Sunday, April 15, 2012

Many the Miles

2.7 to be exact. With 1500 beads.

Many the Miles from Sara Bareilles' album 'little voice'

I made up my mind when I was a young girl
I've been given this one world
I won't worry it away
But now and again I lose sight of the good life
I get stuck in a low light
But then Love comes in

How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Many the miles
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
But send me the miles and I'll be happy to follow you Love

I do what I can wherever I end up
To keep giving my good love
And spreading it around
Cause I've had my fair share of take care and goodbyes
I've learned how to cry
And I'm better for that

Red letter day and I'm in a blue mood
Wishing that blue would just carry me away
I've been talking to God don't know
If it's helping or not
But surely something has got to got to got to give
Cause I can't keep waiting to live

How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Many the miles
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
But send me the miles and I'll be happy to follow you

Last August I went yarn shopping with friends and scored 2640 yds of cobweb weight in a gradient orange from a sale bin. Surely that was enough to make an Epic project. A once in a lifetime pi shawl? I fell in with a bad lot of Estonian Lace Knitters, who convinced me that it needed beads, it wouldn’t be truly fabulous without beads. I agreed with the caveat that the beads couldn’t be where they would be cold on my neck.

When it came time to cast on…I had to face the truth…this was cobweb weight, truly, I would never finish something in cobweb weight. But 1300 yards would still be a lovely shawl, I would simply double it.

So taking this chart from there, and that chart from here, I set out on my adventure.

And then I fell down a deep dark well. The stress from the past year finally cracked me. Depression set in. The only bright spot was an orange tangle of yarn in the knitting bag. Quietly, steadily, I knit and added beads, and ripped, and knit, and knit and knit, and … ran out of yarn. The shawl was “probably” big enough; but I didn’t have the mental strength to knit anything else. And my last pi shawl was cast off at a stage of hatred and loathing, only to be that much too small. Better to keep knitting.

I hunted down 2 more balls, and started another chart. More beads, more knitting, slowly I started to look around at the world again. I set down Big Orange and knit some other projects, tidying the WIP basket, dating some garter stitch. Then it was time to pick her back up. Not because I was depressed but because I wanted to prove that I could. Could start this, could design this, could finish this. Prove that I wasn’t beaten, hadn’t quit, wasn’t as defeated by life as I felt.

Finally it was “enough.” Even bunched up on the 32” Chiaogoo Red, it was obviously done. One last border, (ripped 3 times) and I would cast off.

Of course, I ran out of yarn in the cast off, and had to crack open a sixth skein. 4480 yards and 8 months later it was time to block her.

All lace knitters know the magic of blocking. How it turns a giant orange jellyfish into geometric swirling lines of grace and glitter. She blocked out at 84”

And while she isn’t the most complicated lace there is, or even that I’ve knit, I’m proud of myself because I did do it. Not perfectly, not without errors, but without being beaten. And as much as I love that shawl, for the right person, I could give it up. Because I know, if I wanted to, if I had to, I could do it again.


mehitabel said...

Love it! And as an antidote for depression knitting is usually a good bet--especially in a wonderful orange!

melanie said...

Amazingly gorgeous!

tina said...

Holy cow, it is amazing. AMAZING my friend! I send hugs, love & light.

ChelleC said...

I can't believe it. This is absolutely amazing. I'm in awe. Total and utter awe.

Reagan Carson said...

wow, I hear you were doing something big, and it turned out vary nice.

Anonymous said...

As amazing as you are!! My hat's off to you!!