Saturday, January 03, 2004

Stealth knitting

'Twas the day before Christmas when I decided that No! Unlike his birthday socks, Bill's Xmas socks would not be late! I wasn't too busy at work, and I think people were a little surprised that this foreigner was only taking the 25th off. At lunchtime, I was outta there.

By 1:15, I was at my favourite little café in Kongkuan, the neighbourhood around National Taiwan University. I've done quite a bit of knitting at this particular establishment, and the woman who runs it always has a look at what I'm doing and we smile at each other about it. December 24 was a beautiful day, and I was feeling good. As far as Bill knew, I was at the office until six; that gave me four and a half hours to knit a sock. Could I do it?

1:30 p.m.: T minus 4.5 hours and counting...

1:30 p.m.

I have a cup of coffee, a fruit smoothie, and a couple of inches of cuff that I'd done on my lunch break the day before. I have one completed sock: a basic k2p2 ribbed number with a stockinette foot. (This is the same wool that I used for 2L's Xmas socks, but grays -- like a black-and-white version.) The sun is shining and jazz is playing. It rocks not to be at the office!

2:30 p.m.: T minus 3.5 hours and counting...

2:30 p.m.

I knitted for an hour, and... I'm still ten rows from starting the heel flap? Aiyo! Damned ribbing. What was I thinking? It's OK; I'm still feeling good and feeling like I've got lots of time. Slow and steady, right? The sun is still shining, and man, that coffee was good. (I love a place that steams milk for its plain old House Coffee.)

3:30 p.m.: T minus 2.5 hours and counting...

3:30 p.m.

Heel flap? Check! Heel turned? Check! I'm ready to pick up stitches. Oh, if I had a nickel for every time in my life I've said, "Blast! I didn't bring a crochet hook!" -- well, I'd have five cents right now. No problem; the tapestry needle will do the trick. My pace is good, I think. The music, however, is no longer good. What I think at first is a woman singing a cover of "Unchained Melody" proves to be a boy who is soon pleading with us to be gentle, 'cause he's sentimental... [shudder]

4:30 p.m.: T minus 90 minutes and counting...

4:30 p.m.

The sun is starting to go down, and the combination of coffee, knitting intensity, and a looming deadline has me feeling a little skittery. How can I seem to be knitting with such speed, yet producing so little? How many times do I have to hear this CD? I'm beginning to have the sensation that I'm watching someone else's hands knit my sock! Should I eat something? No! No time for food! Eating is weak! Weak!

5:30 p.m.: T minus 30 minutes and counting...

5:30 p.m.

I've just done the first round of the toe! I'm going to make it! It's dark outside now, and I've just ordered another coffee to bring me home. The Pixies' song "Debaser" has lodged itself in my head, except the voice is screaming, "Decreaser!" "Decreaser!"

6:00 p.m.: Kaboom!


It's all over but the grafting. I did it. I am awesome. Billy will have a pair of socks on Christmas morning. (Turned out that they fit, he likes them, and he didn't suspect a thing.)


Thank you for all your New Year wishes! May this year be jam-packed with peace, happiness, good health, fabulous yarn, and good grammar for us all.

No comments: