I’m almost finished with Bressay. Once I got to the final bit of the colorwork, I ended up needing to kind of do my own thing, because the pattern didn’t include any short rows to raise the back neck, and from experience, I know that simply won’t work. I *hate* the feeling of a neckline that’s too high in front and/or too low in back! It’s just an absolute sensory nightmare for me. (Plus, I don’t think it looks good.) So, short rows it is.
I hope the amount of short-rows I’ve done works out; it’s just kind of hard to tell when trying on a bottom-up sweater, because the yoke tends to curl and flare out a bit whether it’s on an extra long cable or on waste yarn, but I *think* it’s going to work once I do the ribbing. I still haven’t decided whether I’m going to do a single layer of ribbing as called for in the pattern, or whether I’ll create a doubled/folded ribbed neckline. I do love those ever so much, but it might be a little “heavy” looking for a sweater as delicate as Bressay.
But even once I finish the ribbing, there’s still going to be plenty to do – there are a TON of ends!
I know there are clever ways of spit splicing two colors together so that you avoid having ends to weave in when doing this kind of colorwork, but for me, those ways really interrupt the flow of the knitting, and while I’m not exactly looking forward to the marathon of end-weaving I have ahead of me, I’d rather have a smooth-flowing knitting experience and then a smooth-flowing end-weaving experience. Basically, flow is what I crave right now.
Because the other sort of “almost” that’s consuming me is that in just about 3 weeks, I’ll be back in the classroom again. I still know literally nothing about what my daughter’s school is going to be like – I don’t even know with certainty whether she’ll be back in person full time, and if she is, I don’t know when her bus will come or what days her before-school orchestra will be or any of a million other things that are actually pretty damned important for me to know if I’m going to be able to figure out how to make life work once I’m teaching in person again. And for that matter, I don’t know for my own classes whether all of my students will actually be physically on campus, or if some of them will be stuck out of the country, which makes course planning quite difficult. But I *have* to plan in this information vacuum, because once the semester starts, I’m not going to have time. I had to commit to a frankly miserable teaching schedule this year because I didn’t know, earlier this year when I had to commit to my Fall ’21 classes, whether I could actually be available in the morning, given that I didn’t know what my daughter’s school would be doing. I still don’t, though now that I know my spouse can work from home two days a week, it turns out I could’ve made mornings work. Instead, I’m teaching in the middle of the day, every single day, instead of my strongly preferred heavy teaching days alternating with empty prep days. And I just…don’t have any idea what to expect.
I don’t cope well when I don’t know what to expect. It’s hard to cope with uncertainty. This has always been true for me. And it’s true for everyone, to some degree, but it’s pretty extreme for me. And yet that’s exactly what these last 20+ months have demanded from us, nonstop, especially for those of us who are parents of younger kids. I’ve worked hard to become more flexible, more able to go with the flow and roll with the punches and so on, than I was as a kid, and I’m glad for the work Past Me did on that front because it’s been vital during this pandemic. But the problem right now is that I feel like I’ve used up whatever coping skills have been getting me through so far. It feels like I’ve been pacing myself through a marathon (I used to be a good marathoner, so this is an informed analogy!), and made it through 26.2 miles to what I thought was the finish line, and instead, everyone is saying, “haha, dumbass, this is actually a 100 miler! And you’d better not slow down!” And that’s less about the intensity of the work that’s been demanded from me (and every other person who teaches), though that’s certainly part of it, and more about the coping skills that have been required. Every day I have to function without information needed to plan exacts a price from me, that’s the only way I can describe it. And I worry a bit about what this means for me, and people wired like me (because I know these are traits common amongst the neurodivergent) as the future becomes less and less predictable. I mean, in truth, the future is always unknown and always has been, but think of how often we’ve had to use the word “unprecedented” in the last few years. These are hard times for people wired like me, so be gentle.
Knitting is definitely one of the tools I use to cope. It keeps my hands busy, which calms me, and it gives me a task that IS mostly predictable, even if projects don’t always turn out the way I’d hoped. (But of course, even knitting has in some ways been a source of pain rather than comfort during this pandemic; I’m still relearning how to be a knitter without Ravelry.) Now that I’m not going to be working from home, I need to figure out good ways of having portable knitting projects again. That was part of the impetus (along with my new boots!) for getting back into sock knitting earlier this summer. Here’s the sock I finished most recently:
It might be a little hard to tell in that photo that the fit isn’t super great, but what is obvious in that photo is just how high my arches/instep are. And what I’m finding is that the garter rib pattern kind of pulls over the instep in this sock, which were knit toe-up using a “Padded Sweet Tomato Heel”:
It’s not actually uncomfortable once the sock is on, but I do think that as much as I enjoy the process of creating a Padded Sweet Tomato Heel, it doesn’t work well for my foot; I need more of the added height that a standard heel flap provides, I think. It’s a little funny to realize this after knitting just one sock, because it means that unless I want to rip this sock out or have mismatched socks, I’m going to need to knit another sock that I know isn’t the best fit for my foot. But it’ll still fit me and it’ll give my hands something to do. And then the next sock can be a heel flap sock; perhaps I’ll look into how one creates a heel flap from the toe-up, but more likely, I’ll just go back to my old familiar cuff-down heel flap sock pattern. Because familiar is what I need most right now.