I thought I would last longer

Oh Blog, thank you so much for the warm reception to Megan and Alex’s engagement. The wedding is soon – very soon, and you’re all right, the froth of white wool and beads is indeed for Megan’s wedding shawl and I need to keep a move on it if I’m going to finish in time.ย  Megan, I tell you, is my stealth child. She has always gone her own way, and done her own thing, under a clever guise of good manners and charm. Even when she was a little wee fierce thing, she knew enough to be dead quiet while she unravelled all your toilet paper, and so it was with the wedding. My stealth child has been planning for quite some time, and a little while ago dropped it on the family as a near perfect fait accompli. I have time, but only enough to knit a shawl and tidy up bits, and not enough for anyone in the family to get in the way of her plan or make her talk about napkins or invitations. ย  (She is a clever, clever girl – and yeah Meg, I saw what you did there.) This will truly be their wedding, and just the way they want it. (Almost. She didn’t get the stealth gene from nowhere.)

morebeads 2016-05-12

So, it’s me and the white wool and the beads, and other than a pair of socks in my purse (because really, who can bead on the subway. Even the idea invokes disaster) I had decided to be monogamous and absolutely dedicated to this single cause. It’s a big shawl (but not too big Mum, I know, I know) and I’m not sure how long it will take to knit (forever maybe) and so here I am. Dedicated.ย  I have knit the first ten of 14 repeats of the first chart (I think it will be 14. There will be decisions made, later today or maybe tonight) and I am starting to come undone a very little bit. As a knitter, I bore easily. (Well, as a person too, but let’s not talk about that.) The first sign that the monogamy was wearing a little thin came yesterday, when on my way to put away some yarn that I bought at the frolic, I accidentally swatched it and got the pattern.

notknitting 2016-05-12

Whoopsies. It all happened so fast. Luckily, before I could break my vow and screw the whole thing up, I realized the pattern I was thinking of needed a Custom Fit component, and would take more that 3 minutes to pull together, and in that tiny window of time – in that little – itty bitty moment, I pulled myself together, put down the silk, and went back to the beads.

There’s no telling how tomorrow will go. I’m really not that strong.


100 thoughts on “I thought I would last longer

  1. Ah stealth…this will be talked about for years. Well, look at the brain trust and fierce personalities of her parents; could not be helped. This will be a grand celebration.

  2. You’ll make it, even if you have to stay up all night — your mom & sister can handle altering the old wedding gown from Great Aunt Hepzibah (or whoever)! Hang in there, and put on an old disaster movie to distract the Knitting Gods/Godesses!

  3. Stealth wedding planning. I love it.

    Very wise not to bead on the subway. There is nobody wants to read the blog post about you jumping down onto the tracks in between trains to try and recover beads, or you crawling up and down a bus trying to grab beads as they roll back and forth every time the vehicle starts and stops, or you trying to get the dropped beads out from the treads of your fellow-riders’ shoes….
    (yeah, ok, maybe there could be some entertainment in some of that – but you’re still wise to avoid it!)

    • Indeed. Beading in a private car with a handy receptacle to hold the beads and catch the wayward ones is hair-raising enough.

  4. Accidental swatching is like flirting. The fact you thought before you acted on the sweater is fidelity and priorities

  5. Stay strong Harlot!! I must say you raised a clever girl…When I got married (at 39) to my 41 yr old guy (we’d been together a while)…both sets of parents gave us money and left us to it, figuring at our age we knew what to do. Ha! I would have loved some participation from family, but ended up with lots of it from friends. It was a grand day. I lost him at 49 to a stroke, but I still look back and smile at the fun we had, especially when the Elvis he had hired (without telling me) showed up! Priceless. Enjoy every minute – I’ll bet there’s a musical number being planned, hhhmmmm?

  6. Well, stealth is always a good trait to fall into. Well done, Megan, on making sure that their day is truly theirs. But, Mama Harlot, you need to knit just a little faster, and cast your eyes away from that which will try and bewitch you and lure you away from completing this most honorable quest.

  7. Perhaps swatches are the thing that will keep you mainly committed to the main project. They can be the spice that makes the main course more interesting. Hope it goes well.

  8. Wonderful news!! I am a little behind and just read the May 9 announcement. Good luck to them. I know you will get the wedding shawl done in plenty of time. Even if you are weaving in ends as she stands ready to walk down the aisle.

    • All the ends will be woven in, but will it be still slightly damp from blocking or slightly warm from being dried in the oven? At what temp do beads melt? These things need to be figured out now.

  9. Just downright gorgeous shawl! Knit fast like the wind. I think it is wonderful that the wedding will be truly the bride and grooms wedding. That will make it so special and lovely.

  10. Between your posts and all the replies… I’m having a blast! You are the harlot, so I understand it’s hard to be monogamous, but this is your oldest daughter… You got this!

  11. The shawl is being beautiful at every stage. It will be the perfect one for her.

    I just have to add. I am so very happy for Meagan’s and Alex’s happiness and your whole family’s–every time I think of them it puts a smile on my face, and I don’t even know them. Thank you to the two of them for loving each other. It really does make the whole world a better place, far more than they could ever know; for me, it’s been making me appreciate my own sweet husband all the more. Multiply that by all the happy faces out there, remembering where we started, grateful for how we’ve grown together since…

  12. Oh, monogamous knitting…..drives me batty! There’s a reason I have at least four projects going at once and two are “big” projects (for me – which means sweater or socks). I can do it, if I have to, though…

  13. i didn’t knit for my eldest daughter’s wedding, i just made the cake, all 3 tiers of it. then i had drive it safely from Glasgow to Aberdeen and get it assembled at the hotel.

    I was stressed to bits about it but it all worked out and not even 5 inches of snow the day before the February wedding spoilt the day. my favourite photo is of my other 2 daughters helping the bride put on pink wellington boots so the photographer could get photo of the happy couple standing in pristine snow with a very picturesque snow covered hill behind them.

    i hope that you and your family have a day that you will always remember. very best wishes to all.

  14. Wonderful news on your daughters engagement. Look forward to seeing the completed shawl. It is going to be spectacular.

  15. Good for Megan — I hope her big day turns out exactly as she wants!

    I’m sure you’ll have that shawl finished up in no time, given how fast you knit. Be strong, and if you feel tempted, plan what you’re going to knit as soon as it’s done.

  16. My daughter did the same….planned it all. I got to help with the dress but I think she already had it picked out. She did a lovely job, her day was exactly what she wanted, and I was treated like a queen the whole day. Have fun and congratulations!

  17. Remember when Prince died, we were all trying to place how someone we didn’t really know fit into our lives and our emotions? You realize that you are a “Prince” for us, right? We don’t “really” know you (well, I did meet you twice but we didn’t have a beer together), but we are all with you and behind you and emotionally tied up with you. Thank you for taking us along on your ride, and giving us a peek at your family. We couldn’t be happier for you.

  18. I commend her stealth planning. I was older than she on my wedding day and oh my lovely parents had a field day planning “my day” for me. It was wonderful, but really we could’ve done the ceremony in our tiny back yard with a couple of friends/family and we would have been happy. Shows a lot of strength of character and confidence on her part which must make you proud.

    Good luck on the monogamous knitting. It’s so hard with all the “shiny” yarns and patterns out there, but you are a woman of conviction and can totally nail this shawl!

  19. Well now Steph take a deep breath and FOCUS its just one project and for such a special day. It sounds to me that Megan must have got her stealth gene from someone close. Well done her for having the day just how she wants it. Congratulations to all of you. You will all enjoy the day and it will be a talking point for years. Jackie

  20. Stealthy wedding plans, knitting swatches, stash temptation… oh my! All I can say is that I’m sending good vibes your way, for strength & perseverance to make that froth of white & sparkly into the masterpiece that it wants to be. It is certainly in the most competent of hands.

    Knit Happy, Harlot! If we (your blog family) only see white on your posts, along with some dust bison, we will completely understand. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • In fact, if there are few “missing in action” pauses on the blog, we’ll probably understand that, too!

  21. VERY smart girl! We got married in November (after 5 mos engagement, 13 year relationship) and I wouldn’t tell ANYONE the details– all I said was “oh simple church service, nice reception.” it was the wedding we wanted. And it was grand!

  22. I’m pretty sure, despite your well-document struggles with knitting monogamy, the a) deadline for the b) wedding of c) YOUR DAUGHTER will propel you a bit.

    I’m a bit older than Meg, and got married right around the same age, so this is all very exciting to me. I hope she doesn’t mind us getting a good glimpse into her special day ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. hello friend…… tick tick tick here. Now hide the harlot in a box, and get on with it.
    FOR THE LOVE OF WOOL, MEGAN IS GETTING MARRIED IN LIKE 4 DAYS , (well it will feel like 4 days if you start messing around with some pretty green linen)
    Also, all my love. To the happy couple,.
    Not you though, I will show you no love or mercy till you are blocking white lace. love you friend Denny.
    Yelling done…. for today….oxoxo

  24. The shawl I’m making for a family wedding in Sept is in time out because there’s “something” wrong with it. I don’t know if its gauge or that it’s acrylic yarn (not my first choice by a LONG LONG shot).

    I need to figure it out and get going on it. Really really fast.

  25. P.S. you know this is a big deal when you get me to crawl out from under my log to do the computer thing.
    get knitting now. white only. I swear I will come over to your house and smack you upside the head girl.

    • If she isn’t careful her head won’t show up until after the wedding. And what is she doing reading the blog when she should be knitting anyway? The wedding won’t wait like a baby will….

    • Denny’s leading the cheering section. Can Lene be far behind with the spreadsheet? We’ll protect you Harlot, but only if you follow the rules of Denny and Lene.

  26. Audio books are the answer to boring/endless/painful ordeals. Takes your mind off the unpleasant part and lets your hands get to work. They’ve gotten me through endless rows of stockinette or driving 7 hours to visit my daughter.
    You can even get free ones through your library to download to an MP3 player through OverDrive. Try it!

    • God love the library for free audiobooks to borrow and download. They keep me entertained in the car, at work, and stuck on the couch while my stupid broken ankle knits.

  27. I had to laugh… I well recall the stealth calculation. When do I tell my mom so that she isn’t blindsided, yet doesn’t have enough time to get *Ideas* about the wedding.

  28. Stay the course, my friend! Keep your eye on the prize…. your lovely girl coming down the aisle, her face aglow with love and excitement with your creation of love draped over her shoulders… xo ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. I raised a stealth planning daughter too. They keep you on your toes. I knitted our daughter and her bride matching fingerless lace mitts for their early April wedding. My own wedding got moved up 2 weeks at the last minute when the groom won a prize weekend hosted by his Boston-born & bred employers so if I was going I had to be married. Our wedding was perfect, small and wonderful.

    The shawl is gorgeous. Good idea not to knit and bead on the bus. Socks and swatching should keep you (mostly) monogamous. You can do this! (I’m still making popcorn for the inevitable frantic finale. Someone open the wine.)

  30. Many congratulations to your family Stephanie. My Bridget is getting married in OCtober and the weekend they got engaged, she told me that alas she was not a shawl person and so the yarn and beads I had in hiding for her shawl would not be used. She, smart daughter, asked me to knit her a lace bouquet wrap to match her burgundy shoes. And to weave a gorgeous table runner for their welcome table (all done on my 4 shaft loom with new skills).. I am weaving shawls for me and Craig’s mom so there will be plenty of hand mades.. just no gorgeous shawl like your lovely will have.. Cheers

  31. Why not give her the one you made for your wedding a few years ago? That was beautiful and the sentimental value would be amazing.

    • Maybe our Yar-lot (my daughter’s nickname) will wear that shawl as the mother of the bride. She won’t be committing the faux pas of out-shining the bride because (a) Megan; (b) Steph’s shawl did not have beads; (c) she didn’t get to wear it to her wedding, so she owes it a wedding; (d) it’s an heirloom; (e) how cool would it be??

    • Wait! What?! Wasn’t THAT shawl supposed to be THE HEIRLOOM? You could bead that one!
      At least you’ve got one in the cedar chest as backup and two more beguiling daughters…

  32. Socks are good traveling knitting, but focus on the shawl. This is your help with wedding planning. Nice to hear that your daughter is going to have the wedding she/they want. I did the same. My mom came up to me at the reception and thanked me for all I did and for how much she got to enjoy the day. Eye on the prize and no more accidental swatching or starting a new project.

  33. Perhaps Joe should treat this like training a cat to stay off the counters. He should stand behind you with alternately a spray bottle or a can with some pennies in it. If he sees you knitting anything but The Shawl, he will spray you or shake the can to startle you of the other knitting.

    • I can attest to how well that works, but only for that moment. Cats need to dread the unseen Cat God for that technique to be effective for any length of time. Joe doesn’t sound like someone with the invisible omnipresence to make that work.

  34. All of a sudden, hope chests are looking like a good idea. Stealth weddings are all well and good, but I can imagine that they can cause some hyperventilation among the knitting mommas of the world.

    The shawl looks beautiful, and I am sure you will complete it in time for the big day. And congrats to M and A and all involved.

  35. I’m glad to hear stealth children can grow up into lovely (if occasionally surprising) adults. My two year old disassembled a clock a couple months ago during “nap” time.

  36. I am absolutely impressed. This is wonderful, a wedding, you staying on task with a goal that is achievable, and a gorgeous bride in the end.

    I know there will be tears but good ones. Congratulations to you and Joe as well as a hearty congratulations to the bride and groom. I don’t comment often but have been a long time follower. Glad to see them growing up. Gives me hope that my own son’s lives will eventually start.

    Thank you for all your inspiration, laughter, and pearls of wisdom. Have a wonderful time making a wonderful memory for your lovely daughter and her wedding.

  37. Think of your shawl monogamy as a sort of model for fidelity in their relationship — you know, leading by example. Congratulations to all!. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Good for Meg. As an escapee from the wedding industry, I heartily applaud her decision to do this thing just the way she and her fiance want to do it. That shawl is going to be lovely.

    Congratulations to the happy couple, and to the frantically knitting mum. Whatever happens, it will be awesome.

  39. The green you accidentally swatched will give much needed rest stops as you climb shawl mountain. You’re playing a long game over a short span. Smart.
    This must be one of the more important knitted pieces of your life, but frankly, we’ve witnessed you conquer many impossible-seeming tasks (Rallies, on-time baby knits, etc.). There’s no way this won’t be another triumph.
    But like, no presh.

  40. Yeah. It’ll be okay if you have a sweater on the wedding day…and probably the hottest day of the year….and only a half complete veil/shawl. Maybe she can pin or staple it. Really. One can only knit an ocean of white for so long. I’m sure people will understand. That’s why there’s not a recurring trend of knitted wedding dresses. Maybe instead of a whole heirloom thing, some lacy knit socks and some smart ones for the groom. There.
    Go have a beer and pizza and knit on that silk.
    (Not working is it? You are almost done with the center. And we know you like big wide borders on such things but it is not a requirement…just even edges. You don’t want to be up til 4am the night before the wedding blow drying the shawl while Joe grumbles about sleeping on the couch because the bed is a minefield of pins and knitting. )
    The most important thing is to be there. That’s all. Everything else is icing on the wedding cake.
    (Which you didn’t have to help decide on.)

  41. We all have slips and falls, but I’m proud of you for not giving in!! Will there be a wedding song in store??

    P.S. My mother was very ill before my wedding, but she still attempted to knit a wedding shawl for me. I will never forget the look on her face when she told me that she realized she just couldn’t do it. It was a heartbreaking moment for us both. I know Megan will treasure every bead & and every stitch, every cuss word said aloud and every ounce of love that went into her shawl. It may even grace the shoulders of a granddaughter or two. I am wishing them every happiness!

  42. COngratualtions! You need to look at this whole wedding thing that you will have 4 children after that wedding, and the newest one will be your first son. I can’t think of anything more joyous. Work on the shawl, and ENJOY!!!!!

  43. Until I got married last year, I had no idea how much stuff I was supposed to care about. People kept trying to get me to talk about napkins. I really, really, really tried to have an opinion on napkins, and I only got as far as “they should be clean?”.

    Good thinking, Meg.

  44. You need to create a family tradition — you can wear your wedding shawl, and Megan hers … and on and on! Objects do tell stories, you know!

  45. There is something you may not have that may help you with those beads and maybe the subway – a Tacky BOB Adhesive Beading Case. They are small(fits in almost any bag unless it is a snack size baggie), the adhesive really works, it doesn’t rub off on your beads and fingers, it really works for those of us who tend to spill things. Did I mention that it really works? I happen to have a ton of them (it’s a story for another time) and would be happy to send one to you.(email privately) Or you can go online and find one yourself. Or none of the above, but I think it may rock your world just a little.

  46. Many blessings to the bride and to you for being such a wonderful knitting momma. The shawl will be beautiful! Don’t concern yourself with the swatch, just a little Knitting ADD. You will finish, come @#$ or high water.

  47. Regarding your wedding shawl, if you do not want it to be passed down in the family as a shawl for the bride, have you ever considered dying it, and wearing it to Megan’s wedding? That might be a nice twist on tradition.

    Just a thought.

  48. I have faith that you can be (mostly) monogamous to this wedding shawl for your daughter. Maybe you can have Joe fix up a way to padlock shut your knitting/stash room until you’re done? Not that you’ll need any extra incentive to finish on time… ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. My daughter recently got married, but (for very good reasons) just did the Register Office and two witnesses thing. I pointed out that, if I couldn’t be there, a shawl would come in my place. I now have some very nice photos of Susie in the Darwin shawl, and as it’s the first properly lacy item I have knitted, I am rather proud of us both.
    Congratulations to all.

  50. Is there some weird Freudian-subconscious-if-I-don’t-finish-the-wedding-shawl-then-my-baby-won’t-get-married-and-leeeaaavvveee-me juju going on here? >:-)

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