Monday, April 23, 2007

Some thoughts on the dreaded dropped stitch

Last night, I was in the process of finishing my Lorelei tank from Lisa Shobhana Mason’s Yarnplay, had only the front to finish, when what should happen but I should notice a bit in the armpit has unravelled. Stitches I had thought were bound off had suddenly come undone, and all those loops were now open and loose, gaping like the mouth in Munch’s Scream. Every attempt I made to finish it simply unravelled it more, until I realised (gulp!) that the only solution was to unravel it all back to a point where I could regather the stitches and begin again.

You can imagine the carnage: yards of kinked yarn all over the living room floor, the cats eyeing it with interest, my husband eyeing me to see when I’m going to explode, and all I’m thinking is: look at all those hours gone to waste. Every kink in that yarn is a breath, a gesture of my hands working in unison, the kinks formed in part by the oil passing from my hands into the fibers so that they will hold the shape I give them.

I just finished my first sweater in March of this year, and I can hardly stop wearing it. Not only did I make that sweater, but it is me: it is a record not just of my existence, of something I made, but of every breath I took during its construction. And that amazes me.

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