Every year the commentator and writers talk about the endless time on the Yukon, Norton Sound and Golovin Bay where the scenery changes little, its fairly flat or it is dark and nothing but your headlamp light can be seen. Hours upon hours of following the dogs, snacking every so often and never really knowing if progress has been made. Some mushers take that time to reflect on their lives, make decisions or just enjoy the Northern Light displays.
By Wednesday evening I had reached my equivalent of the coast on the sweater. Now it was edging time. Sheesh. You would think I had never put in buttonholes before as I frogged that side 4 times getting it right. Sorta like missing a trail marker which is very possible on the coast with the blowing wind and snow and changed trails depending on conditions. Eventually I reached Norton Sound and started my i-cord trek around the fronts and neck edgings.
Cathy invited me to join her for lunch at Panera's on Friday so I took the sweater as I really couldn't afford to not knit on it and still finish before the Red Lantern. All hope of top ten, even mid pack was gone by then, but finishing was still on the books. When she left to go back to work I stayed, iced tea on the table and i-cording away.
For those of you who don't know about i-cord bind off edgings. We knit 2 stitches, slip one, knit 1, then pass that slipped stitch over the last stitch knit. Then the 3 remaining stitches are passed back to the left hand needle and it is all repeated and repeated and repeated. S l o w as this method has us knitting 3-4 times as many stitches as we started with. During this time I was able to reflect on why it usually takes me 6 months to complete something like a sweater. There I was slogging away at this thing, doing nothing else but this sweater, not spinning, not knitting the beret Knit Picks is waiting for, not the socks that are about half done, just this sweater. I do like it and like how it came out but not the monogamous relationship. Usually when a project starts to get boring I either start a new one, design a new something or go back and work on a UFO. But since this was a challenge, the sticking with it part was a major accomplishment over and beyond the actual knitting.
As I completed passing over the very last stitch, the sun was still bright but my cell phone said 5pm. Yikes. I had been there for hours (Panera is a great place for things like that) so headed out of there real quick to get home.
Once home, I told Jim I ate late so would fend for myself later once I got the discharge paste painted on the sweater. Oh yes, I have neglected to tell you about that little step on each and every part. When I dye yellows I always get bits of green in the product. With this yellow heading toward sunflower and golden coloring the green was darker and really began to make the sweater look dirty in places. Therefore the use of discharge paste. I painted individual stitches with the goop wherever the green bothered me. Once that was done, the paste needed to dry. Then the kettle was set to boiling and each area was steamed until it was a nice pale green. When I went foraging for buttons I found some in that particular green. The buttons tie it all together.
I even found some sunflower printed socks to go with the sweater. Don't know if she will like them but I do.
After the steaming comes washing and blocking. I did get to sleep by midnight Friday. Saturday the 5 buttons were sewn on and I clocked into Nome at 4:33 AK time. When I checked online, the musher before that time had come in 46th shortly before midnight Friday and the next one was not due for almost 3 hours after me. Well I wasn't last, completed the trek and realized my challenge, so get to use this year's winning ravatar.