Ahhhh, Fall! For most people this time of year conjures up warm days, cool evenings, beautiful apples and jolly pumpkins showing up in the markets, and leaves aflame with color “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” indeed (did Keats know how to turn a phrase or what?).For me, all the loveliness of Autumn is summed up in one word: frenzy. Madly dashing around during the day trying to get my daughter ready to go back to high school (is it just in their biological make up that they have to wait until the week before school to remember to do that 500 pages of A.P. biology, read those 4 books, buy those new soccer cleats?)
At night, and all other free moments in-between, it is the frenzy of knitting samples for the store and for classes that are going to be taught. Now this wouldn’t be too bad if what one is teaching is something small. But for some reason I am always attracted to the projects of epic proportions. For example, the Great American Aran Afghan KAL; 4000 yards of wool. (please don’t bring up the fact that Jane Elliott has already knit 2 of them in the time I have knit 8 squares. It will trigger my inferiority complex and send my crying to my therapist).
Who could resist this cable?
My epic project of the Fall is the Rowe sweater from Brooklyn tweed, 2200+ yards of cabled deliciousness. It is a project I have been in love with for a couple of years, ever since it was added to the Brooklyn Tweed stable. However, given that it is not in my genes to actually do anything in a timely fashion (I am always on time but I seem to need that rush of Adrenalin that comes from knitting the 72 hours straight before the class is to begin) I am once more faced with a knitting frenzy.
Now if I were Beth (or Danni,or Margaret or Pam, or pretty much any other responsible knitter) I would have plotted my time throughout the summer so I wouldn’t be in such a crunch. I wouldn’t have gotten distracted by a half a dozen other projects. Perhaps I wouldn’t have even chosen such a huge project to begin with.
But take me or leave me folks, that’s just the way I roll.
One of the hardest things for me to do is decide which knitting projects to take with me when I travel. When I am home I happily sit surrounded with baskets filled to the brim with projects at various stages of completion (or, more accurately, lack of completion). If I get bored with one I only have to put it down and reach into one of the baskets. It’s almost like the old “Let’s Make a Deal” with Monty Hall “Let’s see what’s in basket number # 3!”
When I travel my packing goes something like this: I carefully chose what I want to bring and pack it neatly the night before. Then the morning of departure (not matter how early) sees me stuffing more and more things into my already strained suitcase as I anticipate every possible contingency (Freak cold wave in summer! 100 year flood in the desert Southwest! Daring midnight swim in the North Sea!)
And the same is true for knitting. Generally I like to travel with two small-ish projects. But then I start to think that I might be able to make some good headway on that king-sized afghan, or that if by some miracle I start to knit as fast as Jane Elliott and finish those two projects I’ll need at least another two projects to work on.
And let’s not even talk about the possibilities (probabilities) of what can happen if I walk into a local yarn store.
Currently I am packing for a trip to Florida to visit my mother. That translates into lots of knitting time. In this particular case my knitting packing is being dictated by the fact that I am behind on my Great American Afghan squares. Ergo, I am forcing my hand by only bringing my afghan squares with me. But then I start to feel like a whiny toddler and don’t want to do what I SHOULD be doing, I want to knit what I WANT to be doing. Do not take any odds as to whether I will end up going with just my afghan squares.
More problematic is my next trip which is to Nantucket with friends which means not as much knitting time so I should only bring one project. And that limited time could be fairly wine-soaked so the project should be simple but I need to be working on those fair isle mittens for an upcoming class and then there’s the LYS that I love (not as much as I love WY but I still like to support them) and then there’s the fact of only being allowed two carry ons which really screws everything up.
So what is the answer? Seriously, I’m asking, what is the answer? I have none.
Julie, WY's Do-bee and store wordsmith.