Maybe a Dahlia

There’s this cardigan. Her name is Dahlia. I loved her as soon as I saw her, but I let practicality stand between us and I filed her away on a wish list entitled Things I Shall Make When I Have Time. My friend Susan and I joked about how, beautiful as she was, we would probably never get around to making her. Susan even started a Never Get It Done-Along for Dahlia, a sort of ongoing online party where we could talk about her loveliness, waffle about yarn choices, and dream of what our versions would look like, without any pressure to actually make her. In my stash was a yarn that I was sure would be perfect:  some merino/bamboo/silk heavyish fingering weight by The Plucky Knitter in the delightfully-named colourway Mildred Pierce. I even made a gauge swatch. It was perfect the first time. The yarn was a dream to knit with. I was sunk.

Behold! The swatch of perfect gauge!

As of Saturday night, I could resist no longer. Whistling past the designs-in-progress pile, shielding my eyes from the spectre of a thousand unfinished objects, I cast on for Dahlia. I worked on her as we watched Last Life in the Universe, and well into the night. Sunday at around dawn, when Chicken-Leg Al, Prince Among Cats summoned me to door duty*, I brought Dahlia outside to knit while drinking my morning gallon of tea. As the chilly early morning gave way to a warm, sunny afternoon and then cooled into evening, the central lace motif expanded and unfolded in my hands until it became this:

Somewhere in here I wanted to wax poetic about how Last Life in the Universe was the perfect film to go with Dahlia; how the story reveals itself to you slowly, quietly, occurring mostly between the lines, as the petals of the lace pattern unfurl until much to your surprise, you have created a beautiful, delicate thing. Everything I came up with sounded much too purple, though — too clumsy and obvious and sledgehammery for such a subtle satisfaction — so I won’t. Except that I just did. Ah, well. But really, this is one of those patterns that you look at think, “Oh! How pretty!” Then you work on it and realize just how clever it is: how carefully all the increases and decreases — the type, the placement — were put together to make this intricate design. The way the rest of the garment grows out from the lace panel is equally interesting, and I look forward to that part almost as much. Dahlia is even more clever than she looks, and I’ll be watching for more designs from Heather Zoppetti.

Now it’s Monday, time to get back to more worklike knitting. Come evening, though, I may pull Dahlia out of the basket and work on her some more. Just a couple of rows. Just to finish the next piece.

*Chicken-Leg Al has a new trick to ensure that I do not neglect my duty as dawn doorperson. It’s called ‘Mum’s Lower Abdomen is My Parade Ground.’  It’s marginally less irritating than its predecessor, ‘Metal Blinds are Satan’s Xylophone’, and at least as effective.

3 thoughts on “Maybe a Dahlia

  1. I’m making Dahlia too – slowly, in between work projects – and it’s lovely. Love Chicken-Leg Al’s innovation. Far more creative than our cat!

    1. Yeah, this is definitely going to be a long term, in between work projects thing. Now that the lace is done, it’s great end-of-day mindless tv knitting, though.

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