See this bit of ribbing? Once upon a time (yesterday) it was a hat, or nearly so. I was happily knitting away on it. It went with me in the car to Pendleton and it is the knitting you see in my hand in my last post posing with me in front of the Pendleton Mill. As you can see in the photo the hat was a ways along, and what you see in the photo doesn't even account for the knitting I did all the way home either. Knit along I did, ignoring the tiny elfin voice in my ear that had been whispering all the while, "Do you think you should have increased above the ribbing?" I knit on. "Isn't the gauge in the ribbing a little flabby?"the voice persisted. I wasn't using a pattern. A devotee of Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system, I had simply taken the measurement of somebody's head close to the head-size of the nameless person for whom this is meant as a Christmas present. Not listening, I knit on. Then suddenly the other night the little elfin voice, perhaps concerned about my willful muleheadedness, sat right down beside me on the bench at the ball game I was watching my son play. "Lynn," the gentle voice said, "We need to talk. It's about the hat." Perhaps you have a little elfin voice as well. Some people call it a gut feeling. I call it Edwina. I thoroughly enjoy Edwina when I'm mapping out a new project or admiring complex knitting pictures from Nordic countries in books. And I enjoy her when she looks on with approval in the middle of one of my projects as I work. However when she persists to express her doubts and concerns I think of her as a rather smart-ass skeptic and I knit faster hoping to reach that eventual point in the knitting when I can smugly say, "See?" and prove her wrong. The trouble is that I've noticed that eventual point almost never turns out to exist. Edwina isn't infallible, but she pretty nearly is. This is what she said to me about the hat, "Are you happy with it?" "It's fine I answered defiantly, I noticed I was knitting faster as we spoke. She was quiet a moment, watching me, then said, "Isn't this Qiviut you're knitting with?" "Yes." I might have been a teeny bit disrespectful in my tone when I answered, but it was a dumb question we both new the answer to."So," she went on patiently, "remember how you stood outside in negative degree temperatures in an Alaska winter combing this beautiful fluff off the still bloody hide of a dead musk ox while your fingers grew numb?" Damn it! She had me there, I knew where she was going with this. "Is this hat really worthy of your Qiviut?" she asked. The answer to that, I had to admit, was "no" and no amount of faster knitting could let me escape it, so last night I frogged it all the way back down to the cast on edge, eliminated several stitches and dropped a needle size, and today I began again. Here is what I knit this morning, pictured against the red striped fabric I am particularly fond of on the seat of a favorite rocking chair. "Eight days left to get this done before 'certain people' arrive for a visit," I reminded Edwina rather testily. She only laughed her gentle, good-natured laugh and told me she thinks that will be plenty of time. It's a small project easily done so time isn't an issue yet if you don't get distracted by your other more interesting projects. She's probably right. I know she's right. She usually always is.
And you know what? Don't tell Edwina this but. . . . I like the hat better already.