I have been knitting on the neck-down sweater for about a month now. I know that sounds like a lot for something in plain old stockinette, but it is a project that only sees action when I have an opportunity to do something else at the same time, like gossip ruthlessly with my Tuesday Night Knitters, sing lullabies to The Boy in the dark, or make running commentary on the driving maneuvers of my husband from the shotgun. Needless to say, because of my evaluation of his driving, he doesn't let me in the car with him very often. I am, in some ways, grateful for this. In other ways, I want to know if he drives off the cliff and lands upsidedown in a tree fifty feet off the ground. I might be wearing the windshield, but at least I'd know.
So I knit on the sweater when I don't have to look. Which is a good thing, I have been thinking, because of the general mysteriousness of a neck-down sweater, knit in one piece. It has, as I have mentioned here before, a quality of emerging as a sweater that is not unlike a very slow motion film of a butterfly opening its wings for the first time. The pattern even admits that while the instructions seem cryptic at first, that the knitter should trust that it will all work out and really, really truly honestly become something recognizable as a sweater in the end. So having trusted, having knit, having unfurled the completed body section on the neck down sweater, I tried it on and found that it indeed is a sweater and one that fits beautifully. However, I also discovered something about the yarn that I probably would have seen long before this had I ever bothered to look down at my own knitting: every skein of Manos del Uruguay is different. SO different, in fact, that the label has a very clear instruction about how to use the yarn to its best advantage. It says: No two skeins are exactly alike and there are no dye lots. We therefore recommend. . . [that you]alternate knitting two rows from one skein with knitting two rows from another skein to give an overall blended effect.
Ah-hem. Did I read this label any of the many times I had to carefully detangle and clip it with the skill of a surgeon from each of the skeins I knit into this baby?
Soy una knucklehead.
Why is it I can handle intarsia and lace, yet a simple stockinette project manages to find a surreptitious way to foil me? Hubris! Hubris I tell you! Excessive Pride: that thing your English teacher made you write paper about when you read the Cliff Notes' Oedipus Rex Sophomore year.
I am currently breathing deeply in preparation for a total do-over. I may shelve this one for awhile and knit washcloths because those, I know, I can knit without incident or humbling comeuppance. I can use a little less Greek tragedy in my knitting for awhile.