The Disease of Affirmation

You can do it. Yes, you can.
We tell ourselves this every time we pick up the needles with a deadline looming. You can do it! You have 7 days; punch out that baby jacket!
Except, I'm not the Yarn Harlot. Oh, how I wish I were in these moments. Mrs. Pearl-McPhee is so epically, tragicomically (for me), prolifically good at starting the most monumental of projects with the sparest of deadlines at her back, and I think she might finish everything on time. She finishes before the deadline, I think. She finishes when it's still a thought in her magnificent knitter's brain, I'm sure. 
Not me. I have Affirmation Disease. I start with a tight-as-casting-onto-00-needles deadline and don't finish for days. Weeks sometimes. Once, over a year. 
But I have this disease, see. Where I can't stop affirming that I will be able to do it. I'm fairly certain a lot of knitter's have this disease; for some, like Mrs. P-McPhee, it's less of a disease and more of a super power. For me, it is a life-ruining, certainly event-ruining, disaster disease. I show up to birthdays and parties still knitting, eyebrows puckered, a mixed look of dismay, anger, and frustration twisting my sweaty face. I apologize profusely, hold up my knitting like a sacrificial lamb—"See?? I'm working on it. It's something I planned, I swear!"—and wait for the thin-lipped recognition, the expressionless face that denotes resignation to my currently giftless state. That look that I know—oh, I know—says "You could have just bought me a gift. I have a wish list with, like, 30 things on it. You didn't have to make this thing I probably won't even want."
So I'm starting the classic Baby Surprise Jacket (having never knitted it before, and without the recently refined instructions, instead choosing to refer to the original Elizabeth Zimmerman notes) for a baby shower that is 8 days away. Never mind that thousands before me have puzzled over these pattern notes, and bemoaned the difficulty, and abandoned their own BSJs for simpler, faster options. I could make booties, or a hat—I could even make a bib. 

But no, I have Affirmation Disease. I can do this. Yes, yes I can. 


  1. Having not knit the pattern, 8 days sounds like plenty for a wee one... I'm sure you CAN do it! (and oh how I would like to have the Yarn Harlots knitting speed!)

    1. I hope so, Sarah! My week is kind of chock-a-block with work and other events, but I'm trying to power knit through it. I'll try to post more pics in the coming days...