I haven’t needed a lot of reasons not to blog or, over the past month, not to knit, but I faced the mother of all excuses in November. After receiving a summons for jury duty, and postponing it twice, I decided to bite the bullet and agree to serve. Lest I sound unpatriotic, let me point out that I have been summoned as a juror three times before, and I have served on juries each time. This summons was different, however, because it was for federal court in Manhattan—a two-hour ride each way, with the specter of being impaneled for an unspecified time. I’d have to be on a 6:30 AM train to arrive at the court on time. A perk of freelancing is not getting on commuter trains before the crack of dawn, and at that time, I am typically sipping chamomile tea and reading the newspaper. And as a freelancer, I receive no income except for the pittance that compensates jurors. All in all, the prospect of losing the income and having my routine turned upside down for weeks on end threw me into a tizzy. Things seemed even more discouraging when I called the court to see if knitting needles, like cell phones, laptops, or any other electronic devices, were prohibited—and they are. So even my most positive fantasy of knitting on the train and during the countless hours waiting around for the court to be in session was dashed.
Before I learned about the knitting needles, I went through a series of mental projects that would be ok for train knitting, and I finally settled on hats. All members of my household need them, especially Ed. I had knitted Ed a ribbed watchcap some years ago, but it never fit him right. It always popped up in the center in an unattractive way. As a replacement, I decided to make another hat that had more fabric around the crown, selecting the plain watchcap from Charlene Schurch’s Hats On! book. I also had the perfect yarn in my stash—undyed, handspun gifted to me by my Ravelry pal, Chere. (Chere and I had actually worked together on a book—she was the staff editor and I was the freelancer—long before we knew that we were both knitters. We “met” in the Knitters in Publishing group.) Even before jury duty started, I finished the hat:
It is everything Ed could want—yet another gray garment, something warm and comfortable. It was a joy to work with the yarn, and I think that the plainness of the hat shows the handspun look of the yarn at its best.
I received the new summons to appear the Monday after Thanksgiving, but surprisingly enough, when I called in to see if I had to report to the courthouse, the message said to call in Tuesday. On Tuesday, it said to call in on Friday for the following week, and on Friday, it told me not to come in at all! So this year, the gift of time is something I'm truly thankful for, and I can get back to knitting as usual. If I'm diligent with this week's knitting, I’ll finish Sirdal's sleeve and be ready to steek.
Of course, I now have to do all the things I said I’d do “when jury duty is over,” but I think I can deal with that.