I finished a thing!
It’s the Ardelise cardigan by Vanessa Smith, and the yarn is Cascade 220 Sport, in Dark Plum. I wanted a cardigan that goes with everything, and dark purple goes with a lot of colours – or at least it goes with the sort of shades that I wear.
I’ve strategically photographed it to mask all the little mistakes and inconsistencies, and my great grandmother’s brooch isn’t just there to look pretty (though it does a fine job of that).
All the little faults happened because I knitted when I was ill, and distracted, and when I was too tired to bother picking back to correct mistakes.
The twinnage often bring home colourings that they’ve half-completed at school, and the other day, one of them turned up with one bearing the legend, “We learn from failure, not from success” (a Bram Stoker quote, apparently – maybe he wrote a really rubbish first draft of Dracula in which the vampire feasts on freshly squeezed orange juice instead of blood). Hang on, let me see if I can find the colouring and snap a photo… Yes! Here it is:-
The point is, if that’s true then after this cardigan, I ought to be the most learned knitter in the world. Ha, I wish. But mostly what I’ve learned is that I will primarily be wearing this cardigan at home where nobody much cares about inconsistent gauge.
Ardelise is a most excellent pattern, by the way. The faults are all mine.
Anyway, I thought of you yesterday, Dear Blog. That’s not to say that I don’t think about you the rest of the time, but this was a very specific thought along the lines of, “Here’s something that only The Blog will understand”. Picture the scenario: I’d just spent two days unpacking planks of wood, reading instructions, tightening screws, and hammering nails, assembling the new furniture for the twinnage’s bedroom. It was going OK. So far, I’d put together a wardrobe, a set of bunk beds, a desk, two desk chairs, and a chest of drawers. I had actual blisters on the palm of one hand from the screwdriver, but you don’t need your palms much in knitting, so I didn’t really care.
All that remained to be tackled was one very large chest of drawers. (Bookshelves are coming later.) I was a little bored and a little tired… which is probably how I carelessly knocked some sharp-edged wood that was leaning against the wall. It fell on the fingers of my left hand. Ouch. ←That may not have been the exact word that I uttered at the time. Not sure what I learned from that failure, Mr Stoker. Anyway, a normal person would have thought, “Oh no! What if it’s broken and I can’t drive the car / teach my children to play the harp / conduct ground-breaking medical research / wash the dishes / point at people whilst facilitating negotiations aimed at establishing world peace?!” And I’m ashamed to say that precisely none of those things went through my head. None at all. No, Dear Blog: what went through my head – and I know that you at least will understand this, even if my own family doesn’t – was, “OH NO, WHAT IF IT’S BROKEN AND I CAN’T KNIT OR CROCHET?!”
A truly terrifying possibility, I’m sure you’ll understand. I know from comments on past blog posts that some of you have endured knit-preventing injuries, and frankly, I don’t know how you came away from the experience with your sanity intact. I take my (hand-knitted) hat off to you.
Fortunately, the fingers seem to be OKish, just very sore, and the twinnage love their new bedroom. It seemed important to immediately conduct extensive testing to establish that I can still knit. Really, really, extensive testing…
But it got me thinking. When I’m appointed Boss Of The Entire World (an event that is surely as imminent as it is inevitable), I will rearrange the hospital system. There will be EMERGENCY WARDS FOR PEOPLE WHOSE ABILITY TO KNIT IS AT TERRIBLE RISK, and as an afterthought, there will be wards for everything else. OK?
“When I’m appointed Boss Of The Entire World” – only a question of time, not of “if”, I assume?
Yes, please – think of knitters in the first place. In normal times they are peaceful quiet people and deserve this special treatment.
Kind regards, Lissbeth (and: yes – on one or two occasions I thought only of my knitting capabilities while still being within the accident… There are important things in the world requiring immediate attention, and knitting is one of them.)
Oh dear, oh dear, knitters should never assembly furniture! Their fingers and in generally hands are way to precious. That counts for crocheters too.But then again, we don’t have money fountains or tree’s in our garden do we. So there you go, of to the emergency. XD
Patricia Lloyd says
I do love your blog. I am, at this moment, moving bookcases, which means moving books. Books are HEAVY. Stopped for a cuppa and your blog. It really cheered me up; I’m not the onl one who gets it wrong! You are much more heartening than Bram Stoker!
Gill Gant says
I, too, love your blog. I’m sitting at home feeling slightly under the weather (post op) surrounded by my stash. Ooooh just lovely. What to do now? Simple, mindless, socks where the yarn does the telling? Or something more challenging (teach myself brioche – will it be worth the pain?) – to be decided. I may read a bit more of ‘ the mindfulness of knitting’, then have a wee doze, followed by a bit of casting on. Or spinning…?
Love this time of year!
Send me the petition for this change to the NHS, I shall sign immediatley. I would also like tennis elbow to be renamed, crochet elbow.
Gill Gant says
I get spinner’s foot!
Ann P Wilson says
I guess “misery loves company” applies here – on two counts: one is the dangerous aspect of knitting (or spinning or crocheting) so much that one actually injures oneself (a form of carpal tunnel syndrome, I guess) and the other is that even experts knit less-than-perfect projects! How many times have I consoled myself with “no matter, it’s only for me”.
Yikes! I couldn’t knit, crochet, sew, drive, lie down or use a keyboard comfortably for four months so I’m very glad that you didn’t break anything. It’s no fun – besides which, we’d miss out too if you couldn’t write. Coddle yourself.
I’m on enforced leave from knitting and crochet due to a very painful thumb joint brought on by knitting and crochet. I am worried that it is going to be an ongoing problem.
I’m up for that particular reform of the NHS! The cardigan looks lovely to me and it’s such a pretty colour, I hope you get lots of wear out of it 🙂
Nice Piece of Work says
Your cardigan is absolutely marvellous, and I totally love the colour. And the strategically-placed brooch 🙂
Take care of your hands – my personal policy is never to move or lift anything if it isn’t life-threatening….
Keep Calm and Crochet On UK says
I once had a heavy door blow into my hand which broke my finger on my left hand – couldn’t crochet for 6 weeks, it was horrible, my friends and family were glad when I could start up again they kept complaining about the fidgeting and the twitch!
I’ll vote for you! I have just finished with 5 weeks in braces on my right hand because of surgery…no one understands ????
I have a pain in my palm from knitting. But what I find funny was your immediate reaction, after the swearing, of worrying about your stitching ability. It reminded me of an event 42 years ago when the butcher gave my toddler a hot dog to chew on. As she was chewing and I was perusing the meat counter, she started choking, really choking, on the hot dog. As I was helping her I was thinking’don’t die from a hot dog, not a hot dog, what will I tell my friends, oh how embarrassing ‘.
Your sweater is lovely… it’ll look so good on you. I’m thinking future furniture building should be considered MEN’S WORK, a woman knitters hands are just too delicate for that sort of thing.
That cardigan is gorgeous!
I knew what you were young to say as I would have said the same thing!
Ouch…I hope your hand heals quickly xx
Joanne Hortensius says
Love your blog. Please take care of your hands!!
Looks great to me!
I have been knitting for years and years and there is always inconsistencies in my knitting. I can’t figure out why those few stitches are the ones that matter to me, not the seventy billion other stitches in the sweater. Love the color and the broach, you keep it right where it is for some bling. I would have done the same thing with my fingers, tested them out for knitting and crocheting of course.
I already know what I will do when I become dictator and it has nothing to do with knitting (surprisingly). I am going to ban putting the clocks back in autumn and we will have British Summer Time all year! Your cardigan looks lovely BTW.
Recently found your blog and I LOVE it! I always tell the people I work with, I won’t do certain things (like cut wood on a saw) for fear I might lose a finger and inhibit my knitting ability. For, if I knit to keep from punching people (it’s sort of frowned upon), what would happen if I suddenly wasn’t able to knit?