Cast On!


It’s been a challenging week. A tough one at work, not disastrous, we solved all our problems, and I found out I work with an incredible bunch of folks. A tough one at home too. My daughter is growing, rapidly, like dandelions in springtime, and she needs more sleep to fuel all that growth and all her play. Mornings have not been pleasant events around our house this week. So, we’re moving up bedtime. And, consequently, bedtime isn’t being much better received than “wake” time.

So I need good news, happy thoughts and relaxing activity.

My cousin is having a baby, and there is nothing happier than the thought of a baby being born into a family that will receive it an wrap it in all kinds of love, which is exactly what will happen in this case. This baby will have great parents. Two sets of excited grandparents to lavish all kinds of grandparently graces upon it and a really awesome “GG” (great grandmother) too. So there is my good news and my happy thoughts that make me smile.

And, there is my relaxing activity…I now have an excuse to sink my hands into supersoft baby yarn and knit a baby afghan, cute little baby hats, booties and whatever else I can get done between now and July. So I found a beginner’s afghan pattern, purchased the recommended yarn and needle, and last night while my husband was out looking at large screen plasma TVs, I sat back in my overstuffed arm chair and…

“Cast on 137 stitches?!? What are they crazy? I’ll never make that.” That’s not stress relief. My heart sank at reading the first line of the directions.

One hundred thirty seven stitches. No way. Not in this house. Still, I took a deep breath and began.

“One, two, three…fifteen…”

“Momma, what are you doing?”

“Knitting. Sixteen, Seventeen…”

“What are you making?”

“A baby blanket. Eighteen.”

“For me?”

“No, for your new cousin. Nineteen.”

“Oh. Can I have some cheese?”

“Twenty.”

“Okay.” I put down my knitting, thinking twenty was a good number for stopping got the cheese for my daughter and returned to casting on. Around stitch 41, the phone rang. Some one wanting to talk to me about a credit card that I don’t have. I hung up. At stitch 63, my daughter requested that we play the matching game, which we did.

Finally I think I cast on 137 stitches, and I started knitting into them. Or at least I tried. I had focused so much on the counting that the cast on stitches were so tight I could barely knit into them, much less transfer them to the waiting needle. I dropped several stitches in the process and decided to frog the project. But, the cast on was so tight, I couldn’t slide the stitches off the needle, and I ended up standing over the trash can and cutting the yarn off the circular needles bit by bit.

I set that project aside and returned to a mosaic scarf that is going well, and just knitted what I know. I’ll tackle the 137 cast on stitches another day.

Author: Michele

Michele Arduengo is a life science and medical writer by profession and a creative non-fiction writer by hobby. In addition to publishing Grits and Purls since 2008, Michele has published essays in Wisconsin Woman, Chicken Soup for the Soul and has a weekly column in her local newspaper.

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