Thorny Knits

I've got a husband, twin toddlers, a cat who I probably forgot to feed this morning, and never, ever enough time to knit.


Agony of Defeat: Not so agonizing

Well, I'm out. I was fudging a bit on the official rules, initially, saying, "Well, I didn't cast on until like 8:30 on Opening Day, so I should have until 8:30 today, right? Right!"

And so I seamed like a furious little... seamer... this afternoon once the kids were finally down for their naps.

But eventually, after a couple hours and with a really narsty crick in my neck and fingers that were threatening to go crampy, I had to concede.

As you can see, I still have to seam up the sides and sleeves, do the ribbing on the collar, and weave in all the godforsaken ends. (Ugh! Now that I have a better idea of how these things are constructed for real, I'm definitely going to weave in as I go as best I can in the future.) It's not a ton of work, but it's more than I had time for. I figure I should be able to finish it this week easily - it's just a question of when I manage to tear my attention away from the, um... new sock I started. (It's not my fault! The pieces were blocking! I needed a tiny needle fix but had "cleared my needles" before the Olympics started, so I had to start something new!)

I will not get to put a nifty little gold medal up here on my blog. But I'm weirdly okay with that. I mean, it would certainly have been awesome to be able to post up a picture of one of my boys sporting a completely finished sweater. And I'm sure if I'd skipped the movie last night and stayed home to seam, I would have at least gotten as far as I'd gotten today, and perhaps after putting in my time today, I'd have squeaked in under the line. I'm certain that if last weekend hadn't been practically knit-free thanks to visiting my family, I definitely would have made it.

But really, none of that is here or there. Doesn't matter.

When you get down to it, I joined up on this crazy thing specifically to force myself over my mental block regarding sweaters, and I have totally done this. I've gotten past my sweater-phobia. Once I finish the green Prepster, I will decide if the other 8 oz of Candy Cane in blue-y purple will become another Prepster or if I will try my hand at a top-down raglan or something similar. Regardless, my newest goal is to have the other toddler sweater done in time for Easter. (Now watch, it'll be like 80 degrees out that day, making it cruel and unusual for me to make the kids wear wool sweaters while on some big egg hunt or something.)

I also am so very over my whole sweater-phobia that I ordered two sweater patterns for myself this past week:

The Braids cardigan, a big favorite over with the Ample Knitters group, so I'm sure to have a source for advice should I need it.

This one is "Brambleberry" and is a new offering over at Black Water Abbey. I know it's kinda complicated, but I'm really leaning hard toward this one as my choice for First Sweater I Knit For Me.

Also if you haven't happened to notice, the Knitty Surprises are up and I'm completely in love with Starsky. So that's another contender, I think.

So gold or no gold, I say my mission here is well accomplished. Many thanks to Stephanie for imagining and organizing this fantastic experience. While I didn't medal in my event, I do feel as though I've held fast to the original ideals of: citius, altius, fortius. I got a lot more done than I thought I would, considering how my diligence fell off after the front and back panels were completed. I certainly reached beyond my previous comfort zone and did something I was frankly really nervous about doing. And I do feel like I'm a stronger knitter for it.

Of course, no Olympian competes without the support of his or her team, and mine was a big help. The usual suspects, of course, were wonderfully supportive and I appreciate their cheering and good wishes. But a surprise assist came in at the last minute from Sally Melville's wonderful book, The Purl Stitch. So grateful am I for her wonderfully detailed instructions on how to seam pieces of knitting together (including her formula for figuring out the ratio of stitches to rows when attaching the sleeves, without that I probably would have just attempted it blindly and would have burnt the whole thing to ashes by now), that I find myself wondering if she might need a yarn sherpa or something, a la Stephanie's Yarn Boy. Because, you know, I'd be glad to do the job. Anytime.

So all in all, I'm really glad I participated in this Olympics, even though I didn't win my medal. I had a great time, gained new skills, and just feel really successful and pleased about the whole thing.

And to all the gold-medal winners out there: Congratulations. You earned it. Next time I'll be on the podium with you. Cheers!


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