Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homage to Dad

Have you ever had one of those days when you just couldn’t think straight? The brain sits in its cozy environs and refuses to answer its email, phone or text. There’s a little sign on the grey door, in filigree script, pinned with an icicle: “Snow Day”. These are the days when I knit.

Yesterday was one of those days. I knit something very simple indeed…side to side short rowed cuff. I’ve been wearing Cassy’s Cuffs backwards, with the garter stitch end pulled up to my thumbs. It’s warmer than the lacy end which rides decoratively over my sleeves like Elizabethan gauntlets. These are my handspun merino pair, the really cushy ones that have spoiled me for all other pairs, so I’m knitting Cassy’s Cuffs sans lace or decoration or any kind. Basically it’s one long garter stitch end. These could even be guy cuffs…really…especially in Olive Medley. The yarn is similar, but in BFL, still a 2 ply handspun, still spun from the fold…softer than soft with lots of loft and character. There’s one down and one to go. I’ll finish the second before seaming them in case I have extra for a thumb or something mildly interesting. I’ll kitchener the seam closed with the tail leftover from my provisional cast on which I started like a long tail cast on, but worked in provisional instead. This geek-greek ultimately means I have one less end to run in, or have work out in the wearing.

After half a day of working without a brain to speak of, it occurred to me that perhaps the freeze was due to the fact that it was my Dad’s birthday. Dad has been gone since 2003, so all celebrating of birthdays must be done without the jolly good fellow. This makes it seem more like an anniversary of a death than a birth. Dad would say, “Forget it! Relax,” But that didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. So I knit. And it seems to me that I’ve knit through a lot of difficult times. Good times too, for sure. But knitting has served me as a heavy anchor in drifting times. I know Dad would understand this. His anchor was his model hobby…trains and planes. His business was art…animation…so when he had time off, art was the last thing on his mind, especially when he was older. He’d rather figure out how things ticked, so he’d take things apart to make them run better, or make them from scratch. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because even on brain-freeze days I’d rather design than follow a pattern, no matter how simple. So here’s to you, Dad. Cheers.