Anyone Got a Spare Week?
I'm a bit self-centered. I suppose we're all a bit self-centered but my case of narcissistic behavior tends to crop up at times that make me look like an exceptional shit.
And here's today's example:
B's uncle, Gerald, has colon cancer. He was diagnosed in September and it's pretty bad. It's spread, the tumors can't be removed and he's undergoing chemotherapy every couple weeks in an effort to extend his life at least some. It's awful to see how cancer has ravaged him and all the while he's trying to be as upbeat as he can. Gerald truly is a calm, thoughtful man. He loves his books, he loves to listen to opera and symphonies and he likes his quiet life. So one would think that those of us who care about him would put him first, right?
I've failed that test.
Remember how a couple weeks ago I mentioned that I'm trying to knit a cowl for Gabi for Christmas? I've made some headway on it but I changed the pattern and as the cowl grows I can see it's likely going to be too...I dunno...ribby...to be a good cowl. It's a basketweave pattern that tends to draw in the fabric. It's hard to stay interested in a project that's probably not going to be completed so I've put it aside. In the meantime I've joined a knit-along group to make an advent calendar scarf. Instead of each day opening each little door of an advent calendar I will instead get a piece of the pattern for a lace scarf and by Christmas morning I should have a completed scarf. Actually what I will have is a lump of knitting that resembles a pile of limp noodles until I take the time to block it but that's beside the point. The point of the project is to knit the same thing each day that knitters all around the world are knitting, share our experience with it and take time out during the busy holiday season to be restful and still and creative. I figure that to keep up with the project it'll take me somewhere between two and three hours of knitting each day, which is pushing it for me finding free time.
I decided that I really want to work on this advent scarf and then search for a different lace cowl for Gabi and do it for her birthday in January. So that I'd be ready for the first part of the pattern to be given on December 1st I've found the proper needles in my gawdawful nest of circular needles, bought new yarn and have been giving myself a bit of a pep talk each day to convince myself that I can really get this project done by Christmas. I normally have to take long breaks during lace projects because of the frustration that can go along with a lace project. This time I want to plow through it without a pause.
Here's where my character flaw comes in.
Back on the day Gabi was dropping hints about me knitting a cowl for her she also thought that a pair of hand knit socks was just what Gerald needed. I agreed that he could definitely benefit from a pair, what with him losing weight like mad and him being unable to keep himself warm, and while I didn't promise anything, I decided that I'd knit him a pair. A few days later I remembered that I had a pair of socks already finished that should fit him (and Darling Mollie, we maybe need to discuss how I gave away your socks before I could make them to you). Gerald got the socks, they fit, he loves them and I understand he has trouble letting them go long enough for them to be washed.
Tonight Gabi called and again raved about how Gerald loves the socks I knit. They're just the right weight, they're warm, they're comfortable and so on. I love that Gerald loves his socks. It makes me happy that he's got something going right for him during these weeks of a shitload of things going wrong. And if I'd been even sort of perceptive I'd have known that he'd want another pair of socks and I'd have already started them.
I'm not that perceptive.
Gabi has begged for another pair of socks for Gerald. And there's no question that I'll knit them for him. But December 1st - the date my knit along starts - is a week away and under normal circumstances I can only get one sock knit in one week. The selfish side of me is hollering loudly that it's not fair that I have to crank out a pair of socks before I can finally knit something for me. The sane side of me is saying "Shut up. Do you have cancer? No? Then shut up. Just be sweet for someone who's suffering".
If I don't have the socks finished by December 1st I have a few choices. A. I can knit both the socks and each day's piece of the scarf all at the same time and likely become a snarling bitch or B. I can finish the socks and then start the scarf late and perhaps knit two days worth of pattern pieces each day until I'm caught up or C. skip days of the scarf pattern...it's supposed to be possible that a day's pattern can be easily left out or D. knit like a house a-fire and get these socks finished by December 1st.
I think option D has potential. The socks are simple - it's just straight stockinette stitch. No cables, no lace, no textured pattern. I can give up some spare-time activities like reading and knit every spare moment I have until they're finished. I'm a pretty slow knitter and so getting a pair of socks finished in a week will be one of the biggest knitting challenges I've given myself but maybe a good challenge is what I need.
So how about y'all cheering me on? I'll knit these socks, give y'all updates here and if I'm lagging you can give me a virtual nudge forward. Anything will help. The real advantage is that the sooner they're finished the sooner Gerald can have them because let's face it - he needs all the things he can enjoy that he can get. And I need all the lessons in putting others first that I can get.