Thwarted

Yesterday, after I went for the run, I tackled a whole list of other chores. I wrapped all the presents for my little sister and her family, and packed them into a box, and drove off to the post office to pop that into the mail to them. Amusingly, I packed their presents into the same box in which my sister mailed me ours – it arrived yesterday morning just as I was about to get started with the wrapping, and it turned out to be exactly the right size I needed. Some of the wadded newspaper she packed inside ended up on the floor for the cats; the rest went right back into the box before I shipped it back to them.

I also peeled a few dozen apples and cored and sliced them and then crammed them into the crockpot to make apple butter. A pile of apple pieces so large that I can barely get the lid onto the crockpot will eventually simmer down into a thick paste of a bit less than half the volume.

I had fully intended to can the apple butter this morning, but yesterday afternoon I sat down with all the pieces for a test knit I’ve been working on, and as I started putting them together, I realized that, even though I *did* knit a gauge swatch, and I have been checking and measuring gauge all along, somehow the knitting gremlins got involved and everything was very much the wrong size. Because – and this is something a lot of knitters learn – gauge swatches lie. Always. Every. Single. Damn. Time.

Panic set in. Swearing followed shortly thereafter. I set it aside and thought maybe if I checked it later it might all be a bad dream. I checked it later. Still all wrong. More swearing.

And then at that point I realized there was really only one thing left to do. So I turned off the crockpot and put the mostly-finished apple butter in the refrigerator to deal with at some point in the near future. And then I sat down and gritted my teeth and I ripped out fully three weeks worth of knitting, down to the very last stitch, and started over.

I knit all Friday evening, until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any more. And then I got up this morning and I knit some more. I took a few hours of break to head off to practice for the Christmas cantata, but then I came back home and kept on knitting. I went down a needle size. I measured obsessively. I checked and double-checked, and as pieces came off the needles, I measured and triple-checked again, and this time things looked like they were supposed to look. We finally caught up on season 7 of Supernatural, and a few episodes from season 5 of Charmed, and I kept on knitting. I had other things I really wanted to do today – baking cookies and doing laundry and maybe finally tackling the Christmas cards and annual wrap-up letter, but ah well. Those will all keep. They will have to keep.

‘Tis the season for Holidailies.

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