I had a lovely time up in North Bay this weekend, and if you get up that way, you should totally go to Stix and Stones – the owner’s got great taste, and the Fleece Artist selection would be hard to beat. I was there on Saturday teaching, and as I worked the room, moving from knitter to knitter, I had to pass this sample sweater Rae had about a thousand times. Every time I walked past it, my enthusiasm grew and by the end of the day I’d snapped like a twig and the yarn for it was in my bag.
Yarn: 2 skeins Cotton Flamme from Americo. Sweater intention- Amiga. This is the version that set me off.
I swear to you, that I had every intention of finishing Omelet first. All the way home I thought about that yarn burning a hole in my trunk, and I kept telling myself that Omelet was first. First I would finish Omelet, and then I would knit a little cotton sweater that was so, so the perfect shade of olive green, and so, so perfect for a summer evening, and so, so the right thing to maybe wear to Squam, and so, so the right kind of post-apocalyptic-my-clothes-are-all-chic-rags. After Omelet.
When I came home, I even unpacked the yarn into the stash room. I didn’t put it in deep, but I did put it in, and I did walk away, and I did go downstairs and I did pick up Omelet, and I did apply myself to the last of the four repeats of the chart. Then I had this thought, and a smarter knitter would have realized it was over right then. The thought was "I should knit that sweater. It would only take a minute."
Now, you know and I know that we all think that way, and that it’s always a big slice of crazy pie. Crazy pie a la mode, none the less. Sweaters, no matter how big or small (and this one is pretty small) don’t take a minute. They never take a minute. A sweater (even if it has three quarter length sleeves which makes them a lot faster) are never a momentary diversion. Sweaters take at least a few days. More like a few weeks, or a few months, all things considered – but they never, ever take "a minute". It never, ever makes sense that you would put down a shawl "for a minute" and knit a sweater. That’s nuts- and I know it’s nuts and that doesn’t change, even if it is a top-down quick cardigan on 5mm needles with 3/4 length sleeves and how can that take any time at all sort of sweater.
I kept knitting on Omelet, and when I reached the miraculous and triumphant end of the four endless repeats, I found my will to go on. The sweater stayed upstairs and I started the next chart – although it didn’t go that well. After trying twice to get through the next row- it just wasn’t working. I tried counting, I tried markers – it wouldn’t work, and after a good long think, I decided to do something radical. I read the pattern.
Shock washed over me as I realized that the instructions weren’t to knit rows 1-20 four times. They were to knit rows 1-20 four times – and then rows 1-10 once more. This my friends, was more than any sane knitter could tolerate, if she was sick to death of a chart and felt like it would never end. I sat there, I reconciled myself to 10 more endless rows, I screwed my patience to the sticking point…
and let me introduce you to Amiga. It’s a little sweater, and it will only take a minute.