Marathon Knitting

As I posted earlier, I spent a lot of the second half of 2018 trying to recover from a torn tendon and tendonitis in my right hand–that meant no knitting, no hand writing, no bread dough kneading for months. Well, that has changed!

img_7653Recently, I was working on socks for a friend–knitting essentially with thread on #2 needles (that’s REALLY tiny) when I was bitten with the sudden urge to stop being so timid, to knit like a locomotive going across Canada, East to West, to make a SWEATER!

Heck, I would knit a huge, volume-y loose sweater and drive the demon aches and pains back down to Hades!

A local yarn store was doing a knit-along, and the participants were making exactly such a sweater… The Easy Bulky One, by Joji Locatelli (find the pattern for $6.50 on Ravelry, here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-easy-bulky-one). Thus began my expenditures.

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I liked the looks of the sweater: the visible, raised seams, the rolled collar, and especially the fact that because we’d be using bulky weight yarn, that the thing ought to be “quick” to knit despite its length (to the hips) and wide width. But I didn’t have enough of any one color of bulky weight yarn, so I scoured the internet and found some lovely, relatively inexpensive King Cole Chunky Tweed on loveknitting.com, ordered 8 skeins of it and,
ka-ching, $40. Thus began my expenditures.

I decided I couldn’t wait to begin the project for the week or so it would take the the yarn to ship to me. What if I bought some inexpensive acrylic yarn and made a quick version of it while I practiced the skills I’d need when using the expensive yarn? Great idea! I found some skeins of Big Twist, Rainbow Classic at a local craft store, that, with a coupon, I could get 1,230 yards of for only $18.00 (with a coupon). I wasn’t worried about the color. I just needed a massive amount of bulky yarn.

 

Finally, I started the project two days ago on #9, very long, straight needles. The pattern was worked from the shoulders, down. I got to practice some relatively new things, mainly the picking up and knitting of the shoulder seams which, done on the wrong side, created that lovely raised line of knitting across each shoulder.

Although the pattern didn’t explicitly call for anything other than “#9 needles,” I could see directions further along that called for “joining.” And the diagram seemed to indicate circular needles would be needed at at the point we were to join the back and front together and have 162 stitches on the needle. I didn’t have any #9 circular needles big enough to handle that many bulky weight stitches, so when I got to that point in the pattern, I had to go find and buy some 32″ circulars for $10.00.

Total cost:  $6.50 + $40.00 + $18.00 + $10.00 = $74.61 (so far)

After about 9 hours of knitting over two days, I have gotten about 8 3/4″ down the 24″ long body of the sweater, knitting in the round, stopping every hour or so to stretch my hand and fingers. I’m bored doing this knitting–straight stockinette which I can–and do-knit without looking at it. And I chastise myself for not being able to appreciate each stitch, for not being able to enjoy the knitting. I should get into the flow, chill, find the rhythm. Relax.

But no. I talk to myself a fair amount: “GOD, this is boring! I’m so bored!” “Why did I stop knitting the socks? I want to give them to a friend.” “Shame on you for knitting for yourself when you could be making things for others!” “Why do I have to have pain in my hands? It’s like a cruel joke from the gods…”

I’m going to try to be more mindful of what I’m doing… even if it slows me down and this gulag goes on for weeks. We’ll see what happens.

“Every stitch, every loop is a thing of beauty all by itself, unique and important in the final outcome. Remember to stop and take in with your eyes and your hands how your piece is acting. Notice. Pay attention.”
–The Knitting Way: A Spiritual Guide to Self-Discovery

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