Monday, August 12, 2013


A few months ago I joined an MKAL (mystery knit-along for those of you who have not yet discovered the fun of knitting).  It was the first time I had entered such a thing; I have not even done an ordinary KAL and I was excited to finally be taking part in one. However, as of today, I still haven’t taken part in one.

I have learned that my aversion to following rules, following instructions, doing what I am told, has made success in an MKAL an impossibility.

I am just not a games person---except for tennis, which I love with all my heart and soul, and I am heart-broken that two knee surgeries have taken me out of the game. (In my next life I am going to be a professional tennis player AND a back up singer for someone like Tina Turner, so keep an eye out, ok?)  I loved tennis so much that I became a USTA official: chair umpire and linesman for professional tournaments.  And I played lots and lots and lots of tennis, mainly singles. If I am going to lose, I figure, I will lose on my own, and if I am going to win, I will win on my own.  So there.

When I was a child, according to my sister, whose memory I have doubts about, I once threw a Monopoly board off of the table because I was losing.  I really do not think that I would have done such a thing, but I do know that my own family will not play Monopoly with me.  Younger daughter says that the last time I played with her, I cheated.  I doubt that as well. I think she made it up.

When I was pregnant with daughter #2 (the one who lies), my husband and I signed up for Lamaze classes.  We went once or twice.  The LAST time we went, we drove there, and before we got out of the car, I told my husband, “Do NOT tell me what to do.”  

He rightly protested that that was the whole purpose of Lamaze; that he was my coach;  coaches coach.

“No,” I repeated, “Do not tell me what to do.”

After a brief and possibly heated discussion, we went home and that was the end of Lamaze.  As it turns out, the doctors had to induce labor, and, I am told, that at that point, Lamaze is of no use at all because the mother goes into whatever is the last stage of labor.  Drugs, please.

When my husband sang the praises of a par course the county we lived in had installed, I went along once.  Once.  When I saw the first sign that said “Do x # of jumping jacks” or something like that, I started laughing. “You do what the sign says??? Really?”

So I guess this all means that I am childish or something, but apparently I just resist being told what to do, and that tendency played out with the MKAL.  

But I had been game!  I had been ready! I had even wound the yarn.  I waited excitedly for the first clues…...I printed them out and read them...... uh oh. Part of the first week’s instructions stated that a gauge swatch was absolutely essential.  Well, problem #1.  Ain’t no way.  It’s a shawl.  The size simply doesn’t matter.  To me.  Maybe to the designer but not to me.

So I waited for the next clue and was excited when the e-mail came and I could print out the new pages.  And then the next week I printed out the new pages as well.  Then the next week and then the next. Then all of the pages got mixed up and I couldn’t figure out the order.  

And that’s all she wrote.  I decided to wait until the whole pattern was released and then decide if I liked it well enough to knit it.  The complete pattern came out, I looked on Ravelry at the MKAL group’s photos of other people’s finished shawls, and yes, they were pretty enough, just not something I wanted to make.  The yarn and the needles have not yet met.  But since I still have the yarn, which I love, I will make something else from it.  

Lesson learned.  No more KALs, mystery or otherwise.

At least not in this life.  


Susan said...

I suspect that I would have the same reaction - the idea of the game is always more interesting to me than playing it! And rules with no reason behind it - forget about it...

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you on MKALs. No way could I follow instructions blindly! Besides, what if I ended up disliking the finished project?

I have a child who lies about me too. Otherwise, he's a great kid!