Finishing and Starting

We’ve been living in Iqaluit for over three weeks now. Is it really only three weeks? It feels a lot longer. It already feels like home. Like we just live here. Even though, at the same time, we’ve only started to scratch the surface of what we’ll actually be doing here. There are moments when that slowness of pace is frustrating, mostly because I wonder, am I doing something wrong? Shouldn’t I be making friends and influencing people already? But mostly, the pace is a relief. It means I can make sure my kids are getting the focused attention they need. It means we can pick up responsibilities one at a time. It means our way of life here can be sustainable long-term. It means that, even though this is not a large place, as we uncover it one stone at a time, we won’t run out of treasures to discover. Not for a very, very long time.

We moved into our house eight days ago. Our 9th bed since leaving home July 23rd ended up being the last. At this point we’re probably 80% unpacked, but slowed to the point of taking out only a few boxes a day. Eventually I’ll take pictures to give you a tour when it’s all cleaned up, but that’ll take a while. Maybe I shouldn’t bother. I’ve been a bit consumed by it, with that first-day-of-school sort of perfectionism, and it’s lovely, but in the end it’s just a house. What makes it exciting is all the playing we’ll do here and all the friends we’ll have over. I do need to do a post about the Sealift Adventure, though. That’ll probably go on the family blog.

Stop start stop start ramble ramble ramble. That’s my life right now. I’m loving it, though. Anyway, what I meant to show you today was that I actually finished a knitting thing. Like, really finished.

Virtually finished sheepy sweater the first.

It’s been a metaphor for the chaos of my life that, even though I finished three sweaters in the last few months, they haven’t been wearable, because they haven’t actually been finished. It’s not the sewing that holds me up – I don’t mind that sort of finishing – it’s the buttons. I’ve had such horrible trials getting buttons.

Nearly-finished sheepy sweater the second.

I finished the girls’ sheep sweaters before we left. I thought I was set on buttons: I dug out some sorta-matching abalone buttons from Mother M’s stash, and actually went to Yarns Unlimited during our last week in Ambridge to get some coordinated ones for the other sweater. But when I sat down to sew them on, I was in Maryland. I could not locate the stash buttons, and I accidentally put the YU buttons through the wash in my pants – losing one in the process. Ugh. 

There was nothing I could do about it but buy more. Amazingly, the short list of things that are as-cheap-or-cheaper in Iqaluit as everywhere else includes buttons and knitting needles. (Other things on the list: kiwi, arctic char, avocados, and tae kwon do classes.)

Yesterday I finally made myself sit down and sew the things on, and today I made the girls try them on. Good thing too; the sweaters might not last all winter at the rate these two are growing!





(These pictures are pretty representative of their relationship.)

The other button culprit was my beautiful reward sweater. Here it is when I actually finished knitting it (I have since fixed the mis-crossed cable, huzzah!)

The pattern doesn’t call for closures, but to be practical up here, I figured I’d need something. I decided on a loop-and-toggle scheme pretty quickly, but it took me forever to work out what kind of toggle I wanted. Everything I liked was too expensive for my taste, and even when it wasn’t, I couldn’t decide on a color. I finally sucked it up and got some on ebay right before leaving Ambridge; they were cheap and cheaply made, but I decided they were “rustic” and went with the look.

Of course, at that point, I had buttons, but had put the button-less sweater on the sealift. Good move, that.

Last night, I sucked it up, attached buttons, and crocheted loops.

Remember that baby who was on the inside in the picture above? Here she is, five months old, with the sweater I finally got around to finishing. Sheesh. At least, unlike the recipients of the other two sweaters, I don’t anticipate changing size too dramatically any time soon.


So much for finishing. Back to talk of starting. After I finished the handspun mobius cowl, it was time to cast on the last pair of socks in Knitting on the Road. I haven’t had much knitting time or motivation, being largely exhausted by aforementioned sweater recipients and The Unpacking, but I’ve been pecking away.


I hate this sock.

Okay, I don’t hate it, but I hate knitting it right now. It’s too tight, It’s all twisted stitches (for which I have a deep ambivalence), but boring in pattern… and I confess, I’m not in love with the needles. (It’s my own fault for misplacing the ones I packed with the socks. Now I’ve found them, and they’re .25 mm bigger than the ones I bought. So I can’t switch them out without starting over.) And after I did all the decreases, I couldn’t get it over my foot, so I had to rip back two inches. Whine whine whine.

Oh well. The name of the game right now is patience. And persistence. And, paradoxically, letting go. I don’t have to love every moment of everything. And going slow doesn’t mean giving up. I know I’ll get through them.

Because I do want the socks.

3 thoughts on “Finishing and Starting

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