I felt it a few days ago, and I fell for it. The first tiny possible edges of spring. I was walking to the store and I saw water on the ground, seeping out from under the icebergs. The sun was shining, and bought a ticket on the crazy train. I bought tulips. I got my bike out, I vowed that from now on I would ride it everywhere I went, and then it snowed, and then yesterday morning when I got up the whole city had frozen over again into a wasteland of despair from which we will certainly never be released. Joe and I were heading out yesterday morning, and when we opened the door, we both uttered spontaneous expletives. It was -18 with the wind, and as we walked, our hearts sank. We glared at the dirty old snow, scowled at the mountains of ice pushed into the cities corners… I did my best to remember where we live, and that this is normal for us, and tried reset my expectations. Of course March is horrible. It’s usually horrible right into April. It is so unreasonable to expect Spring right now that I can’t believe I fell for its flirty little overture. Spring is a nasty little tease, and today (when I drag my bike across the ice field that is my back garden) I’m going to vow not to get too excited. If this is Spring, it is the beginning of it. It is the part where you go outside without a hat because you so desperately want it to be true, and then worry about frostbite on your scalp. It is spring in name only. It is a lie.
Even though I got a grip on myself pretty quickly, one little part of it stuck. The urge to knit something quick and springy and fresh, but still warm and cozy, and I realized that if I want to knit a spring thing that fast, there’s only one person in the family little enough for me to pull it off, and that’s my new niece, wee Myrie.
I grabbed something springy from the stash – gorgeous superwash wool, dyed with weld and indigo from Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks, and settled on a quick Tiny Tea Leaves.
I thought I could knit it in one day, but it turns out this little sweater isn’t that quick. First, maybe you can knit that sweater in a day, if you actually sat down for the whole day to knit, which I didn’t. I don’t know who I think is going to do all my other stuff while I’m sitting there, but I couldn’t make it happen. Also, I chose the size two, because that Myrie, she’s growing faster than crocuses sprout (when they finally turn up, that is) and sizes for babies tend to run small. So many parents with six month old babies dress them in a size one, or larger – and I didn’t want to have it be too tiny, too fast.
Let it here be noted that this pattern isn’t lying at all. It is an honest to goodness size two – so it’s a little more knitting than I planned. (And might mean that if I want Myrie to have a spring sweater, rather than an autumn one, I might have to knit another littler one after this. We shall see how it fits the little Miss- and besides, she’ll be bigger by the time I finish this tomorrow.) Third, and I can’t stress this enough, the way this pattern works is yarn and knitting intensive – the ever-so-charming gathers on the yoke are created by doubling the stitches, then decreasing again after several rows, and you wouldn’t be expecting there to be many rows with almost 300 stitches on them in a tiny little sweater, but there it is.
Despite these three things absolutely being obvious from the get go, I was a little surprised when after knitting for ten minutes, I didn’t have a sweater. I think it’s doable today, but then again, I also thought it was spring, that Adriana would finish herself while I knit this, and that the smell in the fridge would go away if I didn’t think about it.
Clearly, the winter has made me delusional.
PS: For anyone keeping track this episode of the annual “snap like a twig and knit a baby a spring sweater” appears to have happened two weeks earlier than the similar one last year, which I blame on the outstanding performance of this winter in the category of “harsh.”
PPS: If you’re in Toronto, don’t forget that Rachel Herron is making a book tour stop here this evening. She’s lovely.