Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's a Mystery

"I'm in love with my Elizabeth Zimmermann Hybrid sweater. It's occupying all my knitting time. It does not, however, make for interesting blogging. It's beautiful, but its beauty is in its simplicity."

That's as far as I got yesterday. The course of knitting never does run smooth, at least for me, so I should have been expecting something.

Right about that point, it occurred to me. I could make the knitting more interesting, at least for me, if I cast on the sleeves. I've done enough knitterly navel-contemplating. I am aware that if I work sequentially through a project, I feel the creeping dread of not being done yet. I cringe at the idea of casting off one part only to have to cast on another. I don't know why I don't just start off with everything at once and get all the casting-on done at the get-go, but I don't. Part of the charm of Elizabeth Zimmermann is her recognition, her encouragement, of this tendency. She tells you flat out to knit on all parts of a project at the same time. With confidence in her support, I reach for Knitting Without Tears, just to reassure myself on the sleeve technique. It's not there.

At this point in my knitting career, I may not be slavishly devoted to the pattern, but once I've started it, I want it where I can find it. Now I feel compelled. I can find every other Elizabeth Zimmermann book I own. Knitting Around? Right there. Knitting Workshop (book and DVD)? Right where they should be. The Opinionated Knitter? Yep, present and accounted for. Knitting Glossary DVD? Got it. See?

Knitting Without Tears? Nowhere. Slipped through a weakness between the dimensions, Buckaroo Banzai style. Lost, perhaps, in the space-time continuum. Creation, as Randall observes in Time Bandits, "was a bit of botched job, you see. We only had seven days to make it," and so is full of holes. My copy of Knitting Without Tears has fallen through.

At this point I really don't care that there are seamless sweaters in the other books. Frankly, I wouldn't care if there was one on every page. It is immaterial to me that all the seamless sweaters are pretty much the same up to the point where you join the sleeves to the body. The fact that I remember perfectly well that I need to cast on 44 stitches for the sleeves is completely beside the point. I want my book. And my book is gone.

The possibility that the book will not be found begins to niggle at my back-brain. I decide there's nothing for it but to buy another copy. I rationalize that I can, after all, send the spare off with Clare if (when?) it turns up, thus justifying the purchase while holding on to the hope that my book will return from wherever it's roaming. It's out of stock at both my local bookstore and the neighborhood Border's. I'm sorry, this is just piling injury onto injury, if you ask me.

Last night, rather dispiritedly, I joined the second skein of yarn to the body. I am prepared to admit defeat. In fact, I have. There is no joy in this knitting.

So, please explain how this got here? With yesterday's mail? I hadn't even gotten the mail when I noticed the book missing.

It wasn't there yesterday. I know. I checked. Repeatedly. I did.


diane h said...

You got an offer to buy KWT? I didn't get that. The formula - cast ib 20% of your body; mark one stitch as the center stitch and increase 2 stitches every 5th row to 33% of the body.

Bobbi said...

any chance your place is haunted? :)