Applied Experience

Good Morning friends, and it is a very good morning, full of hope and possibility – or maybe it just feels that way because I’m in beautiful Vancouver drinking a cup of coffee and looking at the North Shore Mountains, instead of out riding a bike.  (Don’t worry, I’m still training. I’m headed to the stationary bike in the gym in a few minutes.  At least I’ve never fallen off one of those.)

It must be how beautifully yesterday went that’s got me in such a great mood, because I’m not even totally stressed out about the knitting pickle I find myself in, and make no mistake, I should be.   Yesterday morning I got up and surveyed all that is in the works around here, and I made a big pile of knitting,  I packed Omelet, and Lizette, and the stuff to start Flow, and then a sock and then another skein of sock yarn, and then thought something like "Oh right, that sweater for Marlowe" and started to add more yarn, and then wondered if I should bring my wheel, because it is the Tour de Fleece. 

Then I stepped back, looked at that, and I can’t really explain what happened next. I suppose that I overthought it.  I suppose I looked at the last eighty-seven thousand times that I’ve packed way, way more yarn than I needed, and I thought about the last week, where I thought I was going to get so much knitting done and didn’t hardly get any, and I looked at my itinerary and thought "You’re busy doofus" and then I did something that in retrospect makes me wonder if I hit my head harder than I thought on that last ride. 

I took out the baby sweater yarn. I took out the sock – I forgot about the wheel, and only packed Omelet, Lizette, and Flow.  (I did put a package of sock needles in my purse just in case there was some sort of emergency. I am still somewhat myself.) I’ve been trying to finish those three things for weeks, and despite my best effors, they’ve been un-finishable. Heck, Flow was un-startable. It was more than enough I told myself.  Don’t overpack, I said.
I zipped the bag, and left. 

About an hour later, having been through security and posted to the blog, I sat in the airport waiting to board my flight, and I took out my knitting.  I realized instantly that I’d made a mistake.  First of all, I thought there was another chart to do on Omelet.  I don’t know why I thought that, there isn’t. There’s never been. I had only about ten rows and a cast off to go – and knitters, it was a 5 hour flight, and- I realized with horror, It was the only knitting I had in my bag.  Panic swept over me like a wave before I got a hold of myself.

There was nothing for it, and somehow it all worked out anyway.  I finished the knitting on the plane – the last few stitches as I landed in Vancouver, the cast off as I arrived at my hotel.

Obviously it needs a proper blocking, but I’ll worry about that when I get home.  I was right smug with how it all worked out, and I turned to pick up Flow and make a start on it. 

Flow’s that cool tank from Norah Gaughan, and I love it.  It’s a simple knit, making it a really good foil for Lizette, which is sort of at a fussy part.  I thought it would be a great thing to have to just churn away on – and I took it out of my suitcase, cast on, immediately realized my needle size was wrong-ish, and did a little gauge swatch.  Totally wrong. I had 5mm, I need 4.5mm, and I can’t believe someone who’s been shafted a million times by this an experienced knitter like me didn’t pack a range of needles – or swatch first, but that’s another affliction.  I tried not to panic.   In my teaching stuff there’s a pile of needles for students to borrow if they’re stuck.  Surely one set was 4.5mm? Nope.  I resolved to worry about it the next day, and went to give my talk at the Vancouver Library.  They look like this, and a big high five to Amanda and Fiona of Knit Social for doing an amazing job.  (They seem like the kind of women who would always pack a range of needles.)

I had a very nice time giving the talk – and then went back to the hotel and knit for a tiny bit. Since I coudn’t start Flow, I worked on Lizette.  I knew I had a million repeats of a chart to do before something else happened, and then two whole sleeves, so that was enough knitting to hold me.

Wrong.  I have only a few repeats of a chart to go, and the sleeves are tiny, and I have all day today to get through and not only that but tomorrow is a travel day and Lizette is not going to cut it, and now that I think about it, I think that Flow isn’t either, not when you think about coming home again, and really, why didn’t I think about that? I’m trying not to panic, since there’s a craft store near the hotel, and after I go to the gym I’m going to walk over and try to get some needles, and tomorrow I land at A Verb for Keeping Warm, and I’m pretty freakin’ sure I can get a backup skein there to take on the plane home, in case I finish all of this.

The crazy thing is that as I typed that, I know what’s really going to happen.   I’m going to be so worried that I’ll run out of knitting that I’ll buy more knitting, but then I won’t run out of knitting after all, because I have been doing this for a while and I’m probably right, and then ….

I guess I don’t have to ever really wonder why the stash doesn’t shrink.