The Penultimate April Prompt

April Prompt #29

Janice’s #4: Black sheep of the family




Leftovers from mittenwork:

red, purple, orange, green.

Brown tweed, midnight blue,

pale blue, marled blue ends

of sweaterings for son, daughter-in-law,

and the small dog.

Soft green slub for the baby.


Two full skeins of self-striping.

Five skeins of fine sock yarn

colored like semi-precious stones:

aquamarine, amethyst, lapis lazuli.

Strange yarns for bead crochet:

metallic silver, twisted yellow,

variegated miseries.


Two skeins of homespun:

one that mother spun from the wool

of the sheep that she and dad

kept awhile, one coarse and thick

that I spun from a greasy fleece

and the hair of a dog I loved

back when I thought I could do anything.


I cannot count the times
I have knitted and ripped this pattern.
Always something amiss:
I purled in the front of the stitch
or forgot to increase at each end
or cabled in the back
or counted wrong

and here I am again:
snarl of bright purple plies
separated and ragged
from overwork, tangle
that in my frustration I did
not rewind as I ripped.  Every good
knitter is a good ripper, my teacher

told me, but there comes a time
when the only thing to do
is cut away the frayed and grubby
mess and admit that it was wrong
from the beginning:  gauge too tight,
bad color, unbecoming shape, the design
too complex for anything I know.