Inauguration Side Effects

On Wednesday, along with millions of others around the world, I watched the Inauguration ceremony at the US Capitol. It was lovely, peaceful, soul-stirring, moving. I was blown away by Amanda Gorman’s poem and by her incredible poise. I was reassured down to my bones to hear from a president who spoke with intelligence and compassion. I loved the spectacle, the fantastic purples and blues and magentas worn by Kamala Harris, Jill Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama. But for me, the moment that crystallised it all, that shot straight through me right to the heart, was Kamala Harris taking the oath of office. I burst into tears. Even knowing how important this moment was, I hadn’t realised how important it was to ME until it happened.

I have slept like a baby every night since then. I have stopped doomscrolling. I feel incredibly relaxed, like a huge ordeal has been overcome.

Maybe too relaxed. Here is the latest shot of the vest I am knitting for Doug:

The top band and a half of colour have been knitted since the inauguration. I am not sure that you can see it here, but those bands are not the same size as the preceding ones. I know this because I have measured them over and over since last night. Here is an example of the pink band knitted after the inauguration (on the top), and one knitted before the inauguration (on the bottom):

I have placed the 10cm mark at the same place in the pattern in both photos. As you can see, two pattern repeats measures 7cm in the bottom photo (before Inauguration) and 7.6cm (after inauguration) in the top photo.

This variation may seem as nothing to someone who tends towards unevenness in stitches, but if there is one thing I possess as a knitter, it is even stitch work. I can put down a piece of knitting and pick it up 5 years later and you would never know where the break was, because the stitches are so even.

I can report that, post Inauguration, the width of a pattern repeat has expanded by just over 10%. I haven’t shown it here, but the height of a pattern repeat has also expanded by 10%. In other words, the Inauguration Effect has led to a 10% relaxation of my knitting. (Or perhaps, one might say, that the T**** Effect led to a 10% tightening of my knitting.)

This makes me think that the 2021 Inauguration should come with a warning, like a prescription medicine.

2021 Inauguration. Ingredients: compassion, intelligence, elected officials speaking in full sentences. Watch in order to relieve anxiety, depression, severe existential angst. Can also be used to counter racism and stupidity. Side effects may include: joy, breathing in deep, sleeping through the night, purchasing poetry books. Do not operate knitting needles while under the influence.

Best wishes to everyone this beautiful week!

15 thoughts on “Inauguration Side Effects

      • I heard a report on the radio earlier about three small businesses who have up until now being exporting successfully to EU countries, and the new obstacles they face. The owners all thought their continental customers might find it easier to start purchasing elsewhere. What did people think they were voting for?

  1. How interesting its had such a visible physical difference. I’m sure our Cortisol levels are lower and that has to be better for our health. I’d keep the difference and not worry about it, I’m sure in washing and blocking you could resolve it and just feed your husband more cake if it is too big lol

  2. With you all the way – joy and relief intermingled. I’m SO glad about Kamala Harris, I’m practically radiant.

  3. Over here in the UK we share your sense of catharsis and renewed hope and feel very happy for you, but at the same time it’s impossible not to feel a little bit envious, living as we do amidst the post-Brexit shambles which might take decades to resolve.

    • Hi, Marijo. I actually live in the UK – I’ve been here for 15 years – and I am with you on Brexit. It is a shambles, and unlike the US presidential elections, we won’t be able to vote it away in 4 years time. Sending you best wishes!

      • I replied to you but unfortunately put my reply under Karen’s response where it doesn’t make much sense… So sorry!

  4. Yes, I could place exactly where the tension switched before you told us! My knitting tension is always varying, so I’m pretty familiar with that, sadly. I’ve finally started knitting sleeves two at a time to help.

    I’m right with you on the frequent waterworks, I was exiting our local yarn store in DC as a motorcade went past. The motorcade was long enough I actually began to think it was Biden and I choked up…however the flags suggest it was a visiting head of state, though I didn’t recognize the flag.

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