Monday, August 24, 2015

Boreal, the beginning

Gauge, you fickle mistress. This is the beginnings of Boreal by the always-inspiring Kate Davies, which I am knitting in a hell-for-leather attempt to anticipate colder weather with joy in my heart. It may or may not be working--there is, as yet, no way at all to know whether this pullover is going to be huge, tiny, well-fitted but too long/short, puckery, otherwise dodgy, or perfect in every way. This isn't my first rodeo, but every time I measure some part of what I've knit so far, it tells me something contrary to what it told me before. It looks like the only thing to do is to continue thrashing my way through the charts, trusting in the genius of Kate and in the almighty power of blocking. Fingers crossed.

I am reminded of the (true!) story my dad loved to tell about the night his two cop friends let the blind man down the street drive the police car. You want to hear this story! Okay: down the block from my childhood home lived a blind man named Butch. He was known to all as a sort of savant--you could rattle a handful of change and he could give a pretty good guess, and he seemed to recognize people before they spoke to him. He was so good at that one that if he'd had any irises, I might've suspected he could see a little, but his eyes were completely white. So Butch is walking home in the dark late one night, tapping his cane along the sidewalk, his face tilted toward the sky, as always, and possibly whistling to himself, when the local constabulary, a kindly pair of old-fashioned town cops, come upon him. They look out for him, though he seems hardly to need it. One leans out the police car window.

"Hey Butch, you okay?" they ask him.

"Oh, yeah, just heading home," says Butch, tapping along.

"Want a ride?" they say. It's a small town, and they are not busy.

"Yeah, sure," he says. A few beats go by. "Hey, slow night tonight?" He knows it is, he can hear all the nothing out there in the country.

"Yep. Roads are pretty empty."

Butch seizes the opportunity. "Say. Can I drive?"

"Are you crazy?"

"You just said there's nobody on the road. Come on, I always wanted to drive a car. I won't hit anything."

They probably thought about it for a second. Looked at each other. I won't tell if you won't. "Okay." He gets in the front seat, they teach him about the pedals. A few hair-raising blocks later, punctuated by terrified laughter, they arrive at his door. He thanks them, gets out, taps up the front steps. A lifelong dream, fulfilled.

That's a little how knitting this sweater feels.

 

33 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story! Is that a sleeve on the needles? I like the design on the body. It will work out, you know. Just a little faith in yourself, you're a terrific knitter :)

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    1. Thanks, Deb. Yup, that's the sleeve. :)

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  2. Nice story. Nice pattern. I love gray and white. And gray and mustard.

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    1. Oooh, gray and mustard would be great! Next one. :)

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  3. Hermosa historia y muy bello patrón :D
    Ten bonita semana ^u^

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  4. Great story! I really like the crisp grey and white pattern of your sweater.

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    1. They do look good together, don't they?

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  5. Great story, hope your pattern turns out well. I have not really mastered colour work yet after a very failed attempt with an owl cushion. Your colours contrast well. It looks like it will keep you very snuggly and warm this winter.

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    1. It is double-thick and very warm--it almost makes me look forward to cold weather. Almost. :)

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  6. Small town living at its finest!

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  7. I love your work and your take on life, I check back often especially when life seems a bit dreary... thanks for the small town stories, fun projects, Cat-dog and handsome husband/boy and girl pics.... you're a one stop upbeat shop! I don't even knit! ha! I do sew still, whenever there's time!

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    1. Thanks very much, Jean! You mean you don't knit YET... ;)

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  8. That was a great story :-)
    And I hear you on gauge - my last two sweaters, including the Lady Kina I knit ended up being huge! My gauge swatch was fine, but I must have loosened up considerably when it came to do the sweater. Disappointing. Your new knit looks pretty! Hope it fits :-)

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    1. Ach, sorry about the huge Lady Kina. Did you unravel? You could just wear it huge and call it a design feature. Very trendy. :)

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    2. I'm not sure I'd like it even then :-) I've moved on. Knitting a Caribou that I have high hopes for, and so far I'm pretty much in love, so yay! :-)

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  9. I can visualize the blind man driving down your tree-lined street with the odd cars parking along the curb to dodge! A few charitable but well earned gray hairs for the policemen!

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    1. Ha, yes! Somehow they all made it safely to the other side and lived to tell the tale. Sweet. :)

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  10. Now that is some story. Hope your knit as the same happy ending. Love the colours.

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    1. Thanks, I like them too--I discovered I've used this color before, and forgot about it. I'm so predictable. :)

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  11. Keep driving, from where i am sitting you seem to be managing all the corners sublimely. Don t you just love small towns and the kindness of gentle folk, a lovely story to accompany your gorgeous knitting

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    1. Thanks very much! Yes, I really do love small town life. :)

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  12. GORGEOUS - I adore the gray and white! Keeping my fingers crossed and counting on faith that this one works out for you...
    Great story..... can not imagine Life without your blog!!! xox Lyn~

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  13. Just checked on Kate's web site to see the full design. Your sweater is beautiful and we are all hoping it fits! Wish we were looking forward to some snow flying soon here on the California coast.

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    1. All you have to say is "California coast" and I am transported to wonderland! xoxo

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  14. I like the contrasting colors in this sweater. Hope it works for you, it looks so pretty thus far, must keep moving forward right?
    I could just picture that whole story in my head. I bet Butch could knit too.

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    1. He probably could, he was pretty amazing. :)

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  15. Love it. I think I have the yarn for Boreal here for about two years now… Shame on me. I am so into sewing now, maybe I'll have to take up knitting again this winter...

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    1. Ooooh, get this thing on your needles! You will love. :)

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  16. How wonderful story! :) And that grey looks very nice with white.

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    1. Thanks very much! I like the contrast. :)

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