Sunday, 4 January 2015

The sweater fairytale

When I was a kid I inherited a lot of my parents childhood books. Well, it was more of a long-term loan, to be honest. I liked most of them more than the new books I received: they had a physical presence that was more fascinating than the new ones, not to mention the pictures looked nicer and seemed to promise more fun, adventures and enchantment than newer editions.

There were a lot of Jules Verne’s novels, children literature authors now long forgotten and collections of classical fables and folklore tales.We had a series of books by the Grimm brothers and H.C. Andersen.

I enjoyed reading them a lot, even though I found most of them quite sad, if not depressing. In hindsight, I wonder what possessed my parents to allow me read those books; that was pure psychological terror in prints, not to mention the predecessor of pulp literature: kids eaten alive, witches roasted in the oven (alive), murders and misery; and now I hear people wondering whether Harry Potter saga isn’t a bit to violent for kids… seriously?

One of my favorite fable was "The Wild Swans". It’s a tale of misery, social injustice, persecutions and how petty and ugly people can be, not to mention a yet-another-feable excuse of a king. Still the princess marries him at the end, when she should have just dumped him and go away with her brothers.

Anyway, as a child, I didn’t really read that much into it. I just liked the story, and even more so the illustrations that came with it. There was this drawing of the princess throwing into the sky the shirts she knitted out to the her brothers, while standing on this already lit and burning pire. But worry do not, everybody lived happily ever after, also the brother that got the uncompleted shirt; Elisa had not enough time to complete knitting the last sleeve, so one of the brothers was left with one wing, instead of an arm.

The tale of the poor brother of Elisa is something that resonates a lot with me recently, because it looks like I am like Elisa right now and all my knitting projects lack something to be completed: scarves left halfway through, single-sock pair of socks and sweater that look knitted out just for Elisa’s brother.

When I go and browse on Ravelry the finished project section, I can’t help but feeling a little envious: how can people can be so good at finishing projects? Why can’t I manage to complete one single work, before casting on a couple of new ones?

And how can people find the time to knit so many nice things?

I have been asking myself these question for a really long time now and without any result: I can’t find the answers I’m looking for.

So instead I decided to not look for answers, but count rounds: I’ve taken up again knitting my sweatrrr!

After taking the class with Åsa Tricosa back in Brighton I had wanted to start it straight away, but then I broke my arm and everything went on hold, until the cast was removed and my left arm started cooperating once more. So at the end of August, I picked some nice Albozzi yarn and casted on: the project grew quickly and easily under my eyes… Until I reached sleeve #2. Once I picked up the stitches for that sleeve, everything seemed to slow down to a complete stop.

It was frustrating yet I couldn’t resolve to pick it up and finish it. Instead I finished 2 shawls, 3 hats and started other 3 projects.

I put the project bag on the sofa, thinking that if I saw it there, it’d be easier to pick it at the end of the day and knit some rounds. The project bag stayed on the sofa for almost 2 months, looking at me as accusingly and offended as a project bag can do. And trust me, it can do it pretty well for an inanimate object.

I then moved the project bag into the suitcase and brought it with me to Torino… this time around, however, I prevailed over my own idiocy and picked it up again! I even hold some hope to finish it before my break is over and I return to work.




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