** Welcome, Yarnival readers! Thanks for stopping by our blog. Be sure to check back in a few days for shots of Mr. S in his finished sweater.
I have read enough blogs to have read countless posts where people complain about being stranded on Sleeve Island. The interminable dullness of sleeves. That boring sleeve-knitting that makes for boring knit-blogging.
I will hear none of it. I will not read with a sympathetic eye any longer for any knitter suffering through the sleeves of their latest project.
Not until you have knit sleeves for my husband. Two at once. With a K2,P3 rib pattern. For 22 inches. So make that 44 inches.
Mr S has unusually long arms. He has to buy his shirts one size too big to accomodate his almost simian arm length. His arms are as long as my inseam. I know I am petite, but I swear I just knit myself a pair of pants.
As I have plodded along the last few weeks, knitting along on the sleeves for Mr S's sweater, I have been thinking about his arms quite a bit. And I've been cursing them, wondering why in the world I ever complained about knitting him socks for his size 13 feet. Or why I bristle at making him gloves for his big hands. I've asked him several times how he would feel about a vest.
But as I sat to write this post, I thought about how disloyal it has been of me to curse these arms.
Mr S. takes after his late grandfather, a World War II fighter pilot with the longest arms and gentlest heart I have ever known. When Mr S's and my friendship bloomed into romance about a dozen years ago, I remember meeting the gracefully gangly Grandpa, and loving the sight of 6'5" Grandpa walking beside 5'0" Grandma. Mr. S has an old cardigan of Grandpa's, the only sweater with long-enough arms he owns.
His arms were the first to cradle our children with love, while I was strapped down on an operating table, or as with Rosebud, unconscious at the time of her birth. Those arms carried them both as newborns into our home for the first time.
His arms bore my father's casket, three years ago this week. His arms change my mother's light bulbs and clean her gutters and empty her attic. His arms have hoisted many a pint with friends, and usually wear one of his collection of vintage mechanical watches, his one and only indulgence, as he silently approves my many. His arms have helped countless friends move, painted dozens of rooms, and have fixed many things that I have broken.
Every Friday night, these arms provide me with the most soul-renewing moment of my week, our long, tight hug after the lighting of the Shabbat candles.
Knitting these sleeves was an arduous exercise in endurance, bourne out of love.
Sort of like marriage. And parenthood. And anything else worth the effort.