I am not the only knitter with unrealistic goals, but that doesn’t necessarily make the experience of being trapped in a yarn vortex of my own design any less stressful. I attended Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago 2015 during the first weekend of October, and had the opportunity to see the yarn kit YarnHarlot made this darling baby dress from–including the dress design on display–at the StevenBe booth. This planted an idea in my mind to knit this dress, but with different colours. I looked up the materials and pattern online, and eventually decided to place my order. Shortly after doing so, I realized that I had to have the dress finished by October 18th. The yarn arrived October 9th.
This is not a reasonable goal. I’m not a slow knitter, but there’s a difference between “knitting with some aptitude regarding speed” and “knitting nonstop at a breakneck pace”. The dress is knit with fingering weight wool on 2.5mm (US size 1) needles. The skirt portion has over 300 stitches per round.
For some reason, the thought of deciding to finish on this project later and going out to buy a present of some kind is totally unacceptable to me. I’ve reached that point of “knitter’s delusion and stubbornness” that is very difficult to rationalize with.
I suspected my folly almost as soon as the order was placed, but I haven’t been able to give up the hope that I can pull this off. I actually thought that not only would I find the time to knit this dress and crochet the lace and flowers, but also could continue to do my regularly-scheduled activities. I went to ballet classes that weekend, not thinking those few hours would make a difference. When Monday arrived and I was only on ball two of six for the body of the dress, I realized there was a problem. As a result I have done almost nothing but knit since the week began. I’ve also spent a lot of time trying to calculate how many minutes per round and how many rounds per centimeter and how many hours it will take to finish this. The number is so large and totally silly that I have simply refused to acknowledge it.
In a perfect world, I would somehow manage to finish the knitting portion tonight (now a Friday despite the title of this post), set the dress to soak, block, and dry, and have all of Saturday to crochet the edging and flowers. There’s a part of me that thinks that maybe I can do it. The rest of me knows not to trust that part of me, but is hopeless to do anything other than go along with the scheme. (I kind of want to blame the pictured Starbucks on desperation over this project, but actually it was a cup of chocolate soymilk that a coworker kindly brought me after being hypnotized by my whining for chocolate milk. Probably not dress-related.)
All I can do at this point is keep knitting. There’s no going back. I can’t wonder if this size is too big, or if I should have used a different join when attaching each ball of yarn. We’ll see if the universe harmonizes at the right frequency to make this a genuine knitting miracle… or if come tomorrow I’m still no closer to the 9cm I aim to finish tonight, weeping into my tea as my husband tries desperately to console me.
And I’ll probably do it again, for some other gift on some other deadline, like a person who never learns her lesson.