When I started the fall colors sweater, I had the crazy thought that I might finish it in time for Rhinebeck. I quickly pushed that idea to the back of my mind, knowing that that was a lot of knitting on very small needles for just a few weeks, and that this is a busy time at work for me. That way lies craziness.

And then the knitting went faster than I had thought it would. It kept flying along, and I started to think that maybe, just maybe, it would work out.

It’s been just on the very edge of possible the whole way through this sweater. Just outside the realm of the completely achievable, but also not quite far enough to be in the impossible.

I don’t do deadline knitting. The fastest way to make myself unhappy with a project is to add pressure where it doesn’t need to be, so I have kept pushing the thought aside, knitting on with a “we’ll see” attitude.

Last week, I thought that I’d be able to make it. The weekend was pretty open, and progress was pretty good. Then a bunch of things came up, and the weekend wasn’t as open as I’d hoped. I made good progress on Monday night, though, finishing the front zipper bands and neck so that I could block the sweater overnight. On Tuesday, I installed the zipper.

That left just the sleeves to finish and graft, and things were looking good. I started to think that I probably would make it.

Then our department meeting ran over last night, and someone needed to talk to me afterwards. I got home an hour and a half later than expected, and 2.5 hours later than usual. So much for the final sleeve.

I worked from home today, and was hoping that work would go quickly and maybe I could make up some time there. But work takes infinite amounts of time, and just prepping my class for tomorrow and Monday took several hours, and then I had to write a practice exam and two real exams for next week. Three 5 page exams took 7 hours to write, format, and proof (they’ll also take about 14 hours to grade, if it’s like the last one, but that’s a problem for next weekend). These are things that would often happen on weekend time, but can’t because I will be gone this weekend. There’s also a pile of grading I’ll have to catch up on next Monday to “make up” for having two days off. Between packing to leave and baking a cake (it’s Branden’s birthday), there wasn’t much time left for knitting.

We’re leaving straight from work tomorrow. If it’s not done tonight, it’s not done at all.

And so, I am knitting away, with only hours left to go, and it is clear that I am not going to make it. There are two inches left on one sleeve, and about eight on the other. Both sleeves need to be grafted on, ends woven in, and the sweater needs to be blocked again. The blocking is the hard part; I can do the finishing on the way out there, but it takes more than a day to dry because the fabric is so thick. I’m hoping for dry air so that I can wear it on Sunday, but I’m not holding my breath.

If I’m lucky, I’ll make some progress on the train tomorrow, and there’s a good chance that I will at least finish the sweater at Rhinebeck. But at this point, I think I need to throw in the towel and say that it won’t quite be done in time. So close!