I really try hard to avoid deadline knitting. I don’t knit holiday gifts at all, and when I have given knitted gifts I try to incorporate the planning and design process into the giving. It’s a bit selfish, perhaps, but planning a project is often my least-favorite part of knitting and I have enjoyed having help and input. It makes the gift all the more special since the final product will be made-to-order, and there is the added benefit of spending some time with the intended recipient.
Then, of course, there are those times when planning and collaboration just aren’t possible, and when deadlines creep up on a person all sneaky-like. That’s been the case with Levi’s Blanket, which I’ve been struggling to design and create in the mere five months since he was “matched” with his adoptive parents. Well now he’s here, official, adopted, and in need of his blanky!
After several false starts designing my own cables, I decided I would not try and reinvent the wheel. Sticking with my original theme of “three,” I combed through stitch dictionaries and finally came up with three different cables. Working my trusty Excel skills to their outer limits, I created a color-coded chart that takes up a full 11×17 sheet of paper. The chart is 85 rows high and 158 stitches across. It’s a monster. Once I was happy with my instructions, I took a deep breath, cast on with Swish Worsted in bare (the natural colorway), and started cabling my heart out. Three (and change) chart repeats later, I’m just a handful of rows away from finishing. Since I’ll probably be meeting Baby Levi next week, I’ve got sore wrists and a grating feeling of anxiety deep in my gut even though I’m fairly sure I’ll be able to finish up quite easily.
While I’m happy that I took on this project and pleased with the results, its a good reminder of what I like and don’t like about knitting. I love the process. Sitting for hours, thoughts drifting or focused, listening to radio, tv, a book or just silence, each stitch is a quiet focal point, a badly-needed valve for my daily frustrations. I love to give gifts, but more than “stuff” that is made overseas and breaks easily, I try to give time, experience, or handmade things . . . and NOT on a deadline!