Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not resisting the Irresistible pays off

Ha! you know the Irresistible project I didn't start a couple of weeks ago? It spent the night stretched out with blocking pins on some mats. Double ha!

I have so much Stuff twined into each stitch on this project. I mean, who gets obsessed with knitting a particular thing, honestly?

(I know, I know, all of us.)

But this one was different. I wanted a big shawl - why I couldn't tell you since I've never been able to carry off more than a mini one - and I looked for a couple of weeks for a pattern that matched the one I had in my head and there just wasn't one.  So even though I was trying to take a break from designing things, I climbed onto the sofa with all my stitch dictionaries and worked one out for myself, and once that was done

I couldn't stop knitting it.

No matter how cute my other projects were and you know I have a lot of them, no matter how many other things there were to do around the house and you can bet there were a lot of them, no matter how sore my fingers got - so much a lot - I just had to keep knitting, it was so gorgeous.

Even at that point I knew it had to be special and that I'd be sharing the pattern here, free.  I was very, very conscious of celebrating freedom with it myself, because this May marks two years from the start of huge, lifechanging health issues in what ended up being three different people I love, and two of the three of them have finally resolved into a manageable place. I might actually start to get some of my old life back, you know?  Definitely cause for celebration.

Then things started to go wrong with the shawl. First the stitch sequence started to get too complicated, which I didn't want, and the replacement behaved badly.  I went back to my math and back to the stitch dictionaries and frogged and reknit and frogged so many times I'm amazed the yarn held up (but it did - St-Denis Nordique, get some if you can) and finally I talked to Lannie about it.

Lannie doesn't knit, but she is in the same boat I am over this kind of stress, so I knew she'd get it. I said I thought I wasn't seeing the pattern clearly any more because the third person I love is having exactly this kind of health complication - one thing after another emerging as a problem and marring the whole, such that we keep covering the same ground and get nowhere.  And Lannie thought so too.

Well, what could I do but persist?  and then I lost my voice Sunday and had to sit on the sofa doing nothing but shawl.  I got close to finishing and thought I would - actually, I cast off about thirty stitches - and it just didn't look right, so yesterday I used my sick day to sit down with the stitch dictionaries again and work out something else.

I knit the something else, and I still wasn't sure.  I showed it to more people who don't knit and tried to explain how it would look when blocked and asked whether I should rip more and reknit again and they all said it looks good the way it is and more to the point


and I thought Oh well, what's the worst that can happen?  It's knitting, I can still get stitches back on the needle and rework it. So I blocked it.

And it's gorgeous.  Exactly what I wanted when I got its picture in my head all those weeks ago.

Then at bedtime it occurred to me that maybe I was meant to finish this particular project 31 years to the day since my oldest brother died.  Maybe it's a gift from him, a reminder that I've stood up through worse.

Either way, I'm pretty happy.  And I will release the shawl as a free Hugs pattern later in the summer... but I'm thinking I might do it as a mystery one, because we haven't had one of those in a long time. What do you think?


Unknown said...

Oooooo! A mystery shawl!

Yarn Envy said...

I think it sounds awesome! I will try it but I am guessing it is over my head skill wise.

justmeandtwo said...

What a wonderful *wink* from above to remind you just how strong you have been and continue to be and let you know there is support for you all around even when unseen.

Can't wait to see the shawl!

Anonymous said...

I love this true story and I do believe that that was the date you were to finish. Thanks for reminding us that stuckness and vulnerabilities and puzzles can often be about love and bravery and support from a whole bunch of places.