Knitting Coping Strategies: Laughing While You Mend

A few years ago I knit my mom a summer sweater. The yarn is Tahki Trio, a fabulous yarn that I've used for two sweaters. It changes hue and texture throughout, going from matte to shiny nylon to matte cotton.

My mom wore the sweater a lot, but the last time she wore it, she leaned down and caught her shoulder on something and snagged the sleeve. There was a bit of fiber sticking out, so she simply—wait for it—SNIPPED IT OFF. And then she went about her merry business, wearing the sweater once a week or so.

One day she noticed a little hole in the shoulder, so she gave me the sweater and said something to the tune of, "I think there's something wrong here. Can you fix it?" I said, "Sure!" and went about my merry business. Well now it's coming on summer again and I decided to fix the "little hole."

As soon as I started picking at the hole to see what was wrong, the tiny string of remaining yarn (the section that was snagged was in the nylon portion of the yarn and the strand sort of unraveled) gave way and developed into a HUGE GASH. I quickly grabbed the stitches and put them on two stitch holders so there wouldn't be further damage. I knew I had a leftover ball of yarn, but I couldn't put my finger on it. So I kitchenered the hole together with orange yarn to hold it in place—and therefore making it look really grisly!—until I could find the yarn.

The hole—tamed and ready for final mending.

I don't think I'm adequately conveying the horror that I experienced when all of those stitches literally burst open. At first I froze, thinking any slight movement would cause the whole thing to fall apart. Then I took the measures mentioned above. All will be fine in the end, but I have to say I was pretty stressed out.

This all happened the night before I took a plane to Denver for a meeting at Interweave. When I got there, I was presented with the new calendar, Franklin Habit's Stash of Knitting Cartoons 2011 Calendar. As I looked through it, the cartoon above made me laugh out loud, because that's what the Case of the Shoulder Gash was—a big, fat BUMMER.

And then life imitated art on the plane ride home when I dropped my ball of yarn as the plane was taking off and it rolled under my seat and rolled back about five rows, winding itself around two people's feet. I'm thankful for the lady in seat C18, who didn't push her handbag quite as far as she should have under the seat in front of her, therefore setting up the barrier that stopped my wayward ball of yarn. I'm sure those 10 people behind me were saying something a little stronger than "Bummer," as I went down the aisle and gathered my yarn, but I was sure was laughing to myself.

Here's to finding the humor in knitting!


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