A few months ago, I very rashly did a terrible thing: I promised an adult male to knit him a scarf. I had been horrified by the group of holes (that were beyond the repairing stage) in his old scarf and thought something along the lines of: “This would be a nice and easy thing to do for someone I love.”
Huh! This was in the summer months, and when the colder days came a bit later, the intended recipient inquired about his neckwarmer-to-be. I had sort of kept the thought but hadn’t thought it was time to act on it until that reminder. So I set out to find the yarn – we had agreed it would be gray (I had told him black was not an option, and gray was as ‘crazy’ as he was going to go colour-wise). I couldn’t find anything of appropriate weight in the shade I liked so I bought a fingering-weight intending to hold it double.
I picked a pretty pattern, even had it approved by him, but when I started knitting I hated the thing. I tried a different pattern and still all my stitches looked wobblier than ever before and all I could think was “not good enough, not good enough”. I ripped and restarted several times. Then I picked up the phone and said “Go buy yourself a scarf. I’m sorry, but I can’t work under this kind of pressure.”
A few weeks later we went to a yarn store together and bought a different yarn.
Side note: Men and shopping.
The first gray he noticed – “How about this one?”
Me – “Hmm, I don’t know, let’s look at some others.”
The second gray he noticed – “Ok, how about this one?”
Me – “Yeah, ok, this is nice, good composition as well…”
“Ok, so that one then.”
“What, don’t you wanna look at some more?!?!?”
“No, no, I really like this one.”
That’s it! We were done in 2 minutes! If only I could be like that when I’m shopping!
Anyway, I took the yarn home with me and didn’t dare even look at it for a while. I was terrified. Then the date of our next meeting approached suddenly, and I knew I had to face my fears. I did some sampling. More accurately, I made a swatch with 6 (six!) different stitch patterns and then asked three people to choose the one they liked best. After getting a consensus from them, I finally had to bite the bullet and commit to knitting 660 yards in this pattern and hoping it turns out ok.
As I knit, I really paid attention to my tension and making my stitches even, but they still looked super-wobbly and generally miserable to me. I despaired, but there was no turning back. I knit on the bus, on the tram, in the evenings, in the mornings, in breaks between work… I finished. I soaked and blocked.
And then the yarn rewarded me with the best of its magic – it bloomed and all the stitches turned from ugly ducklings into beautiful swans.
And he loves it. :)