Oh, dear me.
I've spent the past two weeks knitting (mostly while catching up on The Daily Show. God I love Jon Stewart). Mostly I was knitting baby booties, because my cousins keep reproducing and I’m the sort of person who finds it unthinkable for babies to not have something handmade, even if they are destined to puke all over it. However, as I was knitting I was also scheming about a free-form log-cabin type of blanket. You see, I recently learned about the blog Cauchy (in fact, I was up Very Late one night recently watching her Flickr stream on slideshow, my jealous rage increasing by the nanosecond). I love, love, love this woman’s work, so much so that my Inner Critic kicks in and starts whining something fierce. *I* want to make stuff like that, dammit!!! Honestly, it was all I could do not to raid my savings account and go blow it on yarn and fabric, but I refrained. (Instead, I stomped off to the grocery store where I was confronted with EASTER CANDY of the CADBURY KIND, despite the fact that Easter is two whole months away. *sigh*)
The other contributing factor to my blanket scheme was that I finally got my hands on the first Mason-Dixon knitting book (now in paperback!), which has some basic instructions about how to get going on a log cabin type blanket. It ain’t, as they say, rocket science, but the book provided excellent inspiration.
I finally got to the point where I couldn’t face one more bootie so I fished out some yarn and started a log cabin square and honestly, it’s the sort of knitting that is about as addicting as that Cadbury stuff. I don’t even *like* garter stitch, but this is satisfying knitting. For one thing, it’s quick. And the resulting fabric feels like a good wool blanket should feel – it has a little weight to it, but not so heavy as to be stifling. And there’s no measuring; you basically knit with one color until you are sick of it or you run out of yarn. It doesn’t have to be precise (though it could be, if that’s how you roll). It’s perfect tv/dvd/conversation knitting, because you don’t really have to pay much attention. And I’m telling you, it’s also weirdly meditative: this sort of knitting seems to soothe some particular part of my brain (though not, alas, the part that craves Cadbury).
But here's the problem:
I have a yarn stash. It’s basically one large basket that sits next to my couch, which not only holds yarn but a number of unfinished projects in various stages of completion. It’s big enough so that any non-knitters (ie, my mother) see it and say incredulously, “Whoa, you have a lot of yarn in there!” – but it’s small enough so that most knitters look at it and say, equally incredulously, “Wait, that’s all the yarn you have???” Regardless of the viewpoint, the bulk of the stash is sock yarn or some hand-dyed treasure that will eventually be turned into…well, I don’t know. Something. It’s not that I couldn’t make a blanket with that sort of yarn, it’s just not what that yarn wants to be. And also? For whatever reason, my yarn stash is a lot like my fabric stash: almost completely devoid of any solid colors, which I need if I want to channel something like this.
What I'm saying is, the idea of using up yarn I already have isn’t going to work for this project. So I was FORCED, I tell you, FORCED to amble on over to Windsor Button (my LYS while I'm at work), where after much pacing of the floor and squishing of the yarn I settled on a small skein of Rowan Purelife wool in a lovely (undyed) shade of brown. It was only $7.50, so if it works great; if not, well, it’s not the end of the world. It won’t be enough to finish the blanket, not by a long stretch, but it will keep me going a bit. But now after seeing all that yarn, there are so many possibilities in my head…particularly a vision of a blanket full of blue and white blocks. And a pink and purple one for my niece. And then a riot of color one like I initially had in mind.
And just like that, I’m officially obsessed.
*photos to follow if and when I ever locate my camera cord*