Not for a lack of knitting.
Just a lack of knitting that wasn't intended as a surprise for someone who reads this blog.
Last May some friends from college got engaged. I met Erin back in sophomore year physics lab and we got through many homework sets, lectures, Society of Physics Students meetings, and crazy outreach projects together. At the end of junior year when she IM'ed me to tell me she had a crush on this boy in our circle of friends (omg squee!) I did my best to pitch in and help the flirting effort by deviously arranging SPS social events where they could oh-so-casually hang out. They started dating (yay!), Ryan left Michigan a year before us for grad school (boo...), but Erin rejoined him after graduation and hey coincidence, grad school brought me to the same town too (huzzah!).
So now we have friends + impending wedding + knitter, not to mention that Erin is a knitter herself. A knitted gift seems inevitable. But, you know, they set a date for August, and all I could think was afghan, and who really wants to think about a wool blanket in August, right? So la de da, months pass, I'm knitting other stuff. Sometime in April it occurs to me, as really obvious things tend to do, that a wedding is one day in a marriage. August is fleeting compared to what they're embarking on.
I start thinking about afghans again. I harness the power of Ravelry search engine and a secret livejournal poll and narrow the field down to our finalist: the Tree of Life Afghan by Nicky Epstein. I download the pattern, I buy ten skeins of Cascade 220, I get funny looks from the yarn store clerk when I ask if they have any more of my colorway as I was considering making the blanket bigger. (Long story. 4 is an unlucky number in Japan, where my grandma is from. The ToL afghan is full of 4s. Final conclusion: the ratio of stitches per repeat of the two main motifs doesn't support extending the blanket to 5 tree repeats, and neither Erin nor Ryan is Japanese, so. Bad luck averted.)
April 11th: I start knitting. I calculate that I need average about 3 rows per day in order to have a month left for the border and finishing, before their wedding on August 14th.
April-June: life events transpire. I do not average 3 rows per day. I finish some socks, though.
July-August: OMG BLANKET KNITTING! Wash helps.
August 5th, ish: I finish the body of the blanket! On to the border.
August 12: Jim
August 13: I knit more leaves. I start sewing the border on. I bridesmaid it up at the rehearsal dinner. I stay up past my bedtime working on the border. I almost make it all the way to the last corner before turning in.
August 14: We basically don't leave the hotel all morning because I'm knitting and seaming leaves. I finish weaving in ends at 12:40 PM, run out to eat a sandwich, run back to the hotel, make myself pretty, and make it to pre-ceremony photos by 2. Then Erin and Ryan get TOTES MARRIED YAY!
So that's the personal side to the blanket story. Now the technical side. I made a lot of mistakes on this project, but I'm still feeling good because 1) I fixed them ALL! so the end product is fine and 2) I fixed them ALL! so I now have a lot more practice fixing things! I
Anyway. Congratulations, you crazy kids.
P.S. Title quote on this post comes from Chris McCandless via Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild.