Saturday, August 12, 2017

Knit or Cut Bait...

"Fish or cut bait is a common English language colloquial expression, dating back to the 19th-century United States, that refers to division of complementary tasks. The use of this expression has expanded over time, sometimes including the ideas of swift decision-making (to act or not to act), and cautions against procrastination and/or indecisiveness."   -Wikipedia

This week, I had to cut bait. I had been "fishing" on a gorgeous bit of lace knitting that was kicking my knitting butt! Here it is, in its splendor, not even 1/3 finished:

I ripped and restarted this scarf 3 times. That makes 4 starts from scratch, for those who are counting. Each time I got a little farther before I made a fatal mistake that required ripping out rows and rows of lace-weight, lace knitting. It was heartbreaking every time, but I kept putting the bait back on that hook...err needles...and trying again.

When I discovered the most recent error, I estimated 2 things:
  1. It would mean ripping out another 10 rows of lace and reknitting them, probably after 1 or 2 failed attempts at just dropping down the affected stitches...again; and
  2. As it turns out, I would most likely not have enough of this yarn to actually finish the project anyway. (I should have measured that dwindling ball of yarn sooner and saved myself a heartache or twelve!)
It was at this point that I could barely look at my knitting. I would take it out, open it up and just sit there. Occasionally, I did not even open the project bag. I just sat there, cradling it gently. Sweetie would say, "Aren't you knitting?," or, "You're not knitting?," because it is odd indeed for me to have still hands in the presence of yarn. I simply could not decide whether to go on or go back, as I had so much time already invested in this project. I would sit there and sigh the sighs of the indecisive knitter. Should I keep going? Should I start something else? Should I give up knitting altogether?

::egad!::

::No!::

I knew it was doomed, and yet I held on...treasuring those stitches. I had two balls of yarn, but I would have needed three (at the least) to finish. I had tried to bring the thing to knit-night one time too many, and always had mistakes afterward...and after knitting in front of the TV...and after knitting in the presence of curious kitty cats...and after knitting in complete silence with no distractions whatsoever. Still I held out hope...knit two together here, yarn over there...just dangling that line in a sea of lace, waiting to finally catch the elusive, enormous-and-light-as-air scarf I was dreaming of.

In the end, I ripped back all 40 grams that I had knit (some of it several times) into the airiest, most beautiful, multi-directional lace I have ever run my fingers through...now, just yarn again.

Fear not, knitters and yarn lubbers. Even though I did cut bait, no lace-weight yarn was harmed in the process. I know better than to create unnecessary knots in yarn so fine! But I did admit defeat, pulling out hundreds of yarn-overs and decreases and double decreases. It was a sad day.

I cheered myself up by casting on a Color Affection shawl in soothing, mindless garter stitch, with just a few increases here and there. Purple is the theme here, with nary a yarn over in sight!
So now I will just keep swimming...err fishing...err knitting along.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health (unless it's time to cut bait)!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sandwiches

It is a new kind of sandwich for me. I mean, I know that everyone hits this point, and I knew I would get a taste eventually. I even remember worrying that it would happen while the kids were still at home. I wondered how we would care for our kids and our parents, possibly under the same roof, but I don't think I ever really considered what this would look like with everyone under different roofs.

Yes, I am talking about being smack in the middle of the current "sandwich generation," pulled in different directions by our independent, adult children and our increasingly more dependent parents. It has really hit me hard this last year-and-a-half, with all that has hit Sweetie's family. Then, a couple of weeks ago, my mom fell at home. I am grateful to Mom's close neighbors, who she called first. These great folks got her to the ER, and watched over her until I could get there.

Luckily, Mom's injuries consist only of a sprained knee, and she is steadily getting more and more mobile again. I am down to visiting mostly on the weekends now, or if she has an appointment with one of her doctors. Again, I am truly grateful to her neighbors, because I live 45 minutes away...and they can certainly get to her faster than I can. Thank you especially to Paula and Jessica for all your help!

At the same time that this was happening with my mom, Dollface and her main squeeze got the keys to a house they have bought, and I felt badly that I couldn't get super excited and run right out there that minute. I mean, I am super excited for them, and I did eventually get the "grand tour" of the new digs. (By the way, it is a great house, and yes, they are engaged!) I was a little bummed that I could not drop everything and go right away, but I am sure that Mom was glad that she did not end up on the floor again! Choosing between my parent and my kid is a relatively new experience for me...and sometimes I feel like the cheese is sliding right out of my ham sandwich!

How many of you are in this sandwich generation with me? Here in the middle, we want to support both our parents and our kids. I just did not imagine that it would be so difficult at this stage. But with both of us working full-time, and trying to keep up with our kids' lives, there are days that I am just pooped! Enter the lack of knitting...and I apologize to my knitting friends for that! I know that this is just a season, and so we continue to put one foot in front of the other, endeavoring to honor our parents (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16) and not embitter our children (Col. 3:22). Sandwiches R Us!!!

I feel like I should somehow knit a sandwich to represent this time in our lives. I would bet my eye teeth that there is a pattern for that!

Thanks for taking time out of your sandwich to stop by, and Knit in Good Health!