On deadlines

Like Douglas Adams, I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. Which may explain why I’ve been cutting it just a leetle bit close on two very important projects of late.
First there was The Bridal Shrug. I promised my dear friend Pip I would ensure she had warm shoulders for her wedding. I promised this back in, oh, September or so? Heaps of time, there was. And a shrug is only little. And I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to achieve. I was sure I could get it to her by – at the latest – beginning of Feb; allowing plenty of time for fitting and if necessary, totally reworking it by the big day itself, 28 February. Plus of course we had to be sure I wasn’t going to get foiled by possibly early arrival of the bebeh. All these factors were much on my mind and I was totally planning for them. Totally.
Yet somehow, I almost failed to deliver. I blame pregnancy for killing my mojo; but maybe I’m just a bit crap. Anyway, in the middle of last week I was still knitting away. (I had at least managed to fit it on Pip halfway through, so I was pretty sure the size was working out.) On Thursday I stayed up till the wee hours tucking in ends etc. So Friday could be given over to blocking – easy, right? Shouldn’t take too long for a simple shrug to dry… right? Especially when left in our lovely warm upstairs room, where laundry always (always) dries in a flash.
Yet on Saturday morning, the damn thing was still very, very damp. And we had to be on the road by around 9am, delivering the shrug to the bride by 12pm. Desperate times, I thought. Let me chuck this in the dryer, just on cool cycle, just for a short time.
Insert shrug. Set dryer to “delicates”. Hm, the delicate cycle doesn’t seem to allow me to choose a shorter drying time than 2 hours, but never mind; I’ll just pull it out after 20 minutes and see how we’re doing.
Wait 20 minutes. Go to dryer. Try to stop cycle.
It won’t stop.
Try to open door.
It won’t open.
Damn safety device.
Switch off dryer. Try to open door.
Still won’t open.
Think: there must be a way to tell the dryer I’m done. Switch it on again. Press buttons. Check manual. Press more buttons.
Oh. Shit.
Not only am I still failing to stop the cycle, or reduce the time remaining; since being resuscitated, the machine seems to have forgotten the “delicate” instruction.
So my very special, urgently needed, rather expensive cashmere/silk shrug is going to be stuck in the tumble dryer for 2 hours… on full heat.
Manage not to cry. (Pretty good for a pregnant lady, huh?) Wait for Armin to come back from collecting the car we’re borrowing for the weekend.
“Oh honey,” I say when he walks in. “Are you in the mood for working miracles?”
(I have absolute faith in his miraculous powers. Absolute faith based on 12 years of experience.)
“No,” he says. But I pay his reluctance no heed. Explain the situation. He looks at the manual, pokes a few buttons.
“I think I’ve stopped the machine!” he says happily.
“Yes, but can you open the door?”
“Oh…” (tries) “…no.”
Hm.
“Just wait a few minutes. Then try the door.”
It works! I feel silly. Hurrah, I have a shrug! With no apparent dryer damage! Hurrah!
It’s still wet though.
We get in the car and drive. Try hanging the shrug up inside the car and opening a window… but this is not very convincing, and also, really not very pleasant for us.
Are you feeling the tension? Are you absolutely on knitterly tenterhooks? WAS THE SHRUG DRY IN TIME FOR THE WEDDING? How? When? Who? What? Again, how?
Breathe, my dears. Breathe. All was well. Armin suggested laying it flat on the dashboard, over the air vents, and blowing a little warm air through it. Worked like a charm, and very fast. The shrug was done, was pretty, fitted, and – glory be – was dry.
So now I’m moving on to deadline number 2; but this one is moveable, for extra credit. Apparently I’m supposed to be having a baby soon. (There’s talk of “Thursday”.) Her jacket, the one thing her loving and knitterly mother has bothered to cast on, isn’t even nearly finished. What do you think? Will I make it? Is it true what the Harlot says – babies don’t come till their knitting is done? And if so, does she know that this jacket is the right knitting to be waiting for, or will she be confused by the presence in the house of a gorgeous blanket knitted just for her?
Hm.

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2 thoughts on “On deadlines”

  1. Eep! Yes, very exciting, I was on the edge of my seat.
    I have finished the item knitted for Scrooblet, I hope it doesn’t confuse her. Although, don’t ladies at your stage of their confinement usually want the damn thing out as soon as possible? I can start the other thing I’m knitting for her, but it might take about 3 weeks to finish. Is that enough time?

  2. I’m supposed to want her out asap, and I do a bit (she keeps trying to straighten her leg; since there isn’t any room in there, this means she’s just pushing against the same spot under my ribs again and again, and frankly it’s starting to feel bruised), but also I’m still keen to Get Stuff Done before the arrival. And I haven’t thrown up in a while, which is nice. So I can wait a few more days. (You hear that, bebeh?) She’s due on Thursday. No way she’ll still be in there in 3 weeks, so yeah, that should give me enough time to finish the jacket!

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