Thursday, March 16, 2006

All's well that end's well

For Christmas, I thought I had seized on the perfect present for my husband--an heirloom Dale of Norway sweater. This would show the depth of my love, the length to which I was willing to go for my husband. I examined every pattern I could find, looking for the most meaningful example of Dale's design brilliance, the most meaningful for my husband and the most interesting for me to knit. I found the perfect, perfect example--or so I thought.

It was the millenium pattern, representing the history of Norway. Each figure in the intricate patttern represented some event in the history of Norway or some legend. This, I felt, was the definitive Dale of Norway pattern. My husband, in the 60's (before I met him) spent a year in Norway as a post-doc. He and I and our daughter, about 35 years later, spent a marvelous two weeks in modern Norway. We loved Norway and he commented frequently on the progress Norway had made since the 60's.

Well, he was less than enthusiastic when I presented him with the pattern for Christmas. The truth finally came out two weeks later--it was too "flowery." He tried his best to get me to agree that the "flowery" nature of the sweater simply would not look good on him. Well, it looked stunning on all those stud-ly Norwegians models in the Dale booklet. I couldn't agree that the sweater was at all flowery, but hey, I wasn't going to knit a sweater that wouldn't be worn.

So, I went on another search for patterns, presented him with about six purchased at my favorite yarn shop. AsI recall, it took another two weeks to determine which sweater was least "flowery" and would look good on him.

Here's the sweater he picked out. Not one "flower" in the thing. Not that the previous pattern had any flowers at all...... it had a boat, a king's crown, a fir tree, etc., but not a single flower, or anything that could reasonably be interpreted as a flower. Not even an inoffensive little edelweiss!!

I then suggested he pick out the colors. Well, it took two trips to the shop, about 10 arguments and five hours for him to select the colors--to the vast amusement of all the knitters assembled in the coffee shop part of the yarn shop.

One would think that yarn selection would be a straightforward task, compared to the difficulty with the pattern selection. No. He had to look through every pattern book and sample sweater to "get the big picture." I kept telling him that the range of Dale colors was his palette from which to choose --he could do anything he wanted!! I would even knit with the (god awful) neon colors if he so desired. Just look at all those yarn balls over there, I urged. Mix and match. Toss a few around. No, that was "details", he had to get the "big picture" first. Hmmmm

He analyzed every single photo, every single display sweater, multiple times and ad nauseum. He tried to get me to agree that details or colos that he didn't like were, in fact, a fatal flaw in the design and knitting world. When I simply said that well, I kind of liked the color choice of the photo but that he could choose what he wanted, he accused me of not wanting to analyze the situation with him (he was correct on that score!) and I retreated to the coffee room.

Finally, the no-nonsense shop owner took control. In 15 minutes she told him what I had been trying to say all along, presented him with four colors that she said looked good and the deal was done!! Thank god. I thought this perfect present would be the end of our marriage.

Here is the beginning--a funny circle with a hole in the middle!

The colors, navy blue, light grey, dark grey and dark red seem pretty ordinary and easy to select--wouldn't you think? Not a great deal of imagination there, I say. But, it took morethan 5 hours (!!!!!) to pick it out! Sigh. I'm only the knitter, after all. The machine that turns yarn into interlocked loops....

To give myself a treat, I'm also making myself a pair of cotton socks since spring is almost here and wool is getting too warm. Although the colors are not represented well here, it took me about 15 seconds to select the yarn.....

1 comment:

Lorette said...

I think I'd have given up on that sweater before I even started. Husbands can be very funny about what they will and won't wear--even worse than teenaged girls sometimes.
Your flower basket shawl is lovely, by the way.