Behold, My nemesis.
I know that this thumb looks like an ordinary thumb. I know that just *looking* at the seemingly simple thumb of the MSF mitten wouldn’t be any sort of tip off about what the thumb is. I know that there is no way for you to know what the thumb really is…why it is here. Why the thumb has come to exist in my life.
Before I slammed my finger in the door (almost all better now) I had knit the thumb on the left mitten twice, and it looked like this.
I didn’t tell you about the first time I had ripped the thumb back because, well…frankly I didn’t want to admit that even though I have a world of experience knitting Latvian Mitten thumbs (and this particular thumb in specific terms) that I had somehow made it look like a stinking pile of fetid crap. I quietly yanked it back, picked up the stitches again and carried on, keeping my pain and humiliation quiet. (There’s no reason for the blog to know everything). Then I suffered the humbling and self inflicted finger injury and put the mitten aside. Last night, when I noticed that I could think thoughts that didn’t involve my finger, I decided that it was likely well enough to resume mitten knitting and picked it back up again. That’s when, in a moment of sparkling clarity, I noticed that the thumb seemed a little…large. I compared the two mittens (Note to self: when knitting items intended to match, learning to do a little more comparison of the two items intended to resemble each other can be helpful) and discovered that the thumb of the completed right mitten had 32 stitches and the heinous, loathsome thumb of the left mitten had 39. Fine.
I ripped it back. (I admit that I may have had some hurtful thoughts about the mitten. I’m sorry for that). I picked the stitches up again, this time deciding to do a little COUNTING, and carried on, really feeling pretty good about it. Charming little mitten.
I knit happily onward, merrily knitting the sweet little crosses into the pattern until I took a break and compared the mittens. See it?
While the two mitten thumbs are now the same size, I have forgotten the white stripe in the thumb. Blew right by it. I have to pull it back again. AGAIN. (You may ignore that I have already yanked the needles out in a momentary flash of temper) It is not enough that this is the third mitten. It is not enough that this is the third thumb on the third mitten. It is even, apparently, not enough that this struggle is public and humiliating. No, no….I have to knit it AGAIN.
It’s ok though. I’m not even angry this time. No frustration, no upset, no cursing or hard liquor. Nope. Only peaceful, relaxed thoughts. It’s because I finally understand. I get it. It’s suddenly all so clear, here I thought that I was trying to knit a pair of mittens. I was wrong. The mitten is here to teach me patience. The mitten thumb and I are going to be together forever. Each evening for the rest of my life I am going to sit down and knit this mitten thumb. Sometimes big, sometimes small, sometimes with the decreases in the wrong spots or over an odd number of stitches, each simple little thumb more craptastic than the last. Sometimes I will knit other things, even sucessfully…but it is always going to come back to me and the mitten thumb, every night….forever. It’s my destiny.