Saturday, January 21, 2012

If you love it so much, why don't you knit it?

Random scarfThis is something I've been wondering lately as the new year has arrived.

It's not really a stash-busting impulse, but I suppose it can be viewed that way.

I've just been thinking of all the lovely yarn in my hoard.

I go to local yarn stores and I go to fiber festivals and I see yarn that I just can't live without.
That yarn comes home with me and then proceeds to languish in the dining room credenza.

Feeling alone and unloved. Well, alone except for the all the other languishing yarn.

Lucy Neatby uses the slogan "make your yarn happy, knit it." And I remember my mom saying about various things as I was growing up that it was "their life's ambition" to be used in the way they meant. (This could apply to anything from a doughnut wanting to be eaten to nice shoes wanting to be worn).

 Love and UFOs

There is supposed to be a coorelation.

You hear knitters and crocheters all the time talking about getting bored with their current WIP and wanting to start something new and they don't know why.

The consensus is that if you really love the yarn and the pattern this won't happen. And when it does happen, people usually say you must have learned what you need to from that pattern and are ready to move on.

This phenomenon is partly behind my impulse to knit small projects this year so I can finish them. But, really, I just want to finish things.

But then I thought if I use some of these yarns in my hoard that I'm so in love with maybe that boredome won't set in.

On the other hand maybe what I need to be doing is sticking with mindless projects I don't have to focus on.

After all, look how quickly I finished the Electric Bunny Sweater.

Drawing the Line
This was all going through my head as I was finishing the Electric Bunny Sweater and beginning to contemplate my next project.

Should I try to finsh on of my WIPs that was approaching UFO status? Or should I use one of my "precious" yarns that I just had to have at the time? If those yarns were so compelling, why was I avoiding them?

And I decided to go for it.

The first weekend in December Hubby and I went to Portland, Maine.

He was taking a wine appreciation class so was locked away all day. I was along for the ride and ran loose in the Old Port area of the city. I was able to track down three yarn stores to visit.

Including Tess' Designer Yarns. Now back in, oh, 2005, Cynthia gave me a hank of Tess' hand painted silk...which I haven't knit up yet. Just terrible. See what I'm talking about? These poor neglected yarns.


She does lovely stuff and I came home with a hank of Kitten, a 65% Cashmere, 35% Silk blend that is just to die for and cost a pretty penny to boot.

I brought it home and tossed it in the dining room credenza to join all the other precious, expensive yarn I don't actually use.

But when the Electric Bunny Sweater was finished I said, "Enough!" and I got out the Kitten. And I told myself I would not complicate things. I would not find a pattern with lace or cables or something else that would slow down my progress.

I would just knit the damn yarn. And then I would wear it. And the ownership of it would be justified.

Random Scarf
So I present to you the Random Scarf. Eleven days from start to finish. It would have been less if I didn't have a couple false starts.

First I cast on 100 sts and decided it didn't look good and was too short. That was fairly annoying because I'd done a knitted cast on, which took forever, because I didn't want to guess for a long tail.

Then I accidentally cast on 50 sts and decided that was too wide and would get annoying.

Finally I cast on 400 sts (I was aiming for 300, but decided to use the entire tail because I wasn't doing another dang knitted cast on).

Then I just knit. I alternated stockinette with reverse stockinette and drop stitches and I didn't sweat it.

It also would have been finished sooner if the cast off hadn't taken two or three days.

The end of the yarn was approaching as I was working a double wrap row. I decided to listen to the frantic little voice that kept saying, "You aren't going to make it!" and picked it out.

I knit a regular row and started casting off. The frantic little voice came back and got all smug when I ran out of yarn half way through.

Do you know how much of a pain picking out a cast off is? Then I had to unpick the last row to have enough yarn.

Finally I cast off using one size larger needles, but it still came out a little tight. All the ladies in Library knitting said to blow it off, so I did. Since I was supposed to be relaxed about it.

I ended up with more leftover yarn than I expected since I'd run out before. I couldn't bring myself to clip it off so I worked a crab stitch with it along the cast off end. Only made it about half way, but noone whould be close enough to my scarf to know that but me!

Anyway. It was pretty cool to not only use up some precious yarn so quickly but to actually finish a scarf. (Scarves usually bore me to tears.)

I'm on to my next precious yarn. I was thinking of using the Maple Creek Farm Fredricksburg that I'd bought at Rhinebeck in 2010 and have actually used to cast on a sweater. But the Merino/Silk blend I bought at Ellen's Half Pint Farm during the 2011 New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival has been calling my name since it joined the family.

So I'm going to go for the Spring Pansy. My reasoning is that the NHSW is in May, which is right around the corner, while Rhinebeck is in October.

After all, I'll have to prioritize these lovely yarns somehow.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh - I like that Ann! Gorgeous colors and the red came out really red in your picture. Are you having fun yet??? I bet!! Let's see the next one lovie!