Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Best Knit Plans

Last year during home leave, my mother and I went to her local knitting store and bought lots and lots and lots of yarn. Technically, there is nothing shocking about this since we have spent more than a few dollars at Mary’s Yarns over the years. Every time I go home, my mother and I return to this shop and plan big projects for me. This planning includes buying patterns, yarns, needles, and a few extra balls of yarn that looked soft and pretty on the shelves.

Knitters out there have probably guessed by now that what my mother and I, with the help of the kind ladies at Mary’s Yarns, have been doing is facilitating the world’s largest “stash.” For you non-knitters out there don’t worry – I’m not doing anything nefarious or illegal. What I have been doing is buying distracting and pretty yarns that I plan to someday use and, in the meantime, storing and hiding them in case inspiration strikes.

During the summer of 2007, Mum and I bought enough yarn to complete a Four Seasons Throw. This twelve-block blanket would test my knitting abilities without freaking me out with complicated
stitches, or boring me with row upon row of garter stitch. I even started the first strip of blocks while I was in Toronto and was both impressed and pleased with the results.

After several months of not knitting and then knitting again, I finished all twelve blocks. I sewed the strips together and showed Hubby the results of my determination. He was dutifully courteous and properly impressed with my skills. Then he said what I had been secretly thinking: “Is it a little small?” “Size doesn’t matter!” I wanted to scream. But I knew better – twelve 12” x 12” inch squares just don’t add up to an adult sized snuggle blankie.

After a brief discussion with my knitting guru/mother, I decided to knit an extra strip of four blocks. I folded up the blanket, checked my stash to ensure that I had sufficient yarn, and promised myself that I would start on that much needed strip tomorrow.

That was approximately a year ago.

For the last several days, I have been staring at the project bag I knew contained my Four Seasons Throw. I watched it mock me from its perch – a daily reminder that I was a lazy git who never finished what she started. Sick of the scorn that this inanimate object was casting my way, I stalked over to the bag last Saturday and dumped the contents out with determination. This blanket was going to be completed if it killed me!

First, I admired my handiwork. Then I pulled out the square I had started about five months ago and made sure that none of my stitches had dropped off their needles. My next step was supposed to be “turn to appropriate page in pattern booklet and start knitting.” My next step turned into “hyperventilate and run around the flat in a desperate search for said pattern booklet.”

Long story short, the booklet is gone. I can’t find it anywhere and I am not a good enough knitter to figure out the patterns from previously completed blocks. And since the pattern isn’t available for free online (Damn you capitalism!) I’m pretty much buggered in the “finish the blanket the way I planned” department.

The upside of losing the pattern book is that “I finished my Four Seasons Throw! Woo hoo!!" I have decided that all the days, weeks, and months that passed since the day I decided that it needed extra four blocks never happened. The blanket is exactly as I imagined it. Sure, it doesn’t have fringe since my crochet hook was loaned to a friend who forgot to return it. And sure it’s about the size of a baby blanket. But it’s mine. And I made it all by myself. And I’m rather keen on it.

Tomorrow, I will print these photos, tape them into my embarrassingly empty project book, and look forward to the next project. Or maybe I will use this as an impetus to finish the dozens of incomplete knitting projects that literally litter our living room. But more likely, I will look into my stash and see a new possibility in its depths. A new day, a new project, a new thing to procrastinate about. I’m so excited!!


Lynda said...

It is the perfect size to drape over you knees as the weather turns cool here...aren't you a clever little thing!

(I can't knit - many good women have tried to teach me, none have succeeded)

Anonymous said...

That is totally cute! Good idea for using up stash too! I wish I had more superwash yarn - I've been a dumbo about buying non-super wash which is not so great for things like afghans....

Anonymous said...

I'm about ready to declare "done" a lace scarf I started this summer and am tired of -- I totally get what you're saying! That size does make a nice lap afghan, though.

Miss Kim said...

Hahaaa... I have a blanket I used to be working on which has also been separated from the instructions. You've inspired me to finish it as a lap warmer! LOL

Connie said...

It's Cairo-sized. You don't need a huge blanket here! Very pretty colors. Congrats on finishing your project! Keep us appraised on the next :-)

I love making patterns of blocks. I get bored too easy. Probably ADD or something. I enjoy crochet. I've tried knitting and have made a scarf or two, but it requires too much concentration ...for me, I've been told by others that crochet takes too much thinking... go with what works, I guess!

Of all the things I've made over the years, my husband teases me that he has never got a sweater. Maybe some day. These days all my crafts tend to be "Mommy would you make me..."s... which is a good thing. I believe it is the 1st step to take before they get to "Mommy will you show me how.."

illahee said...

that's really cool. maybe i'll look into getting that pattern...someday!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind snuggling up with that blanky - it looks comfy!

Anonymous said...

wow, such a beautiful hobby, keep it up, i always like productive hobbies, also it's products make both butts and hearts feel warm :)

Anonymous said...

Well now, pattern book missing? Try buried in one of the stash bags...
Anyway, I have that pattern and will get it to you if you want to do some more squares anon.
Guess what, the Celtic afghan I've been working on forever? Square 19 of 20 is now finished (I did the one with the mini sweater). Still only 1/2 way around the border but it is getting there!
Glad you are back knitting! It is a great way to watch TV.

Brenda said...

Nice! I don't knit, but I crochet a little. I like to have something to keep my hands busy when I am watching TV. When I actually settle on a channel :)

Hi! I'm Janola. said...

Oh, such a nice lap blanket! I also have a stash which is sitting in storage at home. I miss all my yummy yarns. All I've seen here and in Kenya are acrylics. :-( Perhaps it's better, as some yarns in my stash are about 15 years old now!!

Anonymous said...

Good for you for finishing it, what a good feeling!

Lynn One, Purl Two said...

tonight i thought i would catch up on some long over-due blog reading and LOOK WHAT I FIND!!!
i LOVE it.
it's perfect.
more please, more!
happy knitting (and blogging!)