A Rhinebeck Sweater For Doc, or: It Happened at Midnight
Well, it's done. Friends, this is what comes from my knitting for other people. I should stay selfish. I am a downright stinking selfish knitter deep in my dark little heart, and I know it. You know how sometimes anything that can go wrong will go wrong? That's the story of this poor sweater. Doc's sweater for Rhinebeck is finished, and it was a battle, and there was crisis and frustration, and it ended, finally, last night at midnight--which is when all significant things happen--in a tie. To begin with, even though I measured him, I chose the wrong size. I also chose the wrong yarn (I will not speak its name. The leftovers are going to Goodwill, and good luck to whoever gets them) and gambled (and lost) on a collar modification, and even as I hoped that sh** would block right out, I knew that this thing was going to grow and grow and groooooowwwww, which it did. He could have worn it as a dress. It was eight inches too long. That's really an awful lot. [ROW GAUGE! Rage Alert! Row gauge, I hate you. We are not friends. Don't call, don't write.] So I cut away the extra (of course it was a bottom-up project, why oh why?) and put all the stitches back on the needle and re-knit the ribbing, and then--and this tells you everything you need to know about me--at five minutes to twelve I impetuously decided that one aberrent stitch at the middle of the upper back could be removed and replaced. You guys, the ends were all woven in. It was blocked. It was, after all the above problems had been solved, completely finished. But there was one bit of blurf in one stitch at the middle of the back.
See it? It was a production blob in the yarn, and because I was probably knitting in the dark or was all absorbed in Father Brown, I didn't see it go by, but in the light of day, it was pretty visible in this very smooth, pale gray yarn. I was prepared to try and ignore it, but then Doc pointed to it and said, "What happened here?" And that was the end of that. I really wanted to go to bed with this project DONE. So I thought, "I'll just snip that out of there and graft in a new row. Take a couple minutes. Easy peasy." Four ugly attempts later, as it dawned on me that there were a couple things I didn't know yet about how to do this, I realized it was never going to work, and I was overflowing with regret and thinking about having to rip out the whole huge collar and the whole enormous yoke, just to go back and fix this little mess of my own making, and the yarn was getting blurfier and the stitches at the edge of the growing hole were getting looser and uglier, Doc--this tells you everything you need to know about him--just sat there calmly, listening to podcasts on his phone and saying, "take all the time you need", and I was wailing "Whyyyy? Why did I do this? Just wear a backpack!" Finally, I made an approximation of a reasonable-looking graft, got it wet and thumped it into place, and called it a draw. I'm not sure whether it looks better than before, or worse. If you see us at Rhinebeck, stop me and I'll show it to you. He'll be the great-looking guy in a kilt, these kilt hose, and a new, near-perfect, but not-quite-perfect sweater. Who knows what I'll be wearing. There's a month to go! I'm still knitting.