I didn’t lose everything when my hard drive crashed, fortunately. I’d learned a lesson with a previous computer; I’d taken it to a major electronics/entertainment store to be repaired. I hadn’t backed it up beforehand, so I had their computer team do the backup, just in case. Well, in the end they had to wipe the hard drive and rebuild it (without ever being able to figure out what was wrong)…and then I discovered they’d screwed up the backup too. They’d overwritten one of the picture folders with another one, and I’d lost some precious pictures.
So I was doing a limited backup before the current hard drive expired–my pictures, my knitting patterns, and my financial program backups. Now, all of them were out-of-date, but not by much: a few months for the pictures (but almost all of the good ones had been uploaded to Flickr), about 5 months for the knitting patterns (where all but a very few are free, online patterns I can re-download), and 4 months for the financial data (that’s going to suck to rebuild, but I have the bank statements). The only real pain in the butt was going to be my iTunes, since Apple doesn’t let you sync from iPod to computer–and all my music was now on my iPod–but I have this wonderful friend with a wonderful husband who found a way around that for me (Jean and Richard, I hooked up my external hard drive today for a full backup, and will be doing at least weekly updates, I promise!).
In other words, even if that same computer team (yeah, I know…but I don’t have another option) fails to recover any data from the dead hard drive, I’ve lost very little. Still, it makes me appreciate what I didn’t lose even more. I was paging through some old pictures–Jeffrey’s pictures from October 2007, to be exact; the last month he was an only child–when I found this:
I’d almost forgotten that sweater. It was the first one I ever knit.
I was a week away from Lexie’s scheduled c-section when I finished this. It was being pregnant with her that spurred me to pick up needles and yarn, but I wanted to make something for Jeffrey too.
Just looking at this picture reminds me of how far I have come. I’m not sure how I learned that Lion Brand posted free patterns online, but it was there that I found the pattern for the Child’s Blocks and Stripes Pullover. The front and back were rectangles, with minor collar shaping, and the sleeves were simple parallelgrams. The entire sweater was knit in stockinette stitch (so the hems rolled) on straight needles in 4 pieces–front, back, 2 sleeves–and then seamed. All of that, I knew, was within my abilities. The challenge was the collar, which required me to pick up and knit stitches…and I didn’t know what that meant. But I was confident I could figure it out.
I didn’t know about my LYS yet–I didn’t really even know there was such a thing–so my stash at the time came from the local Hobby Lobby. For Jeffrey’s sweater, I picked a Red Heart boucle called TLC Amore in 2 shades of blue, a deep red, and a cream. The yarn was nice and soft, perfect for a toddler.
Of course, at the time, I had no idea what a pain boucle was to knit. I didn’t see the need to do a gauge square. My seams were just as bad as they would be later in Lexie’s jumper. And I didn’t realize that when it says “bind off loosely,” it really means the “loosely” part.
Amazingly, although I’ve since learned I always need to go up a needle size to get gauge, the sweater was still the right size. Boucle might be a pain, but it does hide a multitude of sins, even bad seams. What nothing could fix, unfortunately, was the collar. It was so tight that I could barely get it over Jeffrey’s head, and I nearly took his ears off when I wedged the sweater off. The picture above was the one and only time Jeffrey wore this sweater as a result. But I still value the sweater for the learning experience…and because it was the first step in the journey here: