Monday, January 1, 2007

In with the New

Last night was a rather gloomy time here. Kristen has been hard at work on her lovely mittens, knitting a good-looking cable pattern, when she discovered a stitch-sized hole about 7 rows back. There was no way it could be ignored. She set to work unraveling. But once she got back to that point, it was very tricky to get all the stitches back on the needles properly. Then she re-knit those 7 rows, only to find that her cable was no longer twining itself together neatly but looked all bent out of shape. She unraveled *again,* and put the stitches on a piece of thread to be re-started in the light of day. It seemed like a bad omen, an unpleasant way to end the year. And hanging over her head was the fear that she had failed her first class in physics. She had put off looking at her grades for the entire vacation because she was convinced that it would be nothing but bad news.

In the morning before breakfast, she got her stitches back in line on the needles. Papa left to exercise, and we knew that this was it--she had to check her grade today, before heading back to Chicago tomorrow. I insisted that she couldn't knit another stitch until she went online and found out her grades. She knew already that she had an A in two of her three classes--humanities and honors calculus. But the physics class was a constant low-grade dread. She was so worried that she made me look in the catalog to find out what the consequences were for a D. Would it count? Would the course have to be taken over? What would it do to her GPA? Wonder if it was even worse than a D?After some fiddling about on the computer, she finally found the site with her grades. Oh my God, she said. (What??) I got an A minus!

She was really embarrassed that she had expected so much worse. But all the evidence pointed to a C at best. She had left large parts of the final exam blank! Other people in the class had seemed to her to be much smarter. But apparently they were not. Apparently she was one of the better students in the class. Of course, it was curved. But she came out on the high end of the curve, by some miracle.

So now she can get on the plane tomorrow and go back to school with peace of mind. I was really worrying about what might happen. Would she have to go to her counselor as soon as she got back, and re-arrange her schedule? Would it be possible to take the next term of physics? If not, would she be able to re-take this in the winter, etc. etc. But all such worries were alleviated. Now I will be able to drive her to the airport tomorrow morning with an easy mind. She made it through her first term at a very serious university with a 3.9 GPA. It certainly will make winter in Chicago more bearable knowing that she has done so well.

And today the mitten went along smoothly and again brought joy. The mess-up seemed like an outward reflection of an inner state of mind. And the smooth sailing of restoring the cable and figuring out how to Make One and how to start the thumb gusset seemed to flow from a restored mind.

My hat is also looking good. I picked up a tip yesterday evening at the Knitting Meet-up from Steve (cool knitting guy) about how to change colors when knitting in the round without having a jog where the new color comes in. (Kind of counter-intuitive, but it works. After the first round in the new color, just as you're about to start the second round, pick up a stitch from the row below in the old color and knit it together with the new row of color. I've done it twice now, and it is very sleek.) The bright pink with a one-inch turquiose stripe looks very perky. I might add another stripe near the top, or not.

So 2007 begins on a happy note.

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