11 January 2012

Madame DeFarge's Final Reckoning

Well, the Christmas knitting has finally come to a standstill. Although given the Herculean push during the final days, I should probably begin knitting now for next Christmas!  Seriously, I was actually tucking in yarn ends on a few items only moments before they were going to be unwrapped by their recipients. But then I am the crazy woman who once finished hemming a dress I'd made for a friend's wedding as I sat on the bus on my way to said nuptials. Did I mention I was wearing the dress at the time? I think I still have a small scar from the needle when the bus hit a pot-hole. 

Here, then, is what I accomplished.
  • 5 pairs of knee-high bed socks (19th c. pattern)
  • 1 pair of leg warmers (a slight modification of the 19th c. pattern)
  • 3 watch caps (or Tuques as they say in Oh, Canada)
  • 1 pair of spiral ankle socks
  • 2 pair of spiral tube socks
  • 4 fringed fleece blankets
The pair of mittens, the cowl, the pair of muffetees, the crocheted bookmark, and the two scarves I'd hoped to complete never materialized. In fact they were never started. (Insert disappointed sigh here.) It wasn't for lack of trying.  After all I did start knitting in August.  But I am reminded here of what my favorite knitter-writer, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, has to say about that.

“It is a peculiarity of knitters that they chronically underestimate the amount of time it takes to knit something. Birthday on Saturday? No problem. Socks are small. Never mind that the average sock knit out of sock-weight yarn contains about 17,000 stitches. Never mind that you need two of them. (That's 34,000 stitches, for anybody keeping track.) Socks are only physically small. By stitch count, they are immense.”

Truer words. Still, no one was left without some kind of hand made item to open at Christmas, which was all I'd hoped, really. A jolly pile of wool and fleece turned magically into an even merrier pile of practical and colorful gifts to put beneath the tree. Worked by human hands, with love, humor and just a dash of frantic.

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