy like that, I had already started figuring out just how many stitches were in this sweater when I read about NaKniSweMo (answer: at least 97,936 – there are 35,000 stitches in the back alone). I wanted to know where I was in relation to a completed sweater, percentage-wise. Answer? It’s too soon to be thinking about the completed sweater – just knit.
Thing 2879 you might not know about me: I am a NaNoWriMo winner, class of 2002. It was a heap of fun (genre: chicklit, number of appearances by the dear, departed Peter Jennings: one), but given that I have just completed a freelance writing assignment that required a huge amount of writing, I’d rather commit to
finishing making steady progress on the back of my oldest WIP by November 30 – after all, I have less than 22,000 stitches to go. Like the Retro Rib socks we saw in our last entry, this Cabled Rib Cardigan appears to be a Commitment kind of project; for the knitter of average speed, you have to really want to finish the garment because you may be knitting on it for several years (not counting any time it lays fallow in your project basket). [One side benefit of restarting this project? I found my missing socks - they were in the felted bag I use as a project bag for good ole Cable and Rib - woot! -- ed]
So, is this blog going to be “all Cable and Rib” all the time for the next two years while I finish this sweater? First of all, I am finishing this thing before the end of 2007, if I have to ring in the new year with Dick Clark and my Addi Turbos. I am totally starting a knitalong called “I Thought I’d be Done By Now,” membership: me. Second, I have never been a “small project” kind of person, but I think that’s going to change – I’ve been watching the Lonesome Skeiners and getting inspired, plus the 2006 Knitting Pattern a Day had a few winners that I might or might not be looking into if I were making an effort to knit up my stash, which I totally am, one skein of Blackwater Abbey at a time, as I work my way up the back of this huge cardigan. Only nine and a half skeins to go – whee!