Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kneurotic

Last night, I dreamt that I had finished the christening shawl.

It was washed, blocked, ends worked in. A hint of lavender permeated the tens of thousands of tiny stitches. From across the lake came a magnificent summer breeze, tickling the scalloped edges and making them dance.

I tossed it into the air and watched it drift, like a homing angel, back into my arms. I spread it out before me on the green grass, and noticed that I had spelled two of the words in the inscription incorrectly.

I woke up in a cold sweat, jumped out of bed, turned on the lights, grabbed the shawl and checked three times to make certain that there were no typographical errors in my knitting. Ten minutes later, back in bed, I was still shaking. Fifteen minutes later, I got up and checked it again.

The shawl will be finished and blocked by tomorrow night, just in time to head to Maine for the christening. But I've become a little afraid to actually wrap this thing around the baby. If it's at all true that the Spirit of the Knitter pervades his work, Abigail will grow up to be a neurotic, compulsive copy editor.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Franklin, that dream is so sad, but yet so hysterically funny!! I'm glad it was purely a figment of your imagination though! Good luck at the christening and I'm sure Abigail will not grow up to be a copy editor! lol

krazee

Anonymous said...

What's a little tic in all that perfection? I have not met you but I think the world would be a better place with more Franklins.

~~Knitting Addict~~ said...

I am sure it's perfect, Franklin! And it's so full of love even if it's not, no one will notice!

I cannot wait to see her in it!

Jen W said...

My mom has this birthday decoration--you know, the words strung together made out of posterboard? It says: "Happy Birtday"--we didn't notice until I was twelve. It's horrible to have dreams like that. I can't wait to see it.

Abby Franquemont said...

Franklin, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but there are those who suggest that the results you fear are caused not by being swathed in lovingly stitched handmade things, but simply by having been named Abigail. But the good news is that if *I* eventually managed to loosen up a little, there's hope for any obsessive Abigail out there.

I'd probably have checked the shawl a third time. In fact, just hearing about your dream makes me want to go check all my works in progress carefully for anything similar.

I, like everyone else, can't wait to see it.

Siercia said...

Your dream made my stomach lurch.

I don't think I would have gotten back to sleep after one like that, no matter how many times I checked the piece.

Cindy G said...

Yikes, knitting typos, now I have a new error possibility to worry about. Glad it was just a dream. I can hardly wait to see the finished product.

Anonymous said...

Copyeditors are just there to enjoy finding errors and correcting them, so the rest of the world never sees them. Talk about a service industry.

Your worry is that you never had a copyeditor vet the shawl first. :-) I'm sure it's fine.

cavalaxis said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that neurotic. I just started lace knitting this last week, something ludicrously simple (Branching Out) and I've frogged it and started over god knows how many times. It's like a knitting video game: see how many repeats you get before you screw up and then, GAME OVER.

I'm up to two, and have learned how to use a life line, which feels a bit like restoring from a saved game.

Can't wait to see the finished product. You're an inspiration.

Lynae said...

I think that Abigail is going to grow up knowing how much she is loved by her uncle.

Victoria said...

...and if its true that she we gain some of you from that shawl...then that also means she will grow up with a sense of humor, intelligence, talent, creativit and to be an observant, caring person...

granted i only "know" you from what you write but this part of you that you share on your blog is pretty great and i feel fortunate to be allowed to share in some of your words, thoughts, art and ideas...so though i can't know you for all that you are...this part that is here is pretty amazing if some of this comes through you to the shawl and to her...she will be fortunate and a great person...

much happiness for her christening and many blessings. ...

(sorry if this sound sappy but i do mean it) :-)

MonicaPDX said...

Well, at least Abigail's not named Rebecca. [g]

I probably would've checked the shawl about five times and never gotten to sleep afterwards!

Yep, can't wait to see it. And Abigail wrapped up in it!

Carol said...

Abigail will be swaddled in a lovewrap interlaced with uncle-ly devotion and lacey yarny goodness. That says "I loev you" across teh bottom.

Ooh, my word verification is "donsnuggle". Aw.

Jen said...

Oooooo, Franklin!

If you'll be done by tomorrow, then you'll be all ready to start a Mystery Stole!

(*duck*)

marie in florida said...

May Abigail grow up to be a confident poised spelling bee champion. i'll say my beads for her today.

LOL

sriley said...

...again, thanks for cracking me up at your expense. And I agree with Knitting Addict, the love that permeates that shawl will wrap around sweet Abigail and she'll know she is loved

Science Princess said...

I am SO glad the inscription is spelled right :-) I have dreams like that too, and will often call people in the middle of the night to confirm that something has not happened that I dreamed.

Happy knitting!
Science Princess

Sandy said...

She will grow up lucky to have a fab gay uncle to watch out for her. All us girls need one!

Rachel said...

But Franklin, she was wrapped in your knit already, we saw it, remember? and I think those knits will transfer to her the creativity and humor and all the good things!

5elementknitr said...

When I first started knitting, I made like 30 scarves in 6 weeks. I kept them all in the car for some reason and I used to have this recurring nightmare that someone was stealing my car and I was running behind it screaming, "JUST THROW OUT THE KNIIIIIITTTTTTIIIIIINNNNNGG!

LaurieM said...

Abigail will grow up to be a warm-hearted, open-minded creative genius! Oh, and let us not forget self-depreciatingly funny.

You silly little man. :-)

Anonymous said...

Franklin
go find Dolores and have a scotch.
Sal

Liz said...

But we neurotic, compulsive copy-editors are also capable of stopping and smelling the flowers; much joy to you, Abigail and all the rest of her family for the Christening...

dale-harriet said...

Franklin, I see typos. (I feel obliged to use a cavernous voice..."I see dead words".) I see them when they flash by on tv screens, on signboards as I drive past.. and that is SUCH a dream like I might have. I'm safe though; no way I could knit words in. And Abigail? May she wear that lace on her wedding day and smile at you as she sees you. Blessings on her and her christening - and on her family and especially that one Uncle.

Anonymous said...

But maybe she'll also grow up to be kind, caring, accepting, funny, entertaining, and brilliant - just like her uncle!

Petunia said...

She will also be a little girl who knows that she is loved very much.

knitnzu said...

At least your mistakes are just in your dreams! Maybe Abigail will grow up to be an obsessive neurotic knitter?

knittingjuju said...

My mom used to tell me that great needle artists used to work a mistake into their work on purpose, because a perfect piece is bad luck, as if you're trying to compete with the gods, to whom perfection belongs. I can't see how this is possibly helping you... oh forget it...

Ann said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to see it.

What's one more OC in the world? She'll be in good company.

Anna-Liza said...

Oh, geez, I would have checked it a few times more than that! And I promise I'm not even a little OCD (you can tell if you ever see my house).

But, I was a copy editor for a while!

Kristen said...

I've had those dreams. {shudder, twitch} I prefer to think it means Abigail will be as beautiful as the shawl. You're merely overwhelmed by the beauty you've created. (Hey, man, I'm having a damned Chicken Soup moment, just go with it!)

David said...

On my bar mitzvah invitations, it stated that guests were cordially invited to my "bar bitzvah."

The shawl is going to be fabulous, and a little neuroticism never hurt anyone. I'm sure both will serve Abigail well.

Jo said...

Are you implying there's something wrong with being a neurotic, compulsive copy editor? It's really not as bad as most people make it out to be...

Congratulations on Abigail's christening, and on completing the shawl.

Rabbitch said...

She could also grow up to be a short homosexual photographer. You are so many things to so many people -- the possibilities are endless.

Don't worry. Dolores will make sure she grows up just fine.

Stop screaming.

Janet said...

Looking forward to the pictures - don't worry about misspellings - the baby can't read yet. And besides, aren't there supposed to be tiny mistakes to show that nothing is perfect.

jessie said...

For the record, I was a copy editor for 6 years. Not neurotic. Not compulsive. (Which is why I had to give up being a copy editor.)

Love your last photo, by the way.

DAWN said...

You forgot to add big hearted, compassionate and hot.

Anonymous said...

Could be worse. I'm knitting a Star Wars hat for my grandson. I'm picturing "May the forc be with you". Sounds like an Obi-Wan all-you-can eat buffet!

Carol said...

Or she may grow up to be meticulous....

Lady Wyvern said...

she could do much worse!!!
Im sure it will be fine!

Marilyn said...

You, the man who knit words into the yoke of his first sweater, worrying about typos? Yeah, I can dig it.

Typos in a shawl. That's a far greater nightmare than print screwups. Worthy of a huge anxiety attack. I was a copy editor for several years, a job I loved. However, that's exactly why I don't knit words. Because I know where my attention span ends.

Can't wait to see the finished product. With baby.

Sneaksleep said...

Well, you may think of yourself as a neurotic, but all I can say is, if that baby ends up sharing even a little bit of your spirit, she's on the right track.

anneonymousone said...

All negative vibes wash out or are removed during blocking, leaving only the love, attention to detail, hopes for a vibrant future, prayers, mantras, and all the other beautiful things you have brought/are bringing/will bring to this shawl.

And, folks, it's properly pronounced as "O (period) C (period) D (period)." My house doesn't know I have a touch of it, but the rest of my life is certain.

After _1000 Knitters_ the next book will be _Unclehood: Knitting for Abigail_.

KnitNana said...

Oh dear. I think I'd probably be a touch over the edge, too. That is such an important shawl. BUT...it's stunning - Abigail will love it down the pike when she's old enough to appreciate such things.
And you're just a teddy bear of a doting uncle.
(now...go get some sleep!)
(((hugs)))

Violetsrose said...

I actually AM a neurotic, compulsive copy editor - and its great!

Cherice said...

The shawl is perfect, even if your nightmare had been true and there'd been a misspelling it would have made it nonetheless precious. I'm with everyone else, I'm looking forward to seeing beautiful Abigail wrapped in her beautiful new shawl.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

She could do worse ... a copyeditor isn't so bad. Stop worrying, everything will be fine. (any errors become part of the design and makes is more personal)

TheWoolgatherer said...

Ah, but the beauty of the editing business is that it's expected that everyone makes mistakes! that's why there are so many layers of editing and proofing - maybe this shawl will help Abigail accept that she'll make many mistakes in life, and realize she'll need to rely on her uncle and many other "proofers" to get it right :)

rebecca said...

Sorry, I'm a writer and I'm with Franklin. Middle-of-the nighttime editing is best! Your brain's had a chance to relax, and no one can see you eating Oreos with a scotch back while you do it!

Mary said...

I saw a baby in a beautiful lacey sweater during the parade on the 4th. I said "There's a baby who is loved"

The Grandma was quite touched, and Mama said "I never thought of it that way... how beautiful."

Love isn't about perfection, and I bet your shawl will be her most favorite thing because it shows how much she is loved... misspelled words and all.

Maryann said...

Fear not the compulsive neurotic in us all. I've lived my entire adult life as a neurotic, compulsive copy editor. The same tendencies that make me a good copy editor make me a decent beginner knitter: attention to detail, the ability to rip out and correct things and perfectionism.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franklin, it is just as likely that she will be spirited with your creativity, generosity, fabulous imagination and gentle loving soul. I can't think of a better gift for your niece than to have an uncle as wonderful as you!

janna said...

For their wedding, my brother and his now ex-wife got a framed filet-crochet hanging of their last name. It was lovely, but, unfortunately, misspelled. Now, the name is a little different, but very common where I grew up, and the woman who crocheted it had known dozens of people with that last name for most of her life. "What do you say?" (besides thank you) was quickly followed by "How did this happen?"

Anyway -- a long way of saying that proof-reading your knitting is not a bad idea!

PICAdrienne said...

If the spirit of the knitter has invaded the shawl it will be a good thing, as the spirit of the knitter was filled with love and awe and wonder for the next generation of his family. What could possibly be better?

firefly said...

Once, long ago, when I worked in word processing for a fairly large company, the company attorney sent down a contract with a request for a global search and replace.

He wanted all instances of "his" replaced with "its".

Only somebody forgot to program in a space before both words. So the contract was printed out and sent back to the attorney, and every instance of the word "this" had been replaced with "tits."

Fortunately, the attorney had a sense of humor ...

Terri said...

Yes, but she will be witty as hell too!

Andrea R said...

When you get to Maine, I will wave from just over the border in Canada.
*waves anyway*

Linda said...

What little I could discern of the blessings via stitched thread (Did I imagine the words 'Rise Above'?) lifted my soul, as did the suggestion that Abigail may one day wear your loving work of knit art as a wedding veil. This translates as overwhelming approval from KnBloggers!
I've heard that what we substitute for self-critical zingers can change our outlook, so I vote for "learned, inspirational, artistic loving Unky." Repeat until you believe.

sahara said...

I've dreamt of knitting disasters before a major project ended; and I take an aspirin a day now, in case I suffered a stroke I didn't know about.

Hopefully, you'll meditate somewhere quiet in Maine, before you present it to her. Don't worry, it'll be alright.

Louie1a said...

A beautiful shawl inspired by a beautiful baby. Congratulations on both!