Back to Autumn Knitting


Responsible Knitter took a deep breath and pulled Mom’s sweater out of the knitting basket, along with the long-neglected pattern. Knitter Id said nothing, but rolled her eyes.

“It’s been too long,” mourned Responsible Knitter. “We haven’t touched this since the basil went into the garden. Now, the basil is spent and the black-eyed Susans are past prime. It’s time to pull out the fall knitting.”

“Why so early?” argued Knitter Id. “We have months and months of cold weather ahead of us. Let’s make some cool mitts out of this fun sock-weight yarn!” Knitter Id lovingly fingered the skein of blue-green Mountain Colors Crazyfoot perched in the yarn bowl next to the knitting chair.

Responsible Knitter was stern. “You had your way with the project lineup all summer. You made socks and cowls and refused to listen to me about making at least a little progress on Mom’s sweater. Now, she’s expecting a sweater, and the yoke of it isn’t even finished yet! And don’t get me started about the colorwork mittens. Remember those? Once upon a time, you found them irresistible.” Responsible Knitter was rifling through the knitting basket, looking at neglected projects, which was making Knitter Id anxious.

“Oh. Right.” Knitter Id was sulking now. “The ones that will go with the forest green alpaca cowl we made. How was I to know that the thumb gusset would be so fiddly, and doesn’t everyone agree that it’s a pain to follow a colorwork chart when you’re on a summer road trip?”

“Well, we’ve managed to knit the first mitten and the cuff of the second, so we need to knuckle down and knit the second,” Responsible Knitter intoned. “Now, back to Mom’s sweater.” The sweater-in-progress consisted of a mostly-finished yoke. It had been in hibernation so long that Responsible Knitter — and certainly not the attention-span-challenged Knitter Id — had no idea what the various colored stitch markers meant. At one time, some colors reminded when to increase for body sections, some for sleeve sections, and some set off pattern motifs. But now, it was a mystery. “I’m going to have to re-read the pattern and figure out where we left off. I don’t think there’s much more to go before we can divide for the fronts and back.”

Knitter Id has no patience for parsing patterns. “Fine,” she said in a voice that would make any teenage girl who wasn’t getting her way feel proud. “You can at least let me put the thumb in the mitten we’ve been carrying around as a purse project. That’ll be easy, and then you can call the first mitten done. Won’t that make you feel accomplished and productive or whatever it is that motivates people like you?

Responsible Knitter sighed. “Deal. Tonight, I’ll re-read the pattern for Mom’s sweater. Tomorrow, we have to watch an all-day training webinar for work. We can do that at home. I’ll let you put the thumb in that mitten, and then we have to get cracking on Mom’s sweater.”

The next day, Knitter Id was happy to finish the mitten first thing in the morning.

Blooming Gale mitten 1

She even cast on the second mitten and was ribbing away, when Responsible Knitter pulled out Mom’s sweater. Responsible Knitter could hear Knitter Id grumbling under her breath. “A deal’s a deal,” said Responsible Knitter. Time to crank on Mom’s sweater.” Knitter Id gave Responsible Knitter the stinkeye and put away the mitten.

For the rest of the day, Responsible Knitter worked away on Mom’s sweater, finishing the yoke, dividing for the fronts and back, and even casting the sweater onto waste yarn to try it on for a sanity check. It checked out, and Responsible Knitter placed it back on the circular needle just in time for the webinar to end and wine-thirty to commence.


Jaylen Jacket yoke

“See?” Responsible Knitter told Knitter Id as she poured a glass of wine and took things out of the fridge to make dinner. “The worst of it is over. The rest will be pretty easy.”

“Except for the button bands,” countered Knitter Id.

“Okay,” Responsible Knitter said. “When it comes time for those, I’ll let you take a few breaks with the project of your choice.” Responsible Knitter turned to look at Knitter Id to gauge her response, but didn’t see her right away. Then, Responsible Knitter saw her in the study. Knitter Id was already on the computer, checking out yarn for a project to work on when she needed relief from the button bands.



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