I can feel it in my bones, and no mistake. Usually happens to me about this time of year, when winter taps constantly at the window like a persistent but unwelcome gentleman caller. It's too early for spring cleaning by months, but I feel I must do something productive indoors or run mad. So I line up all the unfinished projects and give them marching orders. You, you, you, you and especially you–outta here!
Happily, this weekend I was entirely surrounded by knitters. A body can really get things done in such company, as at no point will it be suggested that wouldn't you like to put your needles down and sleep, or eat, or pick up the Wii controller and pretend to shoot things. (There was some fuss on Ravelry about a knitting game being created for the Wii. I find the idea ridiculous, but could see the point of a game in which you get to slap people who tell you that you knit too much.)
My house guest, as I mentioned in the last post, was Carol of Go Knit in Your Hat. Carol is one of those knitters who make you wish you had six hands so you could knit three projects at once. Ideas bubble out of her effervescently.
In spite of brutal temperatures, a good crowd turned up at Loopy Yarns to pick up Carol's book and meet the author. I got to sit at one side and watch. This is Carol, signing.
(Some of her inscriptions, I regret to say, were quite unmaidenly. My delicate tastes were affronted.)
The next day we were back at Loopy again, to rendezvous with Knitters for Obama.
They were putting together the batch of chemo caps knit by the group for donation to University of Chicago Medical Center. There were (I think) about 200 hats to sort and label. We were awash in hats. Submerged in hats. Inundated. Very nearly immolated.
Meanwhile, I was working on a hat of my own. I'd started it in August, using a handout from Knitting Camp. I was determined to learn from it the basics of Bavarian Twisted Stitch. Unfortunately, when I hit the shaping at the top I suddenly felt quivery and unequal to moving ahead. There were no instructions, you see–only Meg's very sensible advice to proceed according to one's own taste and best judgment. Alas, I am prone to question daily whether I have any of either.
When picked up the hat again on Friday, I couldn't understand what my trouble had been. There wasn't much left to do, and all of it was straightforward. I closed up the top after about two hours' work, and shoved it onto the head of Lumpy, my phrenology bust/hat model.
I'm not cuckoonuts about the way the shaping turned out. Next time, I'd arrange the decrease points differently to keep the major patterns in play longer. On the other hand, it's always interesting to see–once again–that if you plot a course of action in your knitting and you stick to it, the end result will at least have a certain orderliness to recommend it.
I am, may I add, extremely taken with Bavarian Twisted Stitch and wish to waltz with it again. In spite of my Urge to Finish Everything, I can't help contemplating what new project I could work it into.
Probably I'll tackle another hat, in a different color. Because I put this one on and realized the yarn (Shepherd Classic Wool #1816) doesn't suit me. So Susan, if you're reading this, I sure hope you like your new hat.
I can't sign off without mentioning the Inauguration, but find better heads than mine have already written of it so eloquently that I have nothing of much merit to contribute.
I will say this. For eight years, I have watched the government–my government, the one I was always taught was of, by and for the people–do everything in its power to divide the country into us and them. I have listened, shattered, as my fellow citizens have questioned my loyalty, my liberty, and my right to exist.
Well, I'm still here and I'm still loyal. This place ain't perfect, but it's mine and I love it. In spite of eight years of misrule by as sorry a pack of weasels as ever held office, I still believe that America, at its heart, is a nation founded on noble instincts and good ideas.
As Mr. Obama takes the oath, I wish him luck. And I hope that when the history of this era is written, that January 20, 2009 will be remembered as a good day–the day we took our first, uncertain step on new and upward path.