Sometimes, the knitting gods work to make everything come together for you. Sometimes, you have to help them out a bit.
I picked up six skeins of a lovely mustard-y Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed Chunky on super-sale at Northeast Fiber Arts Center at the end of February. I would have bought more, but six skeins was all they had -- and the point of the sale was to get rid of the discontinued stuff, so six skeins was all there was.
Poking around on Ravelry, I decided that the Shalom Cardigan was the sweater that this yarn wanted to be. And a-ha! I had a conference coming up and, even though I was bringing my Confirmation class with me and therefore would be attending to them the whole time, I would still need something to knit on while sitting in the plenaries and workshops. I got myself all ready: wound up a couple of skeins, went to the store to buy the needles... and then all kinds of chaos and drama hit at work, and I stalled on the preparation a bit.
Friday, I went to the conference by myself (fortunately, this conference happened to be in Burlington, at a conference center a mile or so from my house), and I ended up arriving late, straight from the office, and didn't have my knitting with me. That was something of a bummer. Friday night, I went home, printed out the pattern, figured out which modifications I wanted to make and did all the math to make the sweater fit my body a bit better (it's made for a tall skinny gal, and... well, I have curves), dug out the needles I'd bought that week... and realized they were too short. I'd bought the 16" length, and there's just no way I was going to fit all 169 chunky stitches on only 16" of circular needle. But it was 11:30 at night. And I had to pick up the girls at church at 7:30 the next morning, and because I had ducklings to lead around all day, there was no chance of slipping out and hitting the yarn store when it was open.
Cell phones to the rescue. I texted Aubrey: "Are you still up? Do you have size 10.5 circular? Mine is too short -- 16" -- do you have longer?" She texted back: "I only have 40", is that too long?" "Perfect! Can I come pick up now?" And I did. 11:30 at night, Aubrey meets me in her driveway. She's wearing a very long coat and probably not much else. I'm wearing pajama pants, sweater, no bra. I'm trying to make some kind of "needle exchange" joke here, but it's not working. But picture it. (Needle exchange: get it?) What an awesome friend. Thank you, Aubrey.
I finally got to bed about 1:30. Got up at 6:45, made coffee, got dressed, and hit the road. Spent the day at the conference with the girls -- we all had an *awesome* time, and they were so inspired and excited. It was a long day (14 hours!) but an excellent one. And I knitted exactly one skein -- about 2/3 of the whole yoke. At the beginning of the day, one of the girls (the one who isn't the daughter of a heavy knitter) looked at the pattern and said "how much of that are you going to make today?" and I told her I thought I could get the yoke done in a day. Turns out, I was about right: if I hadn't had to rip out half my work at lunchtime because I'd knitted a row I should have purled, I would have had the whole yoke done by the end of the day. As it is, I was pretty happy with 2/3 of it. I worked up exactly one skein of yarn: a football field in length. Nothing to be ashamed of, for sure. When's the last time YOU knit a whole football field in a day?
The next day, I knit up a whole 'nother football field after church AND took a long nap in the afternoon. Yoke done, plus a smidge of the body. A third of the sweater completed (I'm adding sleeves) in only two days. Yeah, I'd say that's pretty decent work. The knitting gods and me, we make a good team.
(more about the mods I made in another post.)