It’s nearly the moment of truth. I placed all of the held stitches onto waste yarn for the front and back of the Lady Oriel and then blocked her, within an inch of her life. Tonight I hope to knit the front and back together and pick up all of the stitches for the neckband.

It’s always a dicey proposition when you make an article of clothing. I’m not talking about generica, like hats and scarves. It’s one of the reasons I stopped sewing clothes for myself. At the end, with all the work put in, does it really suit you?

As exhibit A I give you a lace jacket I knit several years back. It’s gorgeous to look at and to touch. It’s soft, slightly fuzzy, and very elaborate. It belongs on someone much more petite than I – the tall, lanky, white girl with the face of an old woman. I’ve worn it a handful of times and was never comfortable in it. After 4 months of knitting, ripping and finally finishing, it’s a thing of beauty that sits in my closet. I hope the Lady Oriel isn’t like that.

The entire lace jacket is knit, not a single seam sewn. The lace pattern took me sixty eleven tries to get right (and in some places it’s still not right). I had to buy another skein of yarn once I was on my way because the knitting and ripping had felted the hell out of the mohair and silk yarn. I’d never heard of a life line being used in lace knitting so ripping was cause for much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. I just leapt in and began, and learned, and cried in frustration and relief, and purchased more yarn until I finished something that just wasn’t right for me.

If that doesn’t sound crazy, I don’t know what does. Still at this end of the year it seems like a good metaphor for me. Just try your damnedest to complete the thing with honor. Pay attention, give it what it needs and cross the finish line. Sometimes it’s the project you finish, sometimes it’s the project finishing you.

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