Friday, July 25, 2008

Fly Free!

...

I've been entertaining a particularly delicious image, lately.

I take one of my unfinished sweaters out to the park, and I launch it into the air like a kite. The as-yet-unknit yarn serves as a kite string, and the sweater sails into the sky. It soars with arms at full extension, looking very much like a child's drawing of a sweater.

When my ball of yarn runs out, the wind keeps blowing and the sweater starts to unravel. As it soars higher and higher, the sweater unknits itself, until there is nothing left.




There's one sweater I wouldn't mind trying this with.

I started knitting this particular sweater some time before Robb's accident, which is over two years ago. This was a cute lacy sweater made out of crazy fuzzy cobweb-thin expensive yarn. I had just gotten to a point where I realized I didn't know what I was going to do about the sweater's shaping and needed serious sweater-guidance, when Robb shattered his spine, and all thoughts of knitting came to an immediate halt.

After a year of sweater-neglect, I picked up the unfinished bits, and just sighed. I had altered the lace pattern (which covered every inch of the sweater), but didn't remember what the changes were. I didn't make any notes at the time, and the yarn was almost impossible to unravel. So, I carefully folded the sweater pieces, and parked them on my wire bookshelf.

The sweater bits sat for months and months, and unbeknownst to me, got covered with some horrible sticky secretion from a mite-infested orchid. Let me tell you one thing A fuzzy lace sweater covered in gooey insect poo is revolting item, indeed.

I painstakingly washed the pieces of unfinished sweater, and shoved them back onto what we call the Pile of Denial.

This sweater fills me with sadness, and I really wish I could just let it fly away.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can identify with this. I recently decided that anything that I have that gives me bad thoughts when I look at it gets thrown away (or given away or recycled, etc). It doesn't matter how expensive it was, or how much effort I put into it at one time, I don't want to keep things around me that give me bad thoughts. It is very liberating.

(I've never commented on your blog, but I read it regularly. I have suffered loss as well, I just started dialysis.)

Anonymous said...

Do we all have unfinished items of good intention on our shelves of denial? Mine was a quilt I started many years ago, crafted from numerous saved items of clothing worn by our children. It was Waaaay too large and bulky and weighted me down with guilt, hope, and more guilt. I finally liberated my psyche with cooking oil poured liberally over the fabric (so I could not change my mind) and a sturdy pair of scissors! As I cut it apart, I slowly liberated my mind as well.
Grinch

Anonymous said...

How about making it into a catnip toy in a shape that makes you want to laugh when they chew and kick and drool on it? You could savor shredding the rest and leave out the pieces for birds building nests next spring. Of course if it were me, I'd probably just put it back in the closet, hoping inspiration would strike later...

Best, Spencer

cath said...

I think I have to agree with the first comment. Can you imagine ever wearing this sweater happily? I don't frog or get rid of things easily, but if you can manage, this might be the sort of thing to let go. There are so many things that you can be working on that make you happy. It doesn't sound like this one ever will.

shiloh said...

Hey....I still havn't finished that stupid sock.Maybe after October.

Shiloh

Gothknits said...

Send it to me and I'll frog it for you. I've done this for others before. I have projects of my own waiting to be unraveled, yet can't bear to do it...yet.

Anonymous said...

When my daughter was born in July I decided to embroider a Christmas stocking for her. I had never embroidered before and had to learn as I went along. It is half finished, has 1000 mistakes in it, I am not even that crazy about the pattern and my daughter is now 14 years old. But I still have it and I still look at it and all it does is remind me of all the good intentions I had for being a mother and how I fall short every day. You've made me see the insanity in keeping a half finished ugly bit of cloth around year in and year out just for the privilege of beating myself up with it regularly! TODAY it goes in the trash. HOORAY!

Anonymous said...

Lisa, Check out one of the surprise patterns on Knitty.com this issue. It is a lacy sweater with random cables that is just GORGEOUS! (It's sea something or other, can't remember) Perhaps a complete revamp would be worth it? I hate to see expensive yarn go to waste.

Idhunna

Anonymous said...

Those are some impressive hairballs!

Annalisa

knitica said...

Is it impossible to rip out? I completely unravelled a sweater after avoiding wearing it for over a year because the guage was slightly off and it was a bit too big. I was insanely happy when the mistake was fixed and I had something I wanted to wear.

The first sweater I knitted was for a friend who turned out to be allergic to wool. I got it back from him (later replaced by a cotton and recycled denim sweater) ripped it out, washed the yarn, and reknit a vest for my Dad with some of the yarn. The vest is weirdly baggy and ill fitting, I doubt Dad ever wears it, so I put the rest of the yarn into my guild's yarn auction. Was it wrong not to include a warning?

rosered2318 said...

Well...if it were inexpensive yarn, what would you do with it? Because expensive or inexpensive, it's only service right now is making you feel bad.

Honestly, I love the idea of kite string. Think of how satisfying it would be to watch it unravel and the ironic enjoyment of watching all that expensive string turn from something you glare at into something that delights you.

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