Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Tale to Tell

Today my head hurts.

I've got a ton of things to do. Sweet Pea took a nap on the couch and peed on it. So I need to lug out the heavy carpet cleaner and steam clean my couch. And my vacuum is making a new and interesting noise, so I need to find my receipt from whatever "safe place" I stashed it a year ago, so I can then call the Dyson people and fight with them to make them fix my vacuum. And don't tell me all about Dyson's fabulous customer service. Cause I've got a broken yellow Dyson in my garage that says they won't do jack without the receipt. I feel exhausted at the idea of making a phone a call and fighting with them to fix what shouldn't be broken after only a year. I'm going back to $80 vacuums. The shelf life is just the same. And there's laundry and dishes. And my family room really needs vacuumed. Oh wait. I can't do that last one, cause my vacuum is making a new and interesting noise, so I gotta unearth my receipt from whatever "safe place" I stashed it a year ago so I can call the Dyson see how the to do list cycles around in my head. But my head hurts, so all I want to do is sit still in one place. Enter BLOGGING stage left. Why didn't I think of this sooner?

So in my efforts to sit quietly in one place for a long period of time let me tell you a story.

A story of a poor wife.

The man she love.

And his unrealistic expectations of a sweater.

Go get a snack. And something soothing to drink. This could get long. And possibly ranty.

Once upon a time there was a wife who loved her husband very much. She thought he made the sun rise in the sky every morning. Her heart beat just for him. He asked her to make him a sweater. With stars in her eyes she assured him she would knit him anything his heart desired, just pick a pattern. She loved him so much, she dreamily thought of creating him a sweater of wool and love that would keep him warmer than any sweater known to man, cause you know, it was knit with love, and love is way warmer than wool alone. Ask any Grandmother, they'll tell you its true. And every time he wore this sweater he would feel how much she loved him. He just needed to pick a pattern.

They looked at every pattern they could find. But none suited the Husband. This one had the wrong neck. This one had the wrong sleeves. He didn't like the pattern on this one. This one was too plain. He was so picky the wife secretly wondered how he ever decided on anything he liked. But she didn't say such things out loud. That wouldn't have been very nice, a loving wife does not criticize her Husband. Instead she asked him what he DID like. He left the room and came back with a sweater from his closet. It was a sweater his beloved Grandmother had bought him. He wanted a replica of a sweater he already owned. The wife didn't get it. He already owned this sweater. Why did he want her to knit another sweater just like the sweater he already owned. Maybe he wanted it in another color? No he wanted it brown, just like the original. Different collar? No, same collar? Can she make it with dropped sleeves, since she was a new knitter and only knew how to make sweaters with dropped sleeves? No he insisted on set in sleeves, just like the sweater his Grandmother had given him. No, the sweater must be an exact replica of the sweater he already owned.

Feeling a little less starry-eyed, and a little more concerned about her ability to actually pull this off (set in sleeves?!!!) the wife started measuring the sweater. She measured and measured and measured until she could stall by measuring no longer. It was time to look for yarn.

Being poor and without a local yarn store they turned to e-bay for yarn. They found a cone of yarn in what the wife thought was a terrible depressing grey toned brown. But the Husband thought it was the perfect mushroom brown. And since it was His sweater they purchased the cone.

When the yarn arrived the wife was even more depressed by the prospect of knitting this sweater. The yarn was very stiff. So stiff it was like knitting with twine. The gauge swatch softened once it was washed. But knitting with the unwashed yarn left deep grooved in the wife's poor fingers. The Husband was not unsympathetic to her plight. He took her to the Big Box Craft store for some Simply Soft Yarn so her hands could take a break from the harsher wool. But he was not sympathetic enough to rethink the sweater. He still wanted the sweater. The depressingly grey brown sweater. Knit on size 3 needles. Impossibly tiny needles for a man's sweater. With a mind numbing 3 x 2 ribbing pattern. 3 x 2 ribbing that never ever ended, ever ever ever. With yarn that actually cut the knitter's hands. This sweater was Evil.

But the wife loved her Husband. She loved him so much she wanted to make him happy. So she knit the Evil sweater.


And sometimes she knit soft baby sweaters. And booties. And hats. And she discovered Knitpicks. She abandoned Simply Soft and she discovered Wool. Not evil twine like wool that cut her fingers as she knit, but soft merino wool that was like knitting a cloud. And she discovered not so local yarn stores. She discovered Alpaca. And cotton. And cashmere. Oh the cashmere. She knit socks and socks and more socks. She dabbled in sock design and discovered she is no Cookie A. There was so much to learn and touch and knit. And in the corner there was always Evil.

She knit Evil. She knit miles and miles of ribbing for the body of the sweater. She knit to where the body would split for the armscye. And then she let it sit for a few years. Fear paralyzed her. Set in sleeves. Why did he have to insist on set in sleeves? Those stupid sleeves. She let it sit. She researched sleeve cap design. She lived sleeve caps. She designed a different sweater with set in sleeves. And the sleeves were failure. This did not bolster her confidence. Instead resentment started to grow. She hated this sweater. She hated this yarn. She hated the color. She hated the ribbing. She hated having no pattern. She might even hate her Husband just a little for being so darn picky. Fifty billion patterns in the world and he can't find one he like?

But then he comes home from work and kisses he so sweetly, and she is so happy he is safe, and she remembers how he is the reason her heart beats. And she forgives him. And she frogs the entire sweater (because after sitting for years her personal gauge has changed) and she begins anew.

And she knits miles and miles of 3 x 2 ribbing in depressingly grey brown color with yarn that cuts her fingers. It is Evil. She tries to ignore the voice in the back of her head that tells her this sweater will never be soft enough to wear. She is wasting her time knitting this sweater, for it will never be soft enough to wear. She knits the entire body of the sweater. She knits the arms up to the sleeve cap. She is almost done. So close to a completed sweater. All she has to knit is that dreaded sleeve cap. But in her heart of hearts she knows what the little voice says is true. She does not know what she is knitting with, but she suspects it is meant for weaving, or something other than hand knitting. It is yarn, but not all yarns are created equal and this yarn was never meant to be worn as a sweater.

When her Husband comes home that night she shows him the almost completed Evil and tells him it will never be a sweater. She will knit him a sweater, but not this sweater. Not with this yarn. He says he understands, but she can tell he doesn't. He just knows that she has been knitting for seven years and has not knit him the one thing he has asked for.

The wife loves her Husband, he makes the sun rise in the sky, but there are limits. The man needs to learn to compromise. She goes to her not-so-local Yarn Store. She buys some lovely chocolaty brown worsted weight yarn. It is soft and smooshy and warm. She knits on size 6 needles. She knits miles of 3 x 2 ribbing but it isn't so bad, because it is on larger size 6 needles, and the yarn is soft and smooshy and doesn't cut her fingers. And it is chocolaty brown, not depressingly grey brown. The only problem is her uncontrollably craving for Hershey kisses.

For three weeks she knits Evil 2.0 on the couch in front of her Husband and never once does he ask her what she is so industriously working on. She consults her knitting friends. She isn't sure if she should feel clever that she is working on his sweater in front of him and she can still surprise him with it, or if she should feel insulted, she's been working on the darn thing for three weeks and he hasn't once asked what she's working on. They decided she should feel clever. And the wife knit on, and on, and on. Until she reached the sleeve caps.

She calculated, and knit and sewed them in, and ripped them out, and recalculated, and re-knit and sewed them in and ripped them out, and recalculated, and re-knit and sewed them in and ripped them out. This went on all day. She sat on the couch watching movies with her Husband just knitting and un-knitting. The longer the day went on, the more frustrated the wife became. The Husband sat beside her all say long but remained silent regarding her knitting. At the end of the day she threw the whole thing down in frustration. She wanted her Husband to try the stupid thing on, but if he wasn't asking about the sweater she wasn't going to tell him, because she is just stubborn for no apparent reason like that. She threw her sweater down and cried "I hate all this stupid ribbing." To which the Husband replied "At least someone is getting a ribbed sweater."

The loving wife's head exploded right there on the couch.

As she tried to shove grey matter back where it belong she asked "Just what do you think I've been working on for the past three weeks."

"A sweater, you're knitting yourself a sweater. You're always knitting yourself a sweater."

"And why would I knit myself a brown 3 x 2 ribbed sweater."

"I don't know."

"Put the stupid thing on so I can check the sleeve cap."

And that is how the Husband found out about Evil 2.0. A few more rips and re-knits and the wife thought she might just have finally stumbled upon a sleeve cap that would work. But with all the pulled in ribbing she wouldn't be sure until after the blocking.

Which is where Evil 2.0 stands now. It is blocking. All brown and ribbed and so close to done the wife can't believe it.

And last night the Husband got a stern lecture that yes the wife is always knitting herself sweaters because she sees a pattern she likes, and then she knits herself a sweater from the pattern. Easy peasy. If he would like more sweaters then he needs to find a pattern he likes and she would be happy to knit him a sweater from the pattern. She'll even set him up on the Ravelry pattern browser to help him find patterns. Or he could divorce her and marry a pattern designer. Those are really his only options. Cause the wife has realized that she will not allow her love for him to be measured by the inches of wool she knits for him.

The End.


shiguy4076 said...

Yay! I remember you starting Evil back when you taught me to knit when bird was a baby! He should kiss your toes in gratitude because you rule

Katrina said...

Fabulous! I can't wait to see a picture of the finished work of art. And the era of Evil will finally be vanquished.

You have a way with words even when your head hurts. I hope your headache goes away fast.

Corrina said...

You a really, really good wife. He should keep you.

Lainey said...

You're an amazing, fabulous wifey, he should wear Evil 2.0 with pride and know that you busted your behind trying to get the sweater set. You rock!!