Saturday, September 10, 2011

I need this on a loop...

Obviously I've felt this way before, as seen here:

Obviously I've gotten that stunning slap in the face from someone I truly trusted and liked.

obviously I haven't been listening to myself...

equally obviously... I will probably need to repost this again at some point...

because I just... do not want to be the person I describe in the last paragraph. That would take far too much energy and anger and I'm far too lazy for that.

But, maybe, just maybe this time? I can make it partway there and get past the cheap and easy respect, so easy you don't need to bother and find my way to 'someone worth the effort'.

I guess we'll see.

Friday, September 09, 2011

11.5 hour wedding shawl

Some years ago I posted this to the KNITTALK list and thought to retell the story here.

circa 2002

K. my eldest daugther (bless her picky heart :) ) decided on a May wedding, with very short notice and a small ceremony with just family in attendance and a come and go reception at their home.

She was very practical (and frugal ... bless her cheap heart :P) in her planning and since our weather (looking outside today and seeing snow you'll understand what I mean) has been known to be very unpredictable she made alternative plans for the ceremony; because as badly as she wanted an outside ceremony she was pretty sure it'd snow or rain or something.

Sure enough, night before the wedding, we're all crammed in her tiny little galley style kitchen, me and her sis-in-law to be bumping rear ends as we worked on our family *specialties* and K and her younger sis A (my kindred soulchild who also inherited my sense of sarcasm and wit) bustled about, K wringing her hands at the details and A quietly fixing what needed fixing and sending me telling glances that had us having to look away lest we break out in the giggles.

Now don't get me wrong, we love K but she's a pain at times and details are her forte. A and I tend to go with the flow while K is determined that things WILL be a certain way. Even K however, has yet to figure out a way to convince the weather to do her bidding. (with her sense of accomplishment and determination I'm betting on K)

So, at 9 pm she looks out the window at the gathering greyness hovering over the city and says resignedly, "guess it's an indoor ceremony." Commiserating with her disappointment we all agreed.

"Mom..." she gasped at me, "what will I wear from the car to the house?" She had chosen an off the shoulder dress, lovely in a silvery white but yes, her shoulders would decidedly be exposed to the forces of nature.

Backtracking a moment, I'd asked this kid repeatedly, "do you want a wedding shawl? I'll make one however you want it." over the past 5 or 6 years previous. The reply was always no thanks mom. (which read, knitted shawls are for old ladies and while I'll oo and aw over your socks and shawls for you I wouldn't be caught dead wearing one).

"I need a shawl." She proclaimed and I glanced at the clock. 9 pm. Wedding is at 12:30 pm the next day. 15.5 hours... oy...

We left for home (an hour's drive) at 10 pm. Arriving home at 11 pm, bundling everyone off to bed I'd been mentally assessing stash rejecting cotton immediately as I knew I wanted something lofty and halo'd but having little in my stash of the right weight or colour to match the silvery white of her dress.

As we drove into our yard it hit me. The colour wasn't totally right but if I did it very airy it wouldn't matter TOO much. Right? Right. I had some baby alpaca in raw white. Doubled up on 10 mm needles it might just do it.

By 11:15 PM everyone was in bed and I had 3 movies programmed on the satellite. Casting on I started a basic dishcloth pattern in garter, hoping that the large needles and halo would compensate for the simplicity of the design.

(for those who need to know: Cast on 4, knit 1 row, *k2 yo, knit to end of row)

The fabric looked fine and was growing quickly enough so I kept knitting. But as anyone who's used this pattern knows, it's designed to produce a square or a rather deep triangle if you don't use the decrease half. I wanted it wider quicker so I started increasing on both ends of each row. ACK, now it's widening too quickly, back to the one increase per. Better ... and so it went for 2 or 3 hours. Switching back and forth (and sorry to say randomly when it just looked right) was giving me a somewhat scalloped edge... hey it's a design feature right? Right.

Along about 4 or 5 am I woke with the blunt end of a needle pressing into the crook of my elbow but a darned good start on a shawl. I appear to have knitted in my sleep. I can't swear to it and no one was awake to see me do it, but that shawl had grown.

After a shower, and shove out the door to the rest of the family (knitting all the while during breakfast, arguing with children about what they COULD NOT wear to a wedding and hubby's doubting thomas questions we set out to drive the hour's trip.

I'd count furiously then decide it wasn't wide enough so I'd knit knit knit. Hubby asked if I was having any mother of the bride nervousness, "shssshh," I snapped, "I'm counting." Being the quietly sarcastic sort he tossed back, "obviously..." "No time to be nervous." I answered after yet another stitch count.

Now I was close enough to start obsessing about the cast off. Gotta be seriously stretchy for this to work as the shorty triangle stole I was seeing on the needles. My hands were aching, wrists swollen. Finally the brain kicked in and I went for a sl k1, psso *YO, k1, pass previous stitch over both the YO and second stitch, leaving YO on the needle ) Yep, stretchy.

A came out to the van to see how I was doing and her reaction startled me "Holy batcrap mom...When did you start this?" I told her and she started to do the math as I finished the last of the cast off and suprisingly the last of the yarn. Two balls, ending evenly with only a 2 in tail ? ... can we say Meant To Be? Approximately 11.5 hours from cast on to shoulders.

K was upstairs so I quickly stretched this out on her couch, spritzed it lightly and tugged it into a semiblocked state. She came down and again with the gasp.

I stood there, rubbing my hands trying to get the ache to quiet as she gazed at it. "Oh mom...." she looked at me, tears welling in those about to be a bride's eyes and my aches went away.

She wore the shawl all through the day, even after she changed out of her wedding dress. Sometimes she wore it upside down, the ends spiraling (I can only guess from the scalloping of the shaping and the extra stretchy cast off) off her arms, the tip of the triangle folded down at the nape of her neck like a little collar.

A doesn't want a wedding shawl either. I have the Forest Path entrelac lace phenomenon 1/3 done... SHHHHH, don't tell her.

(sadly, that Forest Path went in the fire we had. However, I'm seeking the pattern and a similar yarn to start it again)