Warning: This is a tale of X-treme horror and mental anguish. Read with care.
Somewhere on a quiet street, a peaceful Sunday afternoon is disturbed by the unmistakable roar of sirens and the flash of lights.
Neighbors peek around the bushes and gasp at the horror unfolding.
“Goodbye, cruel world!”
Somewhere a knitter screams. “No, Lacy Sweater, no. Please don’t jump. Yarnover is just a stitch. It doesn’t literally mean you have to take the plunge. Please, it will all get better. I promise. Life is worth living. You have to fulfill your sweater destiny. You have so much to live for!”
“Oh, you silly woman. How dare you call yourself a knitter! Do you know how it feels to be abandoned? To sit lonely waiting in a basket for over a year? How can you talk of my bright and happy future when you don’t even know what size needles you used on me?”
“But, Lacy Sweater, we’re a team! What will the other Amazing Lacers think when I have to confess that I’ve lost you!”
“Ma’am, maybe it’s best if I step in. My name is Sergeant Stash McKnittin. I’m a trained expert at talking suicidal WIPs down from the ledge. Can you tell me a little bit about our distressed sweater here? Does she have a family history of frogging? Why might she wish to end it all? What has been going on in her life lately?”
“Well, Sergeant, she had a rocky beginning, but I thought she overcame all of that. We’ve had some questions about her parentage, but I told her that I didn’t care about having a distinguished pedigree. She started her life looking like a cute wrap bolero from Vogue Knitting, the Spring/Summer 2005 issue. I was impressed by her fashion sense and connection to the designers. When we met, I was intimidated by her complexity and trendiness, to be honest.
Turns out she had some body image issues, but don’t we all? I mean, I know I’m always bigger than those Vogue models, so I didn’t worry when she was several inches too wide. Sure, those other projects picked on her while she was growing up and out, but we spent so much time in therapy. I thought she was happy about accepting herself and moving on to look more like a lacy sweater from the June 2005 issue of Knit ‘N Style. I mean, just because no one pays much attention to this magazine and we all love to peruse Vogue for both the latest, greatest doodad and the biggest fug ever, well, sometimes the unfamiliar is okay. No, that future wasn’t going to be as glamorous, but I assured her that I’d actually love her more if we could just be comfortable together. I thought we’d compromised by using the lace pattern from the Vogue sweater she really wanted to be and the schematics from the Knit ‘N Style sweater she was meant to be. Oh, this has to be my fault!”
“Ma’am, your fault? What do you mean? It sounds like you were dealing with a very confused little knitting project.”
“Well, see, that’s just it. She was confused, but I was even more confused. I’ve never really had such a complex relationship. Sure, I’ve spent some pretty wild times with some challenging pieces of yarn, but I’m a good stockinette kind of girl at heart. I took notes and did lots of math, but I guess it just wasn’t enough.”
“Hey there, you two. Over here. You know, the suicidal lace project? Maybe you should pay some attention to me. Isn’t this just typical? I’m the one getting ready to jump and you’re the one doing all the yammering!”
“Oh, Lacy Sweater, don’t say that. I’m trying, really I am. I love you. I want to be with you.”
“Don’t make me laugh. Sure, you did some math and pretended to be interested, but you’re just a tease. Yes, you put me in a fancy basket, but this home is nothing more than a glorified coffin! Do you know what it’s like to watch the one who is supposed to love you and help you grow turn her attention to others? Every day you’d either bring new yarn into our house or you’d pick up another project. You’d flaunt your floozy status around like it was a good thing. And that blog! You’d even celebrate your infidelity. You should be ashamed of how you treated me. Can’t even be bothered to keep your fingers faithful!”
“But Lacy Sweater, I’ve returned. I won’t stray again, I promise. I want to finish you. I need you!”
“You’re just saying that because you need me for your little Amazing Lace shindig. Look at me. You even took out my needles so you could go have a fling with something else!”
Sergeant McKnittin couldn’t take it any more. “Now, Lacy Sweater. All of that may be true, but there’s still hope. We can enroll you two in counseling. Or maybe you’ll have a better life if you find another knitter who can love you the way you deserve to be loved. I think you’re very pretty. Maybe if you just come down off that ledge, we can talk about this over coffee. Maybe I’ve got some needles that will fit you.”
“Oh, you knitters, you’re all the same. Promises, promises. I’ve had it. Let my death be a lesson to you all. Abandon your projects and we’ll suffer. We’re not just going to wait faithfully for you harlots any more. Just because one of your fearless leaders gets book deals and adoration from all of you by calling herself a harlot, don’t think that this kind of carefree lifestyle comes without consequences. Feelings get hurt. Sometimes sweaters just can’t take it any more!”
Shocked and horrified, the neighborhood let out a cry of desperation as the poor, sad sweater flew through the air. Within minutes, all that remained was a grisly scene of yarn carnage.
Our poor lace knitter screamed and ran to what remained of her former partner. “Sergeant McKnittin, I thought you said you were good at saving projects on the edge. You made her jump!”
“Ma’am, with all due respect, sometimes the best thing to do is frog it. Sometimes these misguided projects get too confused with their muddled family trees and lack of direction. No amount of math in the world can save them.”
“That’s a rather X-TREME position to take, don’t you think?”
“Well now, that’s not my fault. Didn’t the knitting gods warn you about this being an X-TREME hobby when you first took up your needles? Sure, you may think it’s all sunshine and innocence here, but knitters have been floozies for years. All that flitting back and forth between projects has made for many a jilted lover. Besides, look at it this way, for every project that goes over the edge, you get a pile of yarn and we all know what a pile of yarn means.”
“Ooooh, I could start a new project! Oh, she’ll be quite a beauty. It’ll be the sexiest lacy sweater ever. I can’t wait!”
As the knitter started her swatching, a sigh was heard emanating from her apartment. All the newly abandoned projects felt another slight as her eyes and fingers wandered away from them. They all felt themselves pushed just another inch closer to the edge and each wondered who would be the next to experience their own version of an X-TREME YARNOVER.