Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Christmas Gift

Have you ever tried to make something for someone that lives in your own house without them knowing about it? This happened to me late last November.

I wandered into my local yarn shop (Churchmouse Yarns & Teas on Bainbridge Island - fantastic shop and highly recommended), and hunted around for ideas. I wanted to make Mrs. TSMK a Christmas gift, but hadn't decided on the item. One of the shop samples caught my eye. It was a really nice shawl with a drop stitch pattern. After chatting a bit with one of the ladies in the shop, I learned that it was a called a Clapotis (pattern here: - done in Misti Alpaca handpainted baby suri silk. This, I thought, would be something Mrs. TSMK would enjoy. I picked out some yarn, went home and surreptitiously printed out the pattern, and hid yarn and pattern away from prying eyes.

Christmas was a short four weeks away, and I needed to move fast. I carried the project with me every work day, knitting as possible on the ferry and at lunch in a quiet (read: deserted) coffeeshop blocks from my office. Every weekend, I would disappear to "run errands," always ending up either at Churchmouse or some other local spot where I could knit. Every night, I patiently waited for Mrs. TSMK to get sleepy so that she would wander upstairs to bed, allowing me to work on the gift undisturbed.

Gradually, I began to panic. The pattern isn't especially complicated, but it is a lot of knitting. Mrs. TSMK started asking me why I wasn't coming to bed until the early hours of the morning. She began trying to sit up later every evening, so that we might have some time together without the kids. I countered by controlling the remote control and turning to the most boring, sleep-inducing programs I could find. On December 22, just before midnight, I knit the last stitch.

Now, this pattern demonstrates that there are at least two kinds of people. Those who will unravel all the dropped stitches as they go, and those who will wait until the end to unravel all the dropped stitches in the finished piece. I waited to the end. I put the piece in my satchel, and headed off to bed, planning to unravel the dropped stitches the following day.

The next morning, on the ferry, disaster revealed itself. I had failed to drop a critical stitch, about 3 inches from the end of the piece. I was crushed. I searched around for advice from knitting friends, as well as the Churchmouse staff. I looked on Ravelry for suggestions from anyone who might have committed this sin before. There was unanimous agreement that the only true way to fix it, was to rip back to the mistake, and reknit. And so that's what I did. I finished the piece, wrapped it and put it under the tree for Mrs. TSMK at around 1:00 a.m. on Christmas morning. -TSMK

Here is the finished product:

No comments:

Post a Comment