Co-authored by siamesegoth2
Sharon came back home from work late this day. She had been at the hobby shop, picking up more yarn. This week’s Random Contest was about knitting, and she was set on knitting the perfect Mynci doll, no matter what.
All the way since she had come home from school as a seven year old, telling her mom in a tear-soaked voice that she was absolutely useless at crafts, she had been addicted to knitting. Her mom, understanding and kind lady as she was, had taken Sharon on her lap and started teaching her how to knit.
“Knitting is one of the best forms of craft,” she had said. “No matter what becomes of yourself or the people around you, there will always be a need for a good pair of knitted socks.”
After a week, Sharon had knitted her third pair of oven mitts, and was learning how to get the heel on the sock. After a month, she was able to knit a full sweater, with patterns.
“You’re late?” Chris asked. If there was one thing her husband disliked above anything else, it was Sharon not coming home in time to cook dinner for him.
“Yes,” Sharon replied, and sat down in her knitting chair; an old rocking chair which she had gotten as a gift from her mother.
“Yes?” Chris asked, and Sharon replied, “Yes. I was out buying wool.”
“And dinner cooked itself?” Chris asked in a sardonic tone.
“Not at all, dear. You cooked it.”
“No, I didn’t,” Chris replied, and Sharon sighed; the kind of sigh her mother had always sighed when the kids had been stupid. “Then it’s your own fault, isn’t it? Make some coffee for me while you’re at it, okay?”
Chris stomped off like a kid throwing a tantrum, and Sharon paid no attention to him. She was knitting at an admirable speed, and was already working on the elbow joint of the arm she had started on.
The evening went by in a hurry, and when bedtime finally crept up on her, Sharon was done with both arms, and had started on the torso. Chris walked into the room, and reminded her it was time to sleep.
“Okay. I’m just going to finish this row, and the coffee,” Sharon replied, and Chris walked away. She could hear him heading upstairs to the bedroom.
Half an hour later, he came back downstairs, and reminded her it was time for bed.
“Okay, I’m just going to finish this row, and the coffee,” Sharon replied, and Chris pulled out of her chair by her arm.
“No, you’re going to bed now. You can spend all night obsessing about your tea cozy this weekend, but tomorrow you’ve got work.”
Sharon got up an hour early, and managed to put down a lot of work on the knitting before Chris and their son Dmitri got out of bed. Dmitri was a Darigan Kougra, which was odd, considering both Sharon and Chris were red Kougras. They joked about how he was born evil, just like any other seven year old boy. She prepared them both for work and school accordingly, and then sat for fifteen minutes knitting before heading off to work.
She blamed being late on the traffic; and spent all day doing her work poorly and thinking about the knitting. Maybe she could do individual fingers instead of just a paw with markings? She knew how, and she wouldn’t have to correct much.
On her way back from work, she spent an hour at the hobby shop, trying to find the right yarn for the fingers, and when she came home, Chris and Dmitri were sitting by the dinner table. Chris looked up at her, and she could read his eyes well enough; he did not appreciate what she was doing. She ignored him; she’d have plenty of time to fix this once she was done with her knitting.
She wolfed down the meal, and then went to the knitting chair before Chris and Dmitri were done.
She changed the arms so they had proper fingers; she didn’t pick apart the knitting she had done, instead she just made the fingers as an addendum. They turned out better than she had thought; it was some of the best work she had put down in the later years. She was just starting making the torso larger to match the new size of the arms when Chris told her it was bedtime.
“Yeah, I’ll just finish up this row, and this coffee,” she answered, and Chris left her alone. When Sharon looked up from her knitting as she put the finishing touches on the torso, it was nearing 4 AM.
She took a quick nap, and was almost able to wake up in the morning. She prepared Chris for school, and Dmitri for work, and then she shooed them out the door, too intent on her knitting to notice their confused looks.
She got another half hour of knitting done before heading to work, blamed being late on Dmitri being sick, and managed to knit half a leg while looking like she was working.
This time, she was the first to come home, but she skipped making dinner, and went right to her knitting chair. When Chris came home, he didn’t bother commenting about the lack of dinner, he just started making it himself.
“Dinner’s served,” he told Sharon, and she didn’t look up from her knitting, just said, “It’s okay, I’ll just drink some coffee.”
She was almost finished with the left leg, and was working on how to attach it to the rest of the body without making it look weird, and she simply didn’t have time to stop and eat.
“You should eat, you know,” Chris said, and Sharon replied, “It’s okay. There’s a deadline on this Random Contest. I want to win, and last time I checked, latecomers don’t get first prize.”
At the end of the day, she had found the solution to attaching the legs properly. If she made them bigger, they would look okay when attached to the rest of the body. She worked through most of the night, and was almost finished with both legs when Chris and Dmitri got out of bed.
She prepared them for work and school, and then called in sick.
She continued working, and didn’t even notice when Chris came back. She was well into her fourth pot of coffee for the day, and her attention was set only on her knitting. She heard Chris tell her it was time for dinner, but she ignored him. Coffee was as good a food as any.
A week had passed, and the Mynci was now as large as she was. The face was the main reason for this. She wanted to make it as perfect as possible, and such small knitting as she had been working on made it hard to get the eyes and the nose right.
She was working at an alarming speed; her fingers were almost a blur as she worked the knitting, and her knuckles were scarred from slight miscalculations of pin movement. She didn’t care about this. It was four days since she had slept, and the coffee made her jumpy. Such accidents were quite understandable then.
The sun rose, throwing a fresh light on the Mynci, and as Chris and Dmitri walked past her, they heard her mutter, “This isn’t right. Maybe if it’s bigger..?”
Dmitri looked up at his father, and asked, “Is her head broken?” Chris said nothing, only shook his head, laid his arm around Dmitri’s shoulders, and walked into the kitchen.
She didn’t sleep anymore; twelve pots of coffee each day was enough to ignore the lack of sleep completely. She didn’t know when Chris and Dmitri had stopped coming home, but that was okay. Once she had won the Random Contest, she would fix this. It was a little past the deadline, yes, but just a little. Besides, with an entry as good as hers, they would accept it even if it was a day or two late.
She climbed up the ladder, and started knitting the nose for the Mynci. It was sitting in the garage now. The living room wasn’t big enough for it anymore, but she didn’t mind.
After all, she was sure she would win the Random Contest.