October 18, 2004
How the heck are you? Today, I’m putting the finishing touches on Soccer Pullover. In my Knitting Plan, this was a One-Week Project, from cast-on to Finished Object. At the present time, I am well into Week Two. Oh well.
I’ve received Reader Mail informing me that in the UK, this would be called Football Pullover. This is one of those moments when two of my strongest impulses collide. On the one hand, it is my firm policy to adopt all Anglicisms that I possibly can. Why, just last night I was telling Hubby to put a piece of luggage in the boot of our motorcar. “Blimey, man, get yer skates on–we’re bloody late!” said I. (I’m not saying I’m good at pretending to be British; just that it is my firm policy to do so.)
But in this case, even if it means forgoing an opportunity to put on the Airs of the Dubiously English, I am sticking with Soccer Pullover. Why? Because I grew up in Nebraska, where the American version of football is The Most Important Thing in Life PERIOD. As a small child, I quaked when my dad leapt to his feet, roaring at Coach Bob Devaney on the television screen. The house shook, and I worried that Life As We Know It would end if we lost the annual game with Oklahoma.
Since playing football was compulsory for boys of that time and place, I also associate football with my brother looking like he was going to retch and/or cry on rides home from ‘midget football’ practice. I have never been more powerlessly angry at anybody, ever, than I was at the so-called ‘coaches’ who stood on the sidelines shouting at 10-year-olds who missed their blocking assignments. If I could have struck them dead on the spot, North Omaha would have been littered with the corpses of middle-aged tyrants.
One of my promises to my child self was that, when I grew up, as God is my witness, I’d never watch football again. Not even the Orange Bowl. I am very good at keeping promises to my child self, to the point that I have sometimes forgotten, and called home on New Year’s Day, right in the middle of the Big Game. Everyone is surprised that I not only don’t know the score, I don’t know who “we” are playing. I’m all, Dude, I don’t watch football, and they’re all, ‘Nah….really?’ For it is unthinkable to them that anyone doesn’t watch football. (I know how you love your Tennessee Titans, Ann; this is my personal baggage, which does not represent the views of Mason-Dixon Knitting.)
Enough reliving childhood trauma, therapeutic as that is (for me): back to the knitting content!
Last night during the extra innings of the Yankees/Red Sox game (oy! more sports!), I had ample (very ample) opportunity to sew the ends into the back of the Soccer Ball Motif. See how nice?
Sewing in the ends took me–
a. Many hours
b. More time than I can possibly justify
e. All of the above
The answer is (e), but it was mindless and therefore deeply satisfying. I use the sewing-in process to make little nips and tucks that close holes in the color changes of the intarsia. I know I should prevent these holes from forming in the first place, but holes have a way of occurring even in the best intarsial experiences. (I am always so happy when I see a little hiccup in an intarsia sweater photographed in a Rowan book–they’re human! Yay!) I’m curious to see what will happen on the back after the shrinking process. I tried not to pull very tight, to leave a little shrink-room. Usually the shrinkage helps keep ends from popping out, so I’m cautiously optimistic that these guys will play nice and behave themselves.
Earlier today (but not so early that I had decent light for a picture), I did a three-needle bind-off of the short-rowed shoulder seams.
(What is that gold string? It’s an elastic cord from the box of Lore’s chocolates that Cheryl gave me when I visited Philly 10 days ago. When I reached the back neck on the train ride home, I improvised a stitch holder, and ate some chocolates to keep my strength up.)
And here I go, after picking up 92 stitches for the neckband:
The white doughnut is an elastic hairband posing as a gigantic stitch marker to identify the start of a new round of the neckband. Like my resourceful pioneer ancestors, I can make a stitch holder or marker out of pretty much anything. In this case it saved me the trouble of getting off the chair and walking two steps to get a proper one out of my tool kit.
One thing I’ve been looking forward to is seeing how this thing fades. It goes into the hot wash tonight. Can you stand the play-by-play knitting excitement?