Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, and… happy Thursday to the rest of the world. Here in Canada it’s just a Thursday, and I’m spending it knitting tiny things.
If all goes well, that will be a star (and a more clever pattern, I don’t think you could find) despite the way that it looks like a some sort of deflating sea urchin right now. The tiny things are like this, I find. I knit several odd looking wee bits, and then right when you can’t see any hope that it will resemble anything at all, you sew up (or stuff, or graft, or sew together) four or five little stitches, and bang. A gnome pops of the needles.
I am here using the word “pops” incorrectly. “pops” makes it sound like a quick process, or like it happens all of a sudden and really, it’s nothing like that. There’s something about the tiny things that means that they take much longer than I expect. I’ll look at a tiny little Santa, think something like “oh, he’s so wee, it won’t take more than a minute to knit that” and then two hours later I’m crying into the waning light because I’ve sewn his spectacularly small beard on crooked, and one of his embroidered eyes has gone all wonky. There is no room for error with the tiny things. In a great big sweater, one misplaced stitch represents 1/15000th of the finished thing. Nobody will ever notice one little stitch that isn’t quite right, but in these things, one misplaced stitch and Santa looks like a bedraggled drunk elf who got trampled by a vicious band of reindeer on his way home from the local. I took twelve runs at his stupid little nose before it was on straight, and don’t get me started on the gnome with the seemingly dislocated shoulder. As I noted on Twitter last night, if this project is what finally puts me off the rails, it will be the sewing, not the knitting that does it.
It’s three days ’til deadline, and I have nine to go, although only two more are knitted, and the rest are lovely, woollen felt. I labour under the bizarre notion that although it’s the sewing that’s giving me fits, those will go faster. I’ll thank you not to disabuse me of the notion, because I’m pretty close to the end of my rope. Last night (as I attempted to sew the arm on straight to some bitty thing with arms) I said something out loud like “^$#!% this *&^$*()ing *&#$, I (*$#¬˚˙ƒing hate it.” Joe inquired gently about maybe I wanted to buy a few little ornaments and put them in the remaining pockets. “This doesn’t appear to be super-fulfilling” he said.
I stared at him. “It’s fulfilling.” I replied. “Just not… now. It’s going to be fulfilling the whole month of December. Just. Not. Now.”
With that, I realized that this time, it’s not the process that’s the payoff. It’s going to be the product. Three more days of tiny things.