On Baseball, Knitting and Time Well Spent

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The 2017 season for the Los Angeles Dodgers will long be remembered for so many reasons. I personally have a concrete remembrance of every single game—I turned the whole season into a scarf.

I realize that not everyone is into knitting, or may think this is a silly endeavor, but to have a concrete piece of evidence for all the time spent watching and cheering and moaning over the season, I think it’s well worth the time. The idea is not mine, but one I had been thinking about the last few seasons. Something always stopped me from making it, but this year seemed different. At the beginning of the season, it felt like this year would be special.

The basis for the scarf is this—every two rows represents a game. Blue is for home wins, red for home losses, white for away wins, and grey for away losses. I highlighted a few milestones, such as Kershaw’s 2000th strikeout in June, a game I attended in Arizona, when they won the division, and reached their 100th win.

Each month is delineated by a red and white multi yarn. The All-Star break is denoted by alternation red, white and blue stripes. Each round is 66 stitches, in honor of Puig. He ended up having a great year—I’m sure this had something to do with it!

The season started out slow, 4-4. I remember being worried that they wouldn’t have a good season after all, after all the hype. I was, happily, wrong.

After the month of April, still more grey and red than I would like, but a nice little five-game winning streak to end the month.

The end of May. Starting to get more blue and white.

June was a much better month, just that one little stripe of grey in the middle of all that blue and white. One loss in 16 games towards the end of the month.

An 11 game winning streak surrounding the All-Star Game. Six Dodgers went to the All-Star Game, and the team stayed in Miami to sweep the Marlins, and included an epic Puig homer to win one of them.

The white surrounded by blue is the game I attended at Chase Field. The Dodgers handed Greinke his first home loss of the season. Cody Bellinger sent a homer down the right field line over my head, and I got two meet two lovely women from Dodgers Twitter, and Dave Roberts took a photo with us. A game to be highlighted for sure.

The end of August, and the Dodgers have won so many games, I’ve had to use a second ball of blue yarn, and since they were sold out of the white I was using, find an appropriate replacement.

The losing streak. The one lone white stripe was Kershaw’s valiant effort to will the team to a win in San Diego.

The game surrounded by taupe is when they cliched the division, and the gold of course is when they reached 100 wins on the season.

At the end of the regular season. 104 wins, 58 loses. So long it covers two couch cushions.

And here’s where the story stops, for a good long time. The Dodgers swept Arizona in the divisional round. I debated adding those games immediately, but I decided not to. Maybe it would jinx it. Then L.A. beat Chicago four games to one. Again, I figured, since things were going so well, I’d refrain from adding the stripes until the end. And then they lost Game 7, and I didn’t really want anything to do with the scarf for a long time.

I decided that the playoffs needed to stand out in some way, so in early December I started to finish it. I chose a different stitch and after knitting the divisional round, I decided I didn’t like it, and put it aside once more. I worked on Christmas gifts, and a hat for myself, always with the scarf staring at me from basket where it sat under the table. Finally on New Year’s Eve I resolved to finally finish it, and it took me until New Year’s Day morning to finally get it done.

The playoffs are in a different stitch, and each World Series game is four rows instead of two, because each game is that much more important.

It’s by no means perfect. The color changes are anything but smooth. I personally don’t like that it’s not all the exact same yarn. I ran out of grey yarn 3/4 of the way through Game 5 of the WS, which is somehow oddly fitting. I think there’s an extra row in a win against Colorado. But, it is also perfect. As was the baseball season, in its own way. There wasn’t a World Series Championship, but there was a World Series appearance. It wasn’t the ending we wanted, but it definitely gave us so many memories, new friends, colorful characters and so much more. It will hurt to look at that last red stripe of the scarf—the stripe that should have been blue. But the scarf as a whole is a thing of beauty, of time and money and hard work. So while there will always be a pang of what might have been, it was well worth the effort put in.

So now, it’s time to look ahead. Pitchers and catchers report next month. Happy New Year, Dodger family. May 2018 finally be our year.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)

 

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