I had plenty of other things to do on my days off, but I decided to solve a problem instead – cold hands need warm mitts. I had a skein of Elsa Cormo that Kris gave me, left over from a sweater. I had my favorite pattern, Foxgloves by Clara Parkes from Brave New Knits. I cast on yesterday, they’re drying now, and I hope I’ll be able to wear them tomorrow!
I knit them out of necessity, and yet there they are, a pair of lovelies. Whenever I wear them I’ll know that I made something really beautiful, really well. In a way they represent everything I love about knitting: the dreaming, the deciding, the knowing how, and the doing.
As I hope will happen whenever I knit, I learned something. I don’t like it, but my hands are changing, and I’ve begun to knit more loosely. I used to be able to get gauge, almost all the time. When I cast on yesterday, the Foxglove cuff was huge. I’ve made the pattern several times, always without a fuss. I unearthed some smaller dpns and started over, and off I went.
But I began to think: no wonder my Troika cowl looked awful! I was almost to the buttonholes, and I just wasn’t happy, but I hadn’t figured it out. So when I bound off the last thumb on the mitts, I unraveled the cowl. It’s on smaller needles now, and the fabric looks like it should.
Here’s the thing: I know what I’m doing. I’m not winging it, I didn’t keep going and then end up with unwearable mitts or an ugly cowl. I know how to knit. I suspect that many of us knitters think we’re not that good at it, or that we’re just okay. But listen: when we make choices and decisions and do math and build thumb gussets that will fit, we are doing something pretty amazing, aren’t we?