Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Sheep Goes, "Quack!"

As I sit here looking at the now hopelessly miscounted stitches on the Invisibility Shawl and try to find some way to accept the fact that I have lost at least three, probably more, of the little buggers on this rather simple pattern, I can't help but reflect on a conversation I had with my Cheerful Teaching Assistant last week. At that moment in time, neither of us was particularly cheerful. We had spent the better part of an hour trying to find a solution to some paperwork issues relative to her job and we were weary from it all. There are any number of documents that we need if we are to finalize certain job-type things and the vast amount of creativity we were trying to employ to get these documents was wearing on our patience.

(note: The issues here aren't ones that I can comment on in the interest of the Cheerful Teaching Assistance right to privacy and all. Suffice it to say, there were some small, but oddly insurmountable issues that were preventing us from getting her the paperwork she needed.)

We sat in silence for a while, flummoxed by this conundrum and the 8 billion things that hadn't worked in its solving. She finally sighed, looked at me and said:

I'm starting to think that maybe I should have all my ducks in a row at this point in my life...

I have a good twenty years of life experience on her. It is at this point that a Wiser Older Woman should have been able to come up with some sort of pithy comment or sage words of advice that would ease her burden, maybe give her some hope or at least a little direction. I was the W.O.W in this social equation and it was incumbent upon me to offer something productive here.

I looked her right in the eye, sat up a bit straighter, assumed my most worldly of airs and replied:

I got nuthin'...

The fact of the matter is, my ducks have long since waddled off to parts more conducive to lining up. They hung in there for as long as they could. I respect and admire the ducks for their optimistic nature with regard to my future ability to get them in some sort of linear arrangement. But, as often happens in these situations, one of the little quackers finally got sick of the whole waiting game and started rabble rousing. The next thing I knew, the pond was empty and my chances for ever being able to give duck organization advice were gone for good. I'm duckless. I have nothing to offer the youth of this country. I cannot remember which bills I have paid, my truck is past due its inspection date by over a month, my taxes are always filed mere hours before the government says they should be and I've purchased coffee three weeks in a row because I can't remember that I already bought it.

Things were humming along rather nicely with the Invisibility Shawl except for one little problem. I just couldn't seem to get it through my head that this is not something I should be knitting while I ride the little exercises bike in the afternoons. Day after day, I have attempted this feat and each time there has been some sort of problem. Tinking back is not easily done whilst pedaling so there has been some stitch wrangling in order that everyone ends up safely back on the needles. Each time it happens I say to myself, "hey, don't try that again, 'kay?" I solemnly swear that I will never again try to knit even the simplest of lace patterns while riding the little bike. And I go and do it again the very next day. Now, if I still had those ducks, this might be feasible. But I don't. So I shouldn't be doing this. But I do.

And today was the final straw. The poor shawl, tired of being tinked back repeatedly by my sweaty hands, finally made its unhappiness known. I am so beyond hope of repair at this point. There is no "quick fix." I can rip it out again, or begin the process of tinking back to a place where all stitches are present and accounted for.

Or, I can stuff it in the knitting basket for tonight and deal with it later. And I suspect that this is going to be the course of action. I can use the time tonight to play computer games and not pay the electric bill.

I could maybe even go online and see if I've gotten an email from the ducks. I like to think that they might at least "check in" someday...

SA

14 comments:

Beth said...

I admire you for trying to knit lace while peddling. I'm not that brave. I can barely knit a dishcloth while I'm peddling. :)

Emma said...

You're totally a WOW, with or without any ducks.

Jacqui said...

knitting while exercising?! what a spectacular idea!!!!!

maybe this means i will finally succeed in getting back on the exercise wagon...

but yes, perhaps it is better suited to plain socks.

nancy said...

I like beth's idea for knitting a dishcloth while excercising. If you get too sweaty you can use it to mop off the sweat! (I have no idea where my ducks are either. I used to know, but they escaped)

Mouse said...

My husband always uses the phrase "get your ducks in a row".. and I always look at him and go "ducks.. I'm supposed to get DUCKS now? I thought we weren't having any more pets!" - I'm sure for him this response got old a long time ago. I still find it amusing. *quack*

Lorraine said...

Gosh, just getting my kids around to their various activities is more like herding cats that aligning ducks. Now ducks I could do . . . if mine weren't afraid of the cats.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I didn't get any ducks??? That could explain a lot.
Try a lifeline for your lace so if you oops you just have to rip back to that point. Some people suggest dental floss. I used thread. Thin yarn would work too.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

debsnm said...

I find that a "time out" almost always makes bad knitting go goood - or at least makes it easier to frog.

trek said...

I was wondering whose duck wandered by chez trek last night, quacking feebly and pathetically outside my bedroom window.

Shall I send her back home?

I must now collect my napkin knitting and invest in my health with a bit of kwitting.

Kate said...

See that's why i don't exercise, it interferes with perfectly good knit-time. I think your ducks and mine might be having a party at some pond somewhere. Perhaps they will migrate back home? Maybe if I leave breadcrumbs?

Cursing Mama said...

There are ducks???
Crap.

(We are fond of saying that we need to get our poop in a group - it is crass, but it fits)

kmkat said...

Ducks? You lost some ducks? I lost some ducks once. They were supposed to be standing in line at attention but I got distracted and poof! they were all wander-y and let's-go-swimming and getting lost.

Ducks ?in a row? Who ever heard of such a thing? I've been getting by pretty well for a number of years by just keeping them more or less in the vicinity. Clipping their wings, nailing one webbed foot to the porch step, that sort of thing. Keeping them in a row was waaaaayyyyy too much work.

Carrie K said...

One merely *strives* to get ones ducks in a row, one doesn't actually accomplish that feat. It's like moving mountains. Metaphorical rather than actual.

At least for me.

Knitting is just being bad lately! It needs a nice time out. Exercising and knitting? That's so.... productive.

Donna Lee said...

There are an awful lot of ducks wandering around our local library. Or are they geese? Hmmm, I can't always tell the difference. Maybe that's why mine are never in a row. I am looking for the wrong birds.