According to the United States Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Appropriately, I am spending the holiday weekend making my contribution to the strength, prosperity and well-being of my Kaffe Fassett Big Flower Jacket. Recently I was kind of down on the project, but like Hercules Mulligan, when you knock me down I get the fluff back up again! (Video link.)
Yesterday I finished the right front. The whole chart, and all the crazy double- and triple-stranded stripes. As I bound off at the shoulder (a temporary bindoff, just to hold the stitches), I had a rush of joy: I’m gonna finish this thing in time for Rhinebeck!
I GOT THIS.
Then I remembered: that’s not how knitting goes. Objects in mirror are larger than they appear.
So, apart from a small celebratory photo shoot, I didn’t break my stride. I jumped onto the back of the jacket. My stamina and concentration held for exactly seven of those long rows, and then I was spent. The back currently stands at 81 of 134 rows completed. (The left front is on stitch holders, at 74 rows of 134 completed.) The struggle continues.
(Don’t look too hard. That’ll block right out.)
One trick I figured out was that it’s ok to use a color from the row below for those single or double background stitches on the flower chart. If the yarn is there, I use it. I don’t tie on a new length of yarn for a single background stitch unless I absolutely can’t help it. (These single stitches form the lines separating the petals of the Big Flower; they are supposed to match the stripes on the side.) This compromise with the rigor of the instructions makes the fabric more stable, because it has fewer unanchored single stitches. I’ll have fewer ends to weave in, and fewer holes to close up. I wish I’d thought of it earlier.
Happy Labor Day, my fellow American workers, and anybody else who has a day off today.