Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Knit One, Stir One

Back in November, I started knitting a sweater. Last night, I finished it. Surprisingly, I might actually wear it.

I'd feared the final result would be misshapen. Early diagnostics revealed several mutations which threatened to undermine the structural integrity of the sweater: the back was unnaturally wide even though I added inches to the length; I didn't really know how to perform certain essential techniques (decreasing, increasing); no matter how often I measured, I struggled to make even parts that would eventually wed. It was with a sense of relief then that when I was done knitting and blocking and joining, after I'd sewed on the last button and tied the last knot, it looked like a typical collared cardigan with turn-back cuffs and nifty recessed pockets. No mere vest or crew neck pullover for me. I chose to knit a sweater with all the fixins.

My mentor will judge what type of job I've done. El Exigente might suggest I wear the next sweater I knit. (Side bar: I just discovered last week that the Colombian coffee maven's name is not Alex Ahente. ) If she knew some of my unorthodox knitting techniques, she might seize my needles. Have you ever tried knitting and cooking at the same time? I have. Never one to pass up an opportunity to multi-task, I've put the ball of yarn in my pocket and continued knitting through dinner prep more than once. Knit one, stir one, add salt. Works great with risotto.

I suspect I'm not really the knitting type. If I quit though, if I give up a habit I've indulged in nearly every day for the last three months, I may be like the smoker who manages to let go of the craving for nicotine, but can't figure out what to do with her hands. Guess I'll have to read while I'm stirring the chili tonight.

1 comment:

Kunal said...

Back home in India, I grew up around knitting. Seems odd to see all that knitting in a tropical country. But then, there's no concept of central heating, carpets and the windows are louvered to let the breeze in. So for a few months in winter, the only option is to put sweaters, cardigans and shawls on. Even though it is only 50F, but a 50 F home is cold enough. As a child I used to wonder about the knitting process -- seemed magical to see a shape grow just from transferring the wool from one needle to the other ;)