My husband is very concerned about the neck of the sweater I am knitting for him. We have pulled out all of the other store-bought sweaters in his drawers (there are three of them), discussed their relative merits and fitting issues, and come up with what for him is the perfect outline of a round neck for the sweater. He is very concerned about the wool not fitting him too snuggly. He makes gagging noises when he describes the perfectly innocent roll neck his ex-wife's mother gave him their second Christmas together. This gesture is very much a metaphor, I understand that, but the sweater . . . I am concerned about the sweater. Another sweater has relaxed pleasingly through much tugging and twitching, but the smokey purple colour and style, I assert, makes him look like a four-days-dead accountant. So the issue with the sweater pleasing him lies primarily with the neck.
He says it's because he thinks he may have been strangled to death in a previous life.
If you knew the mister at all you would understand that this is a rare bit of spiritual non-sequitur from a man otherwise rooted in the tangible. He is either an athiest or an apatheist (as in he doesn't care if there's a god or not) depending on how pissed off he is with Jerry Falwelll that day. For him to say anything about past lives, especially his own, is a signal to me that the sweater neck is so important to the overall wearability that nothing short of hyperbole will communicate the seriousness of the matter. And this is also very much a metaphor, I understand. It was my idea to make the damned thing in the first place. I wanted to make another attempt at knitting him a sweater that he would actually wear. And yet my knitterly love is in danger of strangling the man. I must tread lightly if I want him to wear it at all.
So I have knit up the neck a few times. The first attempt fell a little short, given the anticipated properties of the Silky Wool to relax a bit with some wear. The second attempt a little closer, considering the added length to the neck from the shoulder saddles minus the ribbing to be knit up (but not too far up). And then there's the problem of the matching the front pattern to the back across the saddles which leaves me with a few extra stitches that require a re-knitting (again) of the front decreases. I have to remind myself that whether the Mister's fear of stranglation is rooted in reincarnation or rhetoric, that I am here of my own volition. Will I get the neck right? Will the Mister wear it? Is there life after Irish Moss?