I’ve been slogging away on the Gwendolyn sweater, having just the loveliest time, while dwelling full-time and whole-heartedly in the lap of denial.
I’ve got both sleeves, the back and half a front done now, and that should mean that it was all going rather well, were this Monday instead of Tuesday, but Tuesday it is, and I’m not sure what that means to my fantasy of taking a finished sweater with me on Friday. Probably that I’m deeply delusional, but the thing is that I’m not failing epically – and that’s misleading, it makes me think it’s all possible.
Sunday night after Thanksgiving dinner, Ken and I teamed up against Samantha and my Aunt Yvonne, and we played Euchre. Other than one glorious hand (in which I ordered my partner up and went alone for a spectacular four points) Ken and I lost. We did not, however, get trounced. We managed to keep one trick from every hand, meaning our opponents got one point, rather than two – the whole way through. We’d get our arses handed to us for the first chunk, losing trick after trick, then miraculously, one of us would find ourselves holding just the right card to steal the last round, and there we’d have it. Me being me, I declared us "The Stoppers" because we were "stopping" them from getting two points in each hand. I may have even been a tad smug about it, before Ken pointed out that as fun as it was to deprive them of their full points, we actually weren’t "stopping" them from doing anything. We weren’t winning squat – we were just losing really, really slowly. (Ken, heaven love him, can be a bit of a kill-joy. Accurate, but a kill-joy.)
That’s a little bit like what this sweater feels like. I’m getting all smug because it’s all going so well, and I’m finishing great swathes of knitting, but really, all I’m doing is losing really slowly. If I only had one sleeve or something, if the sweater was getting full points, I’d have given up by now, but because I’m managing a win here and there, it makes me all smug and hopeful.
I have a front and a half to go, and the button bands, and to block it and sew it up and come up with buttons, and it is Tuesday afternoon. Thursday night is when it needs doing by – if it’s going with me on the Book Tour – and then I sort of wonder if maybe I’m really just trying to distract myself from the book tour itself. If I just keep talking about the Rhinebeck sweater and going to Rhinebeck and don’t really discuss the fact that Rhinebeck marks the beginning of two really thrilling, exciting, lucky and incredibly difficult weeks, then maybe I can just keep sitting here, knitting away madly, losing really slowly, when I should really be thinking about what the hell you take to wear on a two week book tour when you’re not really the sort of woman who owns that many pairs of underpants. Or tops. Or pants. I don’t have to worry about how anxious that much travel makes me, how I’m perpetually in a state of cramps because I worry about delayed/missing planes, how I worry nobody will like the book, how the reviews will start coming at the same time as I put my bum on a plane, allegedly in that sweater, all while worrying about whether or not there will be media, and knowing that the publisher hopes there will be, and I do too-because I do like doing this for a living, but at the same time, I wonder what on earth I’ll say to the media if any of them did show up. I could be worrying about leaving my family, about the exhaustion that travelling every day breeds, how by the end of the first week I’m almost always a wild animal that would fight to the death for a cup of coffee in some random airport, and how not sleeping in the same bed for even two nights in a row makes it really, really hard to remember where you are and where the bathroom is when you wake up in the middle of the night. I could be worrying about how I hope none of that shows at the events, because I really do like that part, and especially love meeting all of you and finding out who’s out there, and seeing people who’re coming back for the another visit, and seeing all the stuff everyone has knit and really, really hoping that the fact that I will be really stupidly tired at some point will somehow translate into some sort of gratitude and grace, because that’s what I really want to show all of you, despite having airport pretzels on my pants.
I could worry about all of that. Or I could knit, because I really do want to have a Rhinebeck sweater, and after all – it might be possible yet.