Friday, January 20, 2006

Let the Games Begin!

The decision is made and the die is cast. This is what I am going to do for the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. I decided that a) it had to be something I had never made before, b) it had to be knit from the stash only, c) it would have to be something that I actually might finish, and d) it would be something for charity. So I chose this project after taking a romp through the stash (more on that later). I had the pattern and I had the yarn. The design will hold my interest long enough (which is why I have avoided baby blankets up until now because they look sooooo boring!) And we do a baby shower for a local crisis pregnancy center at my church every spring and I will be able to donate this. Whaddya think? Did I choose well?

Stash Romp

You probably will laugh at me when you realize just how anal particular I am about my stash. Did I mention yet that I have 15 Roughtotes of yarn in my basement? A veritable wall of yarn? Well, I do.

I went down there this morning to check my Encore boxes (yep, I have two boxes devoted just to my favorite yarn) for a yarn request on the knitlist. I have a (ahem) rather large collection of Encore due to the fact that I have rarely seen a color or color combination of this yarn that I didn't like! I often adopt the odd skein that ends up in the sale bin at Old Village Yarns, 'cause I hate to think of them getting lonely in there. I put them in boxes with other skeins from the same company so they'll feel right at home.

I didn't end up having the desired color (why not? Heathered blue/green? Sounds like something I would have bought...hmmm...), but I discovered that one of my boxes that I thought was devoted to Encore actually had [gasp] Woolease in it! I couldn't have that, could I?

So I got the generic worsted weight acrylic box out, plus my other Encore box and sorted it all out. I made one of the boxes of Encore for groups of 3 or more skeins of the same color, and the other one was 1 or 2 skeins plus odd balls. I found that I had a lot more Woolease than I had ever remembered buying. I also went into that closet in the laundry room where I had remembered putting some Woolease for some reason and found about 6 skeins in there. One had fallen on the floor and rolled into the space under the stairs where it had collected quite a lot of fluff and debris. It was hard to tell just what belonged and what didn't, since it was black with color neps in it, so I vacuumed the yarn with the vacuum we keep in the laundry room! Worked like a charm!

I had fantasies while vacuuming...maybe there was a way of inventing a vacuum-style gadget that would suck the end of the yarn out of center-pull balls! I could invent this gizmo and make millions! Millions!

However, Cold Reality (a invisible person who has a nasty habit of hanging around my house) intruded with a vision of this gadget totally crammed and jammed with yarn and thousands of irate knitters and crocheters beating me to death with jammed gadgets, so I got rid of the idea immediately.

After I was done romping through the yarn, I put everything back, making sure that the same color lids went on the same color boxes. It makes me uneasy when I put a blue lid on a purple box. Can't do it!


I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm at the top of the heart patch on the project from hell colorblocks sweater's sleeves and soon I will be back to only one skein per sleeve and it will be cake from then on, cake I tell ya! After the sleeves are done, it's on to the neck ribbing, then sewing up and doing the bottom edging. It will be done, done, done. I can't wait! And I can tell ya, it will be a cold day in h-e-double-toothpicks before I ever knit another one like this!

However, I did have to cheat just a little bit. I found that I forgot to do a couple of the increases while experiencing the thrill of knitting the heart into the patch. So, I went ahead and hooked up one of the increases with a crochet hook and fudged the other ones so that they were there...they just weren't exactly in the place they should have been. But this is going to be on the underside of the sleeve and no one will see it anyway. I just could not, could NOT face frogging back to where the increases needed to go. Doing it this way creates a couple of columns of tiny tight stitches, but only I (and you folks!) will know they are there and you aren't going to tell, are you?


Clare said...

Great Idea for the Olympics. Your husband would be happy that you are using stash up.

Must be the time for finishing old UFO's. Mine was 3years.

AmyS said...

Ingenious save on those increases! As one who just had to rip back several inches to add increases to sleeves (the infamous MIL sweater, ya know...) I salute you!

And I love your Olympics project - the project, yarn and especially the thought are all perfect. Good luck!

Gretchen said...

You have been tagged! :o) On my blog