On the Brink
December 15, 2006
First things first. This is our Christmas tree. The day after we put the thing up, it took on what can only be described as a lean–a slant, a slope. See what I mean?
It’s not at all clear to me that straightening the tree will fix this problem. One touch, and the whole thing goes. It might as well be Wile E. Coyote standing on a boulder on the edge of the canyon.
I walk by this tree maybe 35 times a day, and every time I see it, I go, Enh. It could fall at any time. Our tree stand is bolted to a big square of plywood (my father is prone to screwing plywood onto just about anything), so maybe it’ll hold up. But I’m telling you: if this tree falls over, and our little glass ornaments shatter into smithereens, I truly believe that my reaction will be Yay! I don’t have to take off the lights! I can just chuck the whole thing!
Second Item: Another Free Mini-Tutorial
As I finish up my Perfect Sweater, V-Neck Edition, I have discovered a cul-de-sac of complexity that I didn’t realize existed inside this pattern. My conscience requires that I describe it for anybody out there planning to do a Perfect Sweater, V-Neck Edition.
ACTIVITY FOR NON-KNITTING READERS: PLEASE RETURN TO WHAT YOU WERE DOING BEFORE. OR WATCH THIS: JACK WHITE IN AN R.V. PLAYING A WHO SONG WITH PETE TOWNSHEND.
OK, hardcore mini-tutorialists, I’m talking about the hemmed version of the V-neck.
This is the result. Mine is not perfect, but honestly, I am not in the mood to fix it. The juncture of the V is wacky, and as with the crummy grade I got in that Beowulf class, I know what I did wrong and won’t do it again I rilly promise.
It starts out straightforwardly enough. The idea is that you’re making a cute little hem around the neckline. I like! Very nice! Suzanne, who designed this neckline, knocked herself out. It’s a tidy neckline, don’t you think? (By the way, Suzanne is having moth problems, so if you have any advice, go help her out.)
You pick up stitches around the neckline. (One cool thing is the way this yarn changes color all the time. It’s an Everlasting Gobstopper, this sweater.)
You do a bit of stockinette, knit a purl row, then knit a few more rows of stockinette.
The tricky part comes once you’ve knitted this little flappy bit. You fold the flappy bit in half and “whipstitch” the live stitches to the backside of the sweater. I have never done such a thing, and it frankly didn’t sound all that tough. But it was late, and I was tired, and I yanked a bunch of stitches off the needle, thinking I could simply stitch them down. But (of course) it all starts to fall apart once you have stitches just sitting there, uncontained. I finally realized that a person could hold the live stitches on a needle while sewing them, one at a time, to the back of the sweater.
That’s my tip for the day: do your whipstitching one stitch at a time, holding the live stitches on the needle until you need them.
That’s all I have to say.
The instructions in the pattern are completely correct. But it does make me realize that there’s always room for human error. Always.