It's Tuesday, and my octopus only has seven legs.
This non-sequitur is brought to you by my latest knitting project. In knitting, the first row of stitches made is called the "cast on" row. That language puts me in the mind of fishing, and it's not a bad comparison, hopefully throwing your line into the water to see what you catch. I've only really managed one of the many methods of casting on, but it serves me well. My problem now with the octopus is that I need to go back and revisit that first row to attach legs, so the end product will look like a something, and not like a blob.
My knitting -- like my writing -- tends to shape up after a few rows (lines), so my cast-on row is numerically correct with the proper number of stitches, but may have serious style problems. Typically the tension in the yarn is wrong, and picking over it uncovers all the weak spots and funny gaps that even out over the course of the project. Now with this pattern, I have to go back and "pick up" stitches, which means just what it sounds like. Stitches that are done and in the past, stuff I laid down at the start of the project now suddenly fund themselves back on the needle and under scrutiny, being asked to support something else. And somehow, despite my ability to count to numbers higher than ten, I seem to be running out of room to attach the legs on the octopus. I just started leg number six last night, and without some creative rejiggering, it looks like I might be making a septopus after all. I'll figure this out, though. Knitting can be surprisingly tolerant of failure, especially when you're just doing it for fun. I'll work around it and it'll come out OK.
Now, it's Tuesday night -- the night of my wife's knitting class, coincidentally -- which leaves me and the offspring alone tonight. Once they're abed this evening, I will have about ninety minutes of quiet-in-the-house time. Unlike last week when I squandered this by actively ignoring the NaNo draft sitting right there on the side table, I think I'll dig out the pen and the note cards and start dealing with all those early lines, those cast-on pages that laid the foundation for the final story. Lines and pages that need reworking and revisiting, to ease out the tension and straighten things up. (Or maybe just ripping them out altogether.)
It's time to pick up and get to work.