One of the joys of being a humanities type with a fourteen year old is, all that science and math stuff I hated? I get to revisit it. A while back, I was at odds with the scientific definition of work, the one that says you only work when you pick the box up, not when you carry the 50 pound sucker across the room (which reinforces my attitude that science generally makes no sense). A discussion of work from the scientific perspective, however, involves things like potential and kinetic. Stored energy versus energy in use, or motion. This I can relate to. This moves science from the merely annoying to the realm of possibility.
I've got possibility, or perhaps potential, to show you. (You know, it took a lot of work to get that segue. Unscientifically speaking.)
I like to knit sweaters. I had always vaguely assumed that the sweater requests I had received from various relations, however, were mostly of the "humor the lunatic" variety. Admittedly there was a bit of excitement when my youngest brother tried on John's sweater and the various non-knitting members of my extended family were jaw-dropped impressed. A sweater is a real knitting accomplishment, after all. One that would cover one of my 6 foot-plus brothers was worthy of astonished veneration. (I took said brother's request for a sweater seriously enough to buy the yarn -- any excuse to buy yarn, right? -- but that's where it sits. I figure on knitting another yoke- backed Zimmermann sweater for him, but eventually. Which is why you don't know anything about it. It's still in my head, ergo, it cannot be blogged.)
Anyway. I still believed the younger generation smiled kindly to my face ("Sure, you could knit me a sweater, Aunt Julie") and rolled their eyes and sighed when I wasn't around. My oldest nephew managed to disabuse me of this notion.
It took awhile. There was the initial request. My attitude? Not unlike what I assumed theirs was, "Sure, I'll knit you a sweater. What color?" I figured the color thing would stop him cold. Wrong. Gunmetal. He wants a gunmetal grey sweater. At this point I went ahead, pulled some skeins of grey yarn out of my stash and started playing with them. The next time I saw him, I presented them for his edification. They weren't what he had in mind. "Hah," I thought, "Vindicated!"
I expected to go along for quite some time before the sweater came up again - like maybe when he had had children and they were old enough to go to college. Instead, he came through with a color sample. I am now in possession of one of his favorite scarves, provided to me with the observation that any color that would go with the scarf would work. This got my attention. I began to suspect he was in earnest. He convinced me when he further provided one of his favorite sweaters to use as a model. No one gives up a scarf and a sweater unless they're serious.
I committed to a real yarn search. I have to admit, I was a little less than excited about knitting with grey. I figured I was going to have to find a yarn with a little something extra to it. Something that would give it some oomph. Something that would lift it out of the nether world of neither black nor white nor good red herring that gray yarn represents to me. I picked up any gray yarn I could find (and there weren't many) that I thought would knit up into a fabric that would entertain me for the duration. Rowan felted tweed in grey. Cascade 220 grey heather. Grey Silky Wool. No, and no, and no, again. I have reached the unexpected conclusion that grey mixed with anything else is dryer lint.
If I'm going to knit with gray yarn, I have to commit to gray. Plain gray. Gray straight up, no chaser.
Another possibility occurs to me. What if his siblings weren't kidding, either?
Edited to add: Another possibility! Larissa of Knitalong fame is collecting Barn-raising Quilt squares for a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders. These are fun and clever and endlessly engaging. Details here.