Thursday, February 5, 2015

An almost perfect sweater, and a story about a rug

I'm going to spend a moment processing my angst about this sweater. I have lain awake at night, wondering why I am so incapable of seeing value contrast, and feeling crabby about how well--how perfectly--this sweater fits me now that it is finished, blocked, and dry.
You see beautiful Kate there on the page, in her finished sweater, and I swear to you, that's what mine looks like too. The fit, I mean. She is so good at this knitwear design thing. Meanwhile, I went off on my own with yarn and now my yoke looks like little robots, bisected by a strange sun flare, and while there's nothing wrong with that if that's what you're aiming for, it makes me a little sad to think what could have been. Why did it have to fit so beautifully? That makes it harder to start over. Sigh. I think I'll wear it while I figure out what to do differently after I rip it out to try again.
Want to see my new rug?
I have a recurring dream where I have suddenly discovered the perfect junk shop and there, in the furthest dusty corner of the secret room in the back, is exactly what I'm looking for, but then I wake up and sadness follows me around for awhile as I think about what might have been. And then, a week ago, it happened while I was awake, and in the way back of my (new favorite) shop, so far in the back that there is no longer any heat or Taj Mahal music and you need an escort to proceed [I am not exaggerating] and where they keep the enormous Texaco signs and purple velvet fainting couches and pump organs, Ethel saw this rug, rolled up and lying on a teetering stack of crates. "Hey, aren't you looking for a rug?" she said. The guy unfurled it for me, creating a huge cloud of dirt. He gave me a good deal, so it came home with me, and when I unfurled it again in the living room to vacuum it, a hundred pounds of sand fell out. So I took it outside and shook it until the snow was brown, then slung it over the clothesline and hit it with a broom until my arms fell off, then *filled the bathtub with warm water and half a bottle of shampoo and chucked it in there. The water turned the color of black coffee. I let it soak, drained the tub, stood on the rug to squeeze the brown water out, refilled the tub with black coffee again, repeat from * ten more times, during which I began to despise the rug for being so dirty. I rolled up my pantlegs and got in the tub with it, agitating it with my bare feet. I drained the tub again, and filled it again, and jumped on the rug in the tub, sweating and cursing. The water eventually began to look like cafe au lait, and then just regular dirty, and then mostly clear. I planned to throw it out the upstairs bathroom window and onto the patio where I was going to squeegee most of the water out, but I couldn't lift it that far, and then it snowed. We let it drip into the tub overnight and then spread it out to dry the rest of the way in the morning. We rinsed half the Sahara down the bathtub drain. I don't recommend this method. But it's clean now, and all kinds of colors appeared, and now I am going to lie down on it and bemoan my poor sad perfect sweater. I have to unravel it.