This post comes to you from Banff, Alberta. Joe’s been working out this way a bit, and so I flew down to meet him, and we’ll have a quick ski before I go home and he goes back to work, and then the two of us are grounded soon as we enter the “On Call” phase for Megan and the impending grandbaby. The on call phase is quite long. I had that crazy mad dash to make it home when Elliot decided to make an early appearance, so we’re not taking any chances with this baby. Could be as shifty as her brother.
I think this pressure, this worry that the baby will be here soon and I’ll run out of time and nothing will be done contributed to a fairly disastrous knitting week. I’ve got the blanket underway of course, and a romper and I sort of think I could finish a onsie (if I started a onsie) and they were both going really well, if by really well you understand that there was progress, but I was having some sort of dis-associative episode where The Voice tried to deal with me.
This is one of my best tricks – ignoring The Voice. When I was a younger knitter it was easy to ignore the voice. I’d be knitting along, and The Voice would say something like “This looks a little big” and I’d say “what the hell do you know? You are The Voice of insecurity, of doubt, of low self-esteem. Get off me.” Then The Voice would say “You know what? You’re right, either one of us could be correct here. Good luck.” At some point it dawned on me that The Voice was almost always right. The Voice was actually helpful. It would whisper tips, like “that gauge looks a little funky are you sure you want to skip washing the swatch?” Or it would humbly offer something like “Hey, can we take a minute and connect our knowledge of the size of your bust and the size of this sweater and see if we’re still both onside with this?” Or “That increase looks like crap and you know it.”
Over time The Voice has proven that while it seems like a pain in the arse, its prime directive is really nice knitting and it doesn’t need to shush up and not talk to me. It is me. It is not my low self esteem, it isn’t interfering with me, it’s not trying to wreak my fun, it is yay verily the voice of my experience and it is trying to run quality control on my knitting. I am interested in making things that are nice, so now I try to listen to The Voice.
(Someone will ask, the romper is the Spring into Summer Romper)
I can only assume then, that when earlier this week The Voice said “Hey wow. You’ve chosen the wrong border for this blanket, it’s going to be way too tall.” And “Yo, Steph, the gauge on that romper is bananapants that’s the size of a toddler not a newborn what the hell.” (The Voice has poor punctuation skills. Always has.) When The Voice said that – I blame the stress of the impending baby for what I said to it, which was “No, no, we’re good.” The Voice (which counts persistence among its skills) said “No Steph, that border is wrong and the romper is huge.” And I’m pretty sure that I replied with something like “HEY C’MON VOICE DON’T PULL THIS I AM RUNNING OUT OF TIME”.
This might have worked. I might have been able to bully The Voice, but The Voice (which is, after all, me) has a rather amazing secret weapon. Truth. The Voice simply replied with “Oh. Cool. I wouldn’t want you to run out of time for to knit substandard junk for your grandkid. Peace out. Mwah.”
With that, I went and got a tiny skinny knitting needle, counted all the rounds back to the beginning of the border, picked up the last round of stitches before I started it, and then attached the whole shebang to the ball winder.* When I was done, I went and got the romper (which I had charmingly blocked to try and make it smaller – protip, nope) and ran that through the ballwinder too, and pulled out the whole thing. I even let Elliot have a go. He must have been bothered by the whole thing. He had a very serious face on, like he was part of some sort of sad event, and towards the end as he turned the handle at the romper funeral, looked up at me and said “Why Grammy? Why winder?”
I told him the truth. I had made some mistakes and the knitting was no good. I didn’t do it properly. It hadn’t worked. Elliot looked at me, patted my arm and said “It’s okay Grammy. You can just try again.” **
Thanks buddy. Tell it to The Voice.
*I know this seems a little funny, but it is the fastest, easiest way to pull back a project with a million complicated stitches. It’s sort of like a lifeline after the fact. If you’d run a lifeline, this would be even easier. Run the super skinny (like 2mm) needle through all the stitches of the lifeline, then rip back. Voila, the round is on the needles, with no chance of messing up the lace. I pull out the upper, working needle as I pick up the round below.
**I complimented Meg and Alex for this, for working on raising a nice resilient kid, and Meg gave all the credit to MagnaTiles.
(PS. We still have room for the Spring Retreat – details here, though I’ll talk more about it soon.)