This year, I swore it would be different. This year, I swore that I would get a grip, and not do this to myself, and just opt out of the madness, because it’s totally optional. This year, when I finished Myrie’s sweater and found myself a week out from Rhinebeck, I had a moment of complete and total delusion in which I wondered if I could knit a Rhinebeck sweater in a week. (Actually, this year it was six days.) I sat there, and I thought about it, and I even went so far as to choose yarn and a sweater, and I calculated how much I would have to do each day, and I thought about what it was like last year, and this year, I looked at my time and energy, and my friends, I chose life.
I still wanted a Rhinebeck sweater though, and I thought about something that @litknitgrit on said on Twitter, when I asked if it was too late to try for one. She said “The trick is to find one almost finished that needs sewing up and blocking. You know you have one”. I thought about that – and you know what? She was right – or sort of right. A little while ago (FINE. MAY 2011) my friend Andrea and i were having a little knitalong on a sweater, and I don’t know what happened, except that both of us wandered off, really close to the end. Since then that sweater has been plunked in a bag, just waiting for me to care about it again. I had knit both sleeves, and the better part of the body. I was almost at the part where you divide the thing into two fronts and a back, and other than that, it just needed button bands, and buttons, and blocking, and sewing up. This – this seemed perfect.
This year, I thought, as I pulled Acer out, and hunted up the pattern again – this year I would have a Rhinebeck sweater, and it would be easy, and I wouldn’t have to stay up all night, or put it in the oven, or sew it up in the car on the way to the fairgrounds. This year, I had it licked. This year, I got too cocky.
This year, my friends, I was wrong again. Turns out that Acer needed more than I thought. (The tiny angry owls were probably a mistake too, time wise) I thought I was pretty much done the body – Wrong. It needed about 8 more centimetres, and I’ve somehow only got one front done (and it’s the wrong length. I have to rip it out and add more, and last night I finished the back, but that still leaves 1.5 fronts and the button bands and the neckband, and the blocking, which is really the biggest problem, because that’s the only thing I can’t make happen really fast. (I have a rack for the dryer. It might work, but that’s not really blocking. Still, it’s as good a day as any to cheat.) After that there’s sewing and buttons and ….
And I’m starting to think that there’s a thing with the Rhinebeck sweater. Maybe it has to be like this? Maybe it always ends in a mad dash to the finish, maybe that’s part of its charm? Who the hell knows, certainly not me, and I can’t talk about it now. I’ve got a flight in the morning, and in the name of all things woolly and pure – I will have this sweater.