Is there a knitting equivalent to Murphy’s law? Whenever you need a specific item to wear, you won’t be able to find any of it no matter how many you’ve knit in recent months and no matter how diligently you tear apart the house to look?
This is what happened to me last week. Snow in the forecast, a reading to get to, the first day of spring, and not a single warm hat to be found. I was so outraged with the house for hiding all my hats on me (except for Schwimmen – but with lace and a dk weight yarn, not exactly the level of warmth and coziness I was looking for), and with the weather, and with other things in life that were happening (like not having had a kitchen for weeks, and cabinets not due to be installed until April) that I marched down to Purl Soho during my lunch, armed myself with a skein of a beautiful heathered light turquoise Cascade Magnum and set of size 13 circs, and cast on for a hat. A huge hat. A quick hat. A hat that I started during my lunch and finished at 1 am that morning and wore the next day. It’s stiff and huge and has to be worn with the brim rolled up and was lovely and warm against fat wet snowflakes and cold wind. And by magic, after I made it and wore it, I found another of my hats.
The other thing that I’m working on, besides a thousand (okay, 4 pairs, half on the first sock and half on the second) socks, is a KAL with my grandmother. This is the grandmother who taught me how to knit over and over when I was little. She’s 91 years old now, and has not been in the best of health since a very sudden death in the family this past December. This is the grandmother who we love taking to Webs, the one who cooks, the one who likes my husband better than she likes her own eldest granddaughter.
Anyway, this grandmother has often lamented the lack of sweaters that are designed the way she’s used to – with set-in sleeves, and with the fronts and backs knit separately from the bottom up. So two things came together for me. One is that I’ve been listening to a lot of the Knitmore Girls podcast and love all the KALs they host. Another is that my grandmother’s birthday was earlier this month and I had no good gift ideas. But the matchy-matchy kal stuck in my head, and some blue dk weight superwash that I had sitting around, and a shorter-sleeved Lion Brand sweater that I’d had my eye on for a while. And long story short, I marched (and subwayed) up to the Lion Brand store on 18th St, printed two copies of the Shaped Cable top, bought 6 skeins of light blue LB superwash merino, and wrapped the light blue yarn and one copy of the pattern. In the meantime, I cast on a sleeve in the SMC Juvel that I had in a darker blue in my stash on the drive up to Connecticut for her birthday lunch.
The plan, as long as she’s feeling well enough, is for both of us to have the spring and summer to work on our respective blue sweaters in a sort of Grandmother/Granddaughter KAL. (We both look best in blues, so the color choice was very much on purpose.) And then come the fall, we’ll be able to look excruciatingly cute together in our twin sweaters. I’m done with a sleeve so far, as a sort of huge gauge swatch, and will be making some adjustments to the sizing, and I have high hopes that this will be fun for the two of us.