Next to my bed is a huuuuuuuuge pile of books and magazines. They lean perilously against the wall in a sloppy tower of rumpled pages, bloopy bookcover spines (I can't stand to read hardcover books with book covers so always take them off and slip them, flaps first, into the towering stack where their fragile edges bulge out and get battered), and glossy sliders. The magazines are the worst. They cause all sorts of trouble, making a slippery, unstable foundation, and occasionally the whole warren-like structure of reading material will come slithering down and create a massive Slip'n'Slide right there (and that's just a small one), next to the bed. And then I'll just step through it on my crashing way toward my pillow, already snoring before I even get there. No matter what I do, no matter how diligently I try to change it, this habit dies hard with me. This pile has followed me to the side of every bed I've ever called my own, since childhood.
So as I mentioned, I have lots of books and magazines I do want to tell you about. But the first thing I did on my First Night of Perceived Freedom last night was cook (lasagna, of course lasagna) and download this pattern for the Cable Luxe Tunic from Lion Brand Yarn, which I saw in a catalog that was peeking out from my big pile. As my first official long-term self-indulgent craft of freedom, I am going to knit the gray sweater on the left. (That long one on the right — wow — if only I taught Medieval lit at Oberlin and had beautiful long flame-red hair and played the piccolo I would so totally wear that!)
Now, the reason I say that I'm going to knit it in italics is because 1) I am not really a knitter and 2) I'm not really a knitter. I know how to knit but I rarely knit. And I've never knit anything as big as a sweater. But I want to try. I want to do something I've never done before. I especially want to do something that I will never, ever do "professionally," since sometimes when I sew, or embroider, or especially crochet for myself, I find myself, even in spite of myself, not just relaxing but designing, with my little brain click-clacking away. Working. Figuring. And I don't want to do that right now. I just want to chill.
So I say "I'm going to knit that thing" in italics because 1) it's going to be expensive, since I don't want to use acrylic yarn as called for (I agree that something lighter than the called-for worsted would be a good idea, too) and 2) it will be a very expensive unfinished sweater unless I really commit to it. In addition to my remarkable ability to build towering condos of books and magazines, one of my other many talents is spending a lot of money on and then not finishing things for myself (see: Granny Square Blanket). But then there's 3) where I have this lovely vision of fall, and the fireplace, and hot chai, and a puppers next to me on the sofa, and some, what, Gregorian chants? Softly playing in the background? And there's me, knitting peacefully. See me? In pajamas? Not even caring if I finish the sweater or if it fits or looks horrid? Just all blissed out and knitting. Pastitsio in the oven. Another log on the fire for dinner, then back to the needles. If I say it in italics it's like a command and also like it will happen.
*Update: I just discovered, upon my return from the yarn store, that I had the link to the long sweater dress and not the short tunic, so I hope no one bought the long one if you wanted the short one — they are totally separate patterns and it's not too obvious on the site. Sorry about that! I got to the yarn store and said, "Wow, this sweater takes almost four thousand yards of yarn!" So, it's updated now. Not sure if anyone else noticed this, but I am sorry.
Also, I forgot to mention that my friend Kristin Spurkland is having a launch party at Knit/Purl tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. for her very special new book of men's knits, The Knitting Man(ual). This is one of the books on my list to tell you about and if you can make it out tonight to meet Kristin, I promise you will love her and her work as much as I do.