Wednesday, July 11, 2007

She runs not

Still going hobble, hobble. No running for this girl, at least not yet. Today posted off all the roughs for the inside of 'The trouble with dragons'. Now the nailbiting will commence. Strongly tempted to travel down with the roughs to Bloomsbury and stand, fretting, interrupting and apologizing as Sarah unpacks them. Then pace the room like an expectant Dad as she looks carefully at each one.
I'd hate that.
She'd hate that.

I have to let my sketches find their own way, let Sarah enjoy the images on her own, without me hovering over her shoulder, emitting a palpable cloud of worry. After all, I can't stand over every person who buys the finished book, can I? Thank heavens for gin is all, she said darkly.

On the shawl front, I snuck into the wool bit of Lewis's and averted my eyes from all temptations other than one new ball of kidsilk haze required to complete the thing.

Actually, that's a complete lie. I bought another knitting book, which is every bit as bad as buying yet more yarn to feed the moths. I have amassed a large collection of knitting books, most of which are the equivalent of craft-porn. I sit and salivate over the pictures, but in my heart of hearts, I just know I'll never have the courage to do anything that requires me to cast on 367 stitches.

The sweater for the smallest girl is another project still on the pins. Well not on the pins, but requiring sewn together complete with a complicated border and what can only be described as 'tufts'. This is an ongoing saga, started almost eight months ago, and has been something of a labour of love. It began when smallest daughter could no longer squeeze into her favourite, commercially-knitted sweater. When we finally had to admit defeat and consign the thing to the pile of clothes that I can't bring myself to throw out or recycle yet, smallest daughter asked if I would knit her a copy.

At that stage, the correect thing to do was say 'No, but let's find an easy pattern that can be knitted by a three-celled amoeba with non-opposable thumbs,'
Alas, I did not do the correct thing. When have I ever done the correct thing? Please, don't answer that. To cut a long story short, I went out and tried to buy enough dk yarn to make a passable copy of the favourite thing. Let's just pause here and do some simple maths. The original, outgrown thing was bought secondhand in 1996 at an NCT sale for all of 30p. When I went out to buy yarn to duplicate it, I spent over 50 pounds. Sure, we're eleven years on from the original purchase, but even house prices in London haven't escalated in such insane proportions. That's a hundred and sixty six times more expensive than the original. That kind of mark-up is not only eye-watering, but has committed me to making a work of art out of the sweater, and smallest daughter will be unwittingly burdened with a weight of expectation regarding how well she treats said sweater which is, to say the least, a bit unrealistic. In short, the first time she snags it on a thorn, I'll have to kill myself.

No pressure there, then.

Anyway, with a bit of determination, I might be able to bring the creation of this blobby knit to a close before smallest girl becomes medium-sized girl and is unable to fit into her Mama's lovingly crafted thing. There are bits of it I love, and bits I am deeply ashamed of. It's like a diary of the past year, I can remember where I was when I knitted certain panels. As luck would have it, I'll probably finish it in time for our horribly delayed summer to finally arrive, and it will stay hot till November, by which time, smallest daughter will have put on a growth spurt and acquired Attitude.

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