Knitting is a dangerous skill. I don’t just mean the possibility that a knitter will get fed up with people asking what she’s making and commenting that they could never have the patience for knitting (personally, I have neither the patience NOT to knit, nor the patience to explain that yet again to non-knitters), or stabbing himself with the tips of socks needles hard enough to draw blood (ask me how I know this can happen!), and balls of yarn tangling or skittering away under the table. This can all be dangerous to the knitter and the people around him, but that’s not what I mean. No, knitting is dangerous because of the ease with which it allows a knitter to exercise her perfectionism.
Hi, my name is Roza, and I am a recovering perfectionist.
*Hi, Roza!* you all chime in.
I wrote about this a fair bit over here, and now and then it gets me into some interesting situations. Happily, my perfectionism is controlled at this point such that it only really shows up in two places: at work, where I hope my boss and coworkers appreciate it; and in my knitting, where no one but me is affected by it. Not, mind you, that it doesn’t bother friends when I take a shawl that I spent weeks knitting and pull it out entirely because I don’t like the drape. But unless it was the wedding shawl I was making for the wedding which is in only two weeks (and I decided to fudge that one rather than rip it out!), their botheration doesn’t stop me frogging things when the object is not entirely perfect. The sweater I linked to above was reknit entirely once, and redone around the edges about six times. Himself finally forbade me to do anything further to the sweater for at least a year!
For further entertainment, I also get bored easily.
One day, Himself was grumping about being cold, it was about 0°F that day, I believe, so he had some justification. He decided that what he really wanted was a nice double-knit scarf, to go with his double-knit hat. Being unable to knit himself, he naturally turned to his dearly beloved wife and gazed beseechingly upon her. I groaned and went off to contemplate patterns.
Now, double knit is really dreadfully boring without some pattern to follow. I googled ‘font patterns chart‘, and showed Himself several different fonts I could use to write a witty phrase. Cross-stitch has a lot of well-documented fonts, nicely graphed out already. He picked a font that he liked, but this still left the issue of what to use for a phrase. I wasn’t too worried about length, because I could always add extra decorations at the end. But it needed to be something he liked. Over breakfast one day, I jokingly suggested ‘garrote in training’ . . . . and he loved it.
Oops. I might have created a monster.
So off I went. And then frogged. And cast on. And frogged. And winter ended. And cast on. And frogged. And summer came and went. And cast on. And finally I gave up and admitted that while it was in theory possible to make a scarf that was blue on both sides and had black lettering on just one side, I wasn’t going to make that scarf for Himself this time.
Blast it, anyway.
After casting on and working the G in such a way that I felt like it was actually going to work this time, I looked at the size of the letter and decided that it was too narrow side to side for the height. So every line of the pattern was worked twice, once over and setting up the colors, and once back duplicating the colors. it did mean that for every other row, I didn’t have to look at the pattern.
Also, after completing the G a second time (at double thick), I realized that this was going to be long and boring after all. Even knitting in the phrase wasn’t going to be enough excitement. Now, you might notice on the sample letters below, a line of black dots.
No, that’s not a decorative border.
It’s Morse Code.
Three stitches in a row for a dash, one for a dot, three stitches in blue in between letters, seven in between words.
And Himself didn’t realize it was there for at least six weeks. I refused to tell him what it said, so every once in a while, he’d steal the entire thing and see what I had added since the last time, and translate as much as he could.
Actually, I don’t think I’ll share it here, either. You’re welcome to try and translate it yourself, or make up your own ideas.
It turns out, knitting a mildly complex pattern during class actually helps me focus, so much of the scarf ended up happening during macroeconomics class. Now, finally, with winter all but over – I have finished the scarf.
The back of the scarf, of course, is black with blue letters.
The variegated blue yarn makes lovely ripples down the front of the scarf.
Yep, I think it’s perfect.