What The Heck Would You Do In a Situation Like That?
May 29, 2007
The problem with quoting Napoleon Dynamite, I’ve discovered, is that people don’t know it’s Napoleon Dynamite; they think it’s you, sounding only slightly more stupid and angry than usual. But I find my inner Napoleon comes bubbling to the surface a lot. Especially when my most sweet ideas go awry, and my skills let me down.
Remember the bright idea I had to knit half a blanket in doubled Cascade 220, and Amber the Stalwart Miterer would knit the other half, and we’d join the two halves and it would be AWESOME?
We briefly discussed what colors we had, but we weren’t much bothered about color, because Amber and I both are kind of what you would call gutsy about color and we weren’t going to be fussing about it because that’s just not The Kind of People We Are.
So. Step one, I made my half.
Step two, Amber made her half.
Being busy people in separate boroughs, we couldn’t settle on a date to get together to join the two halves. So we met downtown, bought some buttons together and exchanged news, and Amber gave me her half and I took it home. The stage direction here would be “Kay walks–no, skips– home with Amber’s half wadded up in a plastic bag. Kay is whistling in a carefree way that can only portend catastrophe.”
The deadline was looming, so I laid the two halves out on the floor. I know I overuse this expression, but can I get a ‘Ruh-roh’, people?
Damn! I knew there was something we forgot to discuss. We discussed yarn, the doubling of yarn, the needle size, how we were striping and what weird and wonderful things we were doing to the miter concept. We were very precise about the number of stitches each miter was going to have.
We didn’t discuss what gauge we might be getting, or even aiming for. Turns out that once again I am the loose-knitting champeen. Undefeated. I can knit looser than any of youse guys, any day of the WEEK. Why don’t you go tell your grandma how loose you knit?
So what to do. What to do. Like Napoleon, when the wolverines were attacking his cousins. What the heck would you do in a situation like that?
I did the decent thing. I sucked it up. I went down to a size 10 needle, picked up Amber’s yarn, and knit another half in the right gauge. What were the options? The options were not good! I could have just made Amber’s half longer–log-cabinning it to size, basically– and then joined it to my half. But that would have bugged me forever. Our two halves had the exact same number of stitches. That is the cool thing about miters–their precision. It just felt too sloppy to join them together all outta whack like that. A crime against geometry. I couldn’t do it. So I spent a couple of evenings knitting two more miters. Which as you know, I like to do. Then, feeling the deadline even more urgently, I picked up and made a nice garter stitch border all the way around (but not before trying and rejecting both the cro-Kay border (the edge roll was too strong for it) and the applied i-cord border (again with the rolling and it looked, as our young friends say, like ass). A wider garter border was what it wanted.
And now, it seems like this was meant to be. It looked really beautiful, at least to my miter-crazed eyes. I was proud to send it off to San Francisco, and proud to think of it cushioning a baby in Afghanistan. Go Amber! Go me! Go two-headed projects in general!
Amber, there is a kind of floppy set of two miters waiting for you. If you’re in the mood. I’ve got yarn for the other half and everything. Let’s remember for next time. Take time to save time, yadda yadda. Check the flippin’ gauge!