Do I Or Don’t I?
April 26, 2010
Well, I’m back. I went. I’ve just survived a couple of things: 1) my 25th college reunion and 2) a really unfortunate episode with the shawl that I started a couple of days ago.
I don’t know which was more unnerving, really.
The shawl thing went like this.
The second — and I mean second — I stuck the last blocking pin in the Diminishing Rib Cardigan, I craved a project that would be smooth and silky and fine gauged and not involving any sheep whose name I knew. This led me quickly to cotton, which tends not to be named, and to a shawl pattern I’d seen on Twist Collective. Susanna IC’s Cascata is a watery pattern, with bubbles and such, and I liked that it wasn’t all that big. The yarn, remnant of a shawl four years ago, seemed like a good match.
All went well until I noticed, sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting for my flight home, that some bubbles weren’t lining up right.
That rolled-up paper napkin marks the offending, missing decrease.
It was early enough in the project that I knew it would bug me to have that one row of misaligned bubbles. But then I thought, Who on earth cares? I care! I don’t care! Making a decision on fixing a mistake can spiral right down to fundamental and world-rocking contemplation of why you knit, what it means to correct a mistake, to let something go, to regret things let go or not let go — aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! Help meee!
Between the Cinnabon cloud drifting over my head and the endless line of airplanes coming out of the sky directly toward me, I swirled into a cosmic flakeout. I managed to drill down to worrying about the concept of reunions at tidy little liberal arts colleges, and why it is that the placid successfuls seem to return to their colleges at a higher rate than nerdy outliers like me. I decided the absent classmates had rigged up some other superawesome reunion in Tuscany and didn’t tell me. I also had the thought, as I stared at the misaligned bubbles, that most people at that reunion felt at least a bit on the periphery. If I’d taken a poll, probably nobody would have said they were in the center of it all, back in the day.
It wasn’t a grim weekend, actually, despite the cosmic flakeout. I saw some great old friends, met people who told me amazing and weird stories. A highlight was seeing the guy I edited The Davidsonian with back in the day. A quarter century later, David has outwritten me 7 books to 2 (halves of two books, actually!), 150 academic articles to 0. He informed me that The Davidsonian is digitally archived now. (The 1983-84 years are the ones where you can see our blood in the ink.) The college paper was it for me–the place where all my energy went. While everybody else was at the Thursday night disco, I was upstairs setting type and writing ranty editorials about the new athletic complex.
I left with two books by classmates that I want to read: David’s book Dying Declarations: Notes from a Hospice Volunteer and Reasons to Believe: One Man’s Journey Among the Evangelicals and the Faith He Left Behind by John Marks. AND, prize of all, my favorite English professor, Dr. Holland, emailed me a ghost story he just wrote.
Knitterly Hi-lites from the Weekend
Fellow classmate/blogger/tweeter/Rhinebecker Kelly was my next-door neighbor at the hotel. It was a relief to have a knitter nearby.
I ran into Caroline, a Davidson senior/knitter who was my source for info about Davidson campus mayhem a couple of years ago when NCAA fever hit the school.
I witnessed a giant log cabin blanket at The Needlecraft Center, the yarn shop I lived above my senior year.
Kim said that they have a knitting group where everybody makes log cabin blankets. GLORIOUS! Blankets in quantity!
And yes, in the airport, I decided to go ahead and rip out the misaligned bubbles.
At one point the mess trailed across three seats, with hours of knitting returned to a puddle of slippery, ripped-out yarn on the floor.
Did I enjoy ripping out those thousands of stitches? No. It was sort of unpleasant. Am I glad I did it?
Well, yeah, I guess I am.