This is roughly the conversation I have had with my husband, Stuart, over the course of today:
Me: Hey, you know how I keep threatening to knit you a sweater? Well, I found a good sale online on the yarn I would use, so I'm thinking I'll go ahead and order some. What color do you want, navy, dark gray, or light gray? (Note: these are probably the only colors of a hand knit sweater Stuart would consider wearing. He might make an exception for dark brown.)
Stu: Uh, I dunno. Whatever you think would go the best with the rest of what I wear, I guess.
Me: I think the navy would look best on you, and it goes with all your nicer t-shirts, but not with any of your breeches (yes, I said "breeches") except jeans. What do you think?
So far, this part of the conversation was over email. At this point, everything google-related (namely gmail and blogger) started blowing chunks and became completely non-functional, so if Stu responded right away, I wouldn't have read it. Not wanting to wait, I went ahead and ordered the navy. Several hours later, when gmail is recovered, I read his response:
Stu: Remember I rarely wear jeans in winter.
Me: Ah, good point. (thinking: uh-oh. I took a guess and ordered the wrong color!)
So what was I to do? Cancel the order? Tell him to live with the navy and LIKE it, dang it?! Nope. I went back and ordered a bunch of gray PLUS a couple extra skeins of the navy so that I could make another sweater for my dad, since he loves the other one I made him so much it's already pilling like crazy and may well wear out by next Christmas. It seems I have:
1) no control when it comes to sale yarn; 2) a completely unrealistic perception of how long it takes to knit sweaters for two full-grown men, one of whom is over six feet tall and generously endowed in the waist area (my dad), the other who is more average-sized but still nearly six feet tall (my husband--love you both, guys!), and 3) no memory of my very recent resolve to knit for myself and no one else this summer. Ah, well. I love to knit, no matter what it is or who it's for, so it's all good.
Here's the best part, though. This evening, I explained to Stuart the whole yarn-ordering situation:
Me: So, you know how I told you I would order yarn for a sweater for you?
Me: Well, gmail was crapping out right after I asked you what color you'd like, so I just went ahead and ordered navy yarn and AFTER that I read your response that gray is probably better, so I just went ahead and ordered gray as well, plus some extra navy to make another sweater for my dad.
Stu: Why are you telling me this?
Me: So you know why there will be twice as much yarn arriving here as you're expecting.
Stu: I don't keep track of your yarn at all. I have no idea what comes in and I don't care. You don't keep track of the computer stuff I buy, do you?
(Answer: absolutely not, though I am usually the one who's home when FedEx comes by...)
My whole point here is that I'm extremely lucky to live with someone who understands completely that this hobby I have (I don't think it's turned into a lifestyle yet) is completely and totally mine. In other words, my knitting and my stash and my projects are my business. I have more yarn than I ought to and more unfinished projects than I care to admit, but that's okay. As long as I'm not spending money irresponsibly or invading his closet space, he doesn't care, and he doesn't even really pay attention. He's not a knitter (not even close), and he's not really interested in it, but he totally respects how important knitting is to me (especially now that I'm staying home with Daniel and Anya and not working for pay or playing gigs). He'll never truly understand why I enjoy knitting so much, but then, I'll never truly understand how he enjoys writing computer programs in his spare time. To each his/her own, I suppose. But that's how we work. We have many things in common other than our respective hobbies, and our lives together are working out pretty darn well.
That's why he deserves a sweater. Not the ugly one I knit for him before I knew better and before we got married. I haven't even mustered up the energy to frog that one yet. But a nice one in a color and style that he will like and wear. Even if it bores me to tears to make it, I'll do it. I'll do it happily. (And we'll just neglect to mention that I sneaked in a few skeins of something for a sweater for myself while I was at it...)
Now, then. Speaking of unfinished projects, I promised that I would show you pictures, and pictures you shall have! My current projects on the needles are gift knitting (and therefore secret for now), so here are a few WIPs that have been sitting around for quite a while. Like, years. I figure if I put these things on the blog for all the world (er, all 3 of you), it just might motivate me to finish them and get them off my conscience.
Let's go from youngest to oldest, shall we?
This is half of a skirt out of Rowan Linen Print. The yarn and pattern (Rowan Linen Print collection booklet) were a total impulse buy when my mom was visiting last April. Everything about this project is totally unlike me, but I love it anyway -- the bulky yarn, the variegated colors, the fact that there's not a hint of animal fiber in the yarn. The fact that it's a skirt and the least practical thing I could possibly knit...I think it's the loops at the bottom that charmed me so much. I whipped up half the skirt in a couple days...and promptly found out I was pregnant with Anya. No way was I going to wear a skinny little skirt last summer! So I put it down and haven't picked it up since. I'm nearly back to my pre-pregnancy body (a little bit of lovely belly flab notwithstanding), so I really should finish this skirt and try to find some occasion to wear it this summer.
This is a sweater I started for Daniel about a year and a half ago. It's the chunky cabled pullover from Adorable Knits for Tots by Zoe Mellor. The yarn is Mission Falls 1824 wool in thyme (green) and a little bit of dark purple for the edges. I am already done with this book; it's full of mistakes and I made everything in it that I was interested in, so I photocopied the pattern and gave the book away. Fortunately, I had the foresight to make the 2-3 year size, knowing that it might be a while before I would finish it. If I get it done soon, Daniel can wear it this spring (we often have chilly days through May). It's even possible that he could wear it in the fall, but seeing as he's shooting up like a weed, the sweater will be too short by then. However, I also had the foresight to pick unisex colors, so Anya can wear it in a couple years. All that fuzzy red hair means she looks good in green.
Now here is a project that goes back a little while. It's the Harvard cardigan from Melanie Falick's Knitting for Baby. This is the first knitting book I ever bought. It was 2004, and I had just discovered that I was pregnant. Once I got over the shock (we were trying to avoid that very thing), I bought a baby knitting book and started the Harvard cardigan (the one on the cover, if you look at the Amazon link), using some DK yarn in various garish colors I had leftover from other projects. For better or worse, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and the sweater was stuffed in a bag and nearly forgotten. While cleaning and rummaging in the basement not long ago, I found it and decided to finish it. The body is done, and the sleeves are at least halfway there. By the way, again with the foresight: not only did I hide the ends as I went along to save myself time finishing at the end, but I worked on both sleeves at the same time! That means no starting over and figuring out how the heck I did it in the first place. I don't know where this sweater will end up, but someone out there is bound to want it. Maybe I'll even donate it to Afghans for Afghans when I've got enough hats/sweaters/possibly a blanket accumulated to send off.
WP5 Spotlight: Bolt
12 minutes ago