Early in the morning on February 10th 2020, my daughter and I landed at Schipol airport, facing a whole day before our re-scheduled flight to Norwich took off in the evening. Our journey back from Helsinki had been hit with delays due to exceptionally high winds across northern Europe. Even when we finally boarded our plane, we sat for an hour on the runway unsure whether or not we would be able to take advantage of a departure slot. One of the discoveries we made was that Schipol airport has a library where I snapped my daughter leafing through a book, although this one is not the Miffy book which she had also picked up.

Here we are, then, a whole year later, and yet still stuck in one place with limited choices about what to do. In some ways, it feels like the past year has been one long Sunday afternoon from the 1970s. We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here. On this February 10th, the coffee is less fancy than last year, but cheaper. Instead of wandering to a pharmacy outlet, I can saunter into my bedroom, but the outcome is amazingly similar: last year I was trying on Clinique Aromatics Elixir perfume for the first time since the 1980s and now I have that same perfume on my dressing-table.

Am I melancholy? It’s only to be expected given the number of times I’ve unpicked the sleeve head of my Slope Rib Sweater. I was quite close to finishing it when I realised I’d got out of sync with the rib pattern somewhere along the way and ended up going right back to the beginning of the sleeve top shaping before I uncovered my mistake. The second time I only had to unpick two rows, but that was enough to make me feel frustrated that such silly errors are creeping in. Of course, the reason I am going wrong is because I got this idea that I could have a complete sleeve to show you today so I started to pay more attention to the future than to the present.

If, given a little more attention, I’m back on track with the Slope Rib Sweater, the Lace Panel Sweater is another kettle of fish. I thought I was doing really well with it; I’ve got up to the beginning of the armholes with a minimum of fuss. But I can’t escape the fact that I don’t like how I’ve done the waist shaping. The pattern has you work the decreases and increases about one third of the way in from each side which, on a plain jumper, results in a lovely dart-style feature. I’ve worked it on either side of the lace panel and it just isn’t right visually. It looks like the fabric goes out where it actually goes in, and in where it really goes out. I noticed it on the photo I showed on Monday, but I ignored it. Today, I can’t – it just isn’t how I want it to be. So, yes, I am melancholy as I contemplate taking all this work out and start again a scant three inches up the front. I’ll put the shaping at the edge of the body, that will work much better.

My decision for today, then, is whether to complete the Slope Rib Sweater sleeve, then start unpicking the Lace Panel Sweater front, or to start the unpicking knowing that I can do some constructive work on the sleeve when it all gets too much for me.

Do not tell me that the Lace Panel Sweater is jinxed. I do not want to hear it! It will work out fine in the end, you have my assurance. Anyway, if I work the same bits of knitting again and again and again, at some point I’ll finish and the world will be able to move on into a Monday morning!

2 thoughts on “A tale of two February 10ths

  1. Plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose – this last year seems to have emphasised the truth in that. You probably wouldn’t have got back to Norwich this year either, but because of the snow.

    1. But think of all the projects I wouldn’t have completed if I was still stuck in Amsterdam. That cushion cover would still be on the frame instead of hanging over the back of one of my dining chairs like some kind of unoccupied ghost costume.

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