Six years ago a friend convinced me to take a knitting course with her at Knitwear Architects in Yaletown. The evening classes were taught in a converted warehouse by a heterosexual black volleyball player named Steve. Cotton, silk and linen yarns of every colour lined the brick walls. It was very pleasant.

I took a second course a few months later, and selected a sand-coloured cotton yarn with which to knit a sweater for Saskia. The store didn't have enough of the yarn in stock, but sold me what they had and told me to return in a few weeks to pick up the remainder.

After completing the back of the sweater, a fairly complicated pattern with cables and baubles, I returned for the rest of the yarn, only to discover that Knitwear Architects had gone out of business in the interim. Many desperate phone calls and emails later, I was no closer to obtaining a matching yarn to complete the garment.

And so, every time I rummage through my stash of knitting sundries, I come across this:


The sight of this piece of fabric ignites all sorts of emotions that run counter to the spirit of knitting, deeply negative feelings, including the urge to inflict injury with a knitting needle. I can't complete the sweater without the exact match of yarn, and I won't unravel all those baubles and cables. So each time I seethe, refold it, and pack it away until the next encounter.

The other day Saskia caught sight of it and exclaimed reverently, "Whoa! That's the best doll blanket ever!" And so I unraveled the waistband, crocheted an edging on it, and gave it to her.

I feel a little less rage when I see the piece of knitting in its new context: