One point in the crazy column

This was a birthday weekend. My sister Erin, my comrade Ken and my daughter Sam (who turned 14 and is probably the only one of them who wants their age mentioned) celebrated their family birthdays together at my mum’s house. McPhee’s are a frugal people and we have a tendency to lump birthdays together. Everybody gets together, we sing the birthday song with three names in it. (“Happy Birthday, dear ErinKenandSammy” or “IanStephanieandBonnie” – except we never agree on an order ahead of time so that part is always a mess.)


(Note my mum carefully supervising Hanks carrying of the flaming cake.)


(Note Hank’s expression. It clearly says “I can’t believe this isn’t my cake.” )

Everyone had a great time, but I blew it with my sisters gift. She was supposed to be getting the Urban Aran that I’ve been working on, and I didn’t finish. It wasn’t even a near miss either, All I have is two sleeves and a half of the back. There was a huge storm here this weekend, where it snowed for about 36 hours, and Joe and I rented a bunch of movies and when I wasn’t writing (that is still killing me) I knit. That means that I had more time than I was expecting to have and I still didn’t make it.


Araucania Nature Wool Chunky (In some navy blue colour. Cannot locate ball band because I am under the impression my whole life is falling apart because I am 20 days from a deadline. I got it at The Purple Purl. I wonder if they remember?)

I feel really bad about it for some reason. I was thinking of Erin as this years “big winner”. I don’t knit a lot of sweaters for people (too big, too expensive, too much of a chance that I’ll do all that knitting and spend all that money and they won’t get it or love it.) and here I am, with this really fantastic gift for her and I miss the deadline and she gets sweater pieces, (which I then took back) it was sort of anti-climactic. Really anti-climactic. Like, it felt like a crappy present (to me, I’m hoping not to her, or I’ll be really miserable.) I’ve given stuff on the needles before. A lot, actually, but this one feels like a real bummer.

I’ve been thinking about what’s different. How come I can usually hand someone a half knit hat and take it back and not feel at all bad but this one feels awful? Are the stakes higher with a sweater? Is this a case of “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” so of course a sweater hurts more than a hat? Is it because I know that non-knitters don’t see the potential in wool the way we do, so I know that giving them a present that’s half wool might disappoint them, even if the eventual sweater will delight them?

I’m wondering if it’s because I really, honestly thought (because I am clearly mad) that I would finish it? I really did. On Brooklyntweed’s blog he says that it took him 17 days to knit this and so I thought (because there is REALLY SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY MIND) that 11 days was almost the same as 17 days, and that 11 days is especially almost the same as 17 days if you are focussed hard on a book deadline, knitting other stuff for other birthdays and generally running sort of short on time in general. (Have I mentioned it’s the March Break and the kids are home for 9 days?

In retrospect, I’m not surprised I didn’t make it, I’m absolutely shocked though, that I thought I would.