Knitting

Reality wins

FI Tank Subtle
See, I can do subtle colouring

Much as I try to live in a world of pure fantasy, it has to be admitted that sometimes reality wins. I try to make sure the wins are minor, and often I can convince myself that, at best, it doesn’t matter or, at worst, I sort-of intended for the reality to be that way all along. However, sometimes reality is annoyingly persistent.

I’ve been wondering for a while whether I didn’t pick the wrong Word of the Year. Vitality. Great concept, but difficult to achieve sitting on a settee. I wonder if I should have chosen Endurance instead, because so far that is the one quality this year has called for in abundance. January was a contemptibly poor month for me, with increasing frustrations in the work I was doing. February was so much of a see-saw that I almost fell off – the undoubted high being my lovely break in Helsinki, the low coming when I finally handed in my notice at work. Then as soon as I handed it in, the Coronavirus scare really hit the UK, making mid-February to mid-March the most awful month’s notice I have ever served in my life. Now, instead of looking for work that suits me in a decent job market, I find myself one of millions all wondering what the future is going to be. Definitely calling for endurance.

I am all for taking the positives out of situations and, despite the gloomy start to the year, I still feel that things are basically going to be okay (unless there is an asteroid on a collision course with our planet, which thought has crossed my mind). Most setbacks and frustrations are just that: minor things that absorb our energy in the short-term but lack importance in retrospect. Some things are huge, important with a capital I, but we deal with them, too; accept them; absorb them; make them part of the tapestry of our lives.

So, to escape all that I do creative things. For example, I’ve knitted 11 inches of my Fairisle Tank Top including the uncharacteristically subtle coloured band above. That’s not bad going for less than two weeks’ work. I absolutely love working on it, and I’m unbelievably pleased with how the whole colour selection is turning out. That’s why it’s going to be a real test of endurance to unpick it.

FI Tank end point
Unpick!

There’s no escaping the truth: it’s too big.

My original intention for this project was to end up with a loose, but not baggy fit. When I knit Fairisle patterns in the past, they came out smaller than I expected so I thought I would be safe with the sizing on this. Of course, as soon as I was getting into the colourwork, I began to have my doubts, but I ploughed on with determination; it would work. As I struggled to get a decent photo of the bunched-up fabric this morning, I decided to put half the stitches on a separate needle and as soon as I did that my doubts became overwhelming. Just to make sure, I measured this against my existing sloppy jumpers – it’s wider than even the sloppiest one. It will drown me. Oh dear.

Strangely, this has not been the blow to me that you might expect, it’s just knitting, I enjoyed it as I was going along and it has provided me with useful information to help me decide upon the right Fairisle Tank Top to knit. In fact, this is just a swatch. A really big swatch.

I may well be doing some sock knitting this weekend.

I hope you all have a safe, happy and healthy Easter.