Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A slight case of Hubris

A short recap of my life with Hubris (mostly the baby blanket):

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I made great plans. Other people may take their vitamins and do yoga exercises, I planned knitting projects. Since I didn't think that I would like knitting baby clothes (oh! has life proven me wrong!), I planned for not one, but three baby blankets: one soft and cozy, one modular and one grand, double-knitted in my own design. Then reality happened.

The soft and cozy one was finished a good week before my daughter was born. The modular blanket was never even started (but one day...) and the grand one - well, I finished the pattern in December 2006 and started knitting on New Year's Eve (that's about how fun holidays get when you're breastfeeding) and then kept on knitting bravely for 81 rows. 81 rows of double-sided stockinette. 2 * 199 stitches every row. Every stitch charted. By February I really deserved a tiny little break. And then it was late September.

My daughter will be one year old on November 16. I am determined to have the blanket finished by then. This means at least 8 rows a day. 8*199*2 stitches a day. Every day. All charted. If I am not crazy already, I sure will be by mid-November. You now see why I named this baby blanket Hubris?

However, this insane project is starting to grow on me. Not only literary (it's getting ENORMOUS) but it makes me feel like I'm nine years old again, immensely happy and proud of my uneven stitches and my sheer capacity to make something out of (almost) nothing. It has surely taken me by surprise; I had expected this project to make me feel proud, or ambitious or maybe a bit smug - but happy?

I feel solidly happy and content while knitting this, and that is an earth-shattering event for me. You see, while others may discuss whether they are process- or result-oriented knitters, I have always placed myself in the crowd of dream-oriented knitters. Actually, I'm not that sure that we are a crowd. I'm not even sure that there are any others out there.

Dream-oriented knitters do not knit the garment you can see on their needles. In fact, it may well be that they don't even see what's on their needles, and if they do they don't like it. They gaze with glazed eyes into a future only they can see, a future abundant with pretty, pretty things that are fun to knit and that will fit perfectly. The real knit, the one on their needles, is never half as real to them as their dreamed knitting. In fact, the real knitting is quite disturbing, since it has the habit of never becoming as wonderful as the dream of it. Still, the urge to drag these wonderful ideas into a shabbier reality never ceases.

The best thing about being a dream-oriented knitter is that you don't have any concept of your limitations. The worst thing about being a dream-oriented knitter is that you don't have any concept of your limitations. We don't use time plans, even though deadlines may be necessary. And even though we never are quite content with what we are currently knitting, we are never completely struck down either. We know, after all, that the next project will be The Best One Ever.

Right now, it turns out that I'm really knitting The Best Project Ever. Uneven as the stitches may be, twisted as the cast-on may be, knitting this makes me feel happy and cozy. (And warm! With 33% completed it reaches my knees. Around 90% I expect my family will have to dig me out.)