Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Free at Last!

Look! It's finished!

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It's so big, I can't get a decent photo of it.

Here it is folded up nicely, to fit in the linen cupboard (aka the Linnet's FO storage).

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And can you see the two purl stitches I agonized over? Me, neither. Well, hardly, at any rate.

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For those of you who haven't been slogging along with me on this project, here's the specs:

Pattern: Loosely based on the Moderne Log Cabin in Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, from my stash, in eleven colors (Clematis, Shadow Grey, Tahiti Teal, Periwinkle, Amethyst, Sunburst Gold, Raspberry, Ink Blue, Blue Boy, Seafoam, and something unlabeled) and 15 or so full or partial skeins.

Needles: Size 8 bamboo circs. No, I don't know what kind; I don't pay attention to needle brands, mostly.

Finished Size: 55" x 46.5"

What else can I say? Well, you know how sick of this I was by the end, but I'm really very happy with how this turned out. I didn't plan the placement of the colors very precisely, except for deciding that the red and gold should be accents, not full logs, and that I'd start with the smallest partial skeins and work up to the colors I had more than one full skein of. The Lamb's Pride was great to work with, as always, and it made a blanket with a good heft and substance to it. Not too heavy, except to knit on, but really a great weight for a lap blanket/throw sort of thing.

So, what's next? Well, I have a heel on my first sock to darn, and a handspun shawl to knit, all before the Harlot comes to town on the 30th. Then it'll be time to decide on baby presents - I'm leaning towards adorable bonnets with ties, at the moment. Maybe socks. Certainly no project that takes over 500 yards to knit. Almost certainly not the 1500-yard, short-rowed, garter-stitch Oat Couture baby blanket. You know, the one I started - not that I've showed you any of it; basically all I've done is a swatch.

Right now, I just want to spin. No knitting. Not even any purling. Tomorrow night is SnB with margaritas night, and I'm taking my wheel. I predict a good time will be had by all.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Breakthrough. Or Breakdown

I posted this over at the Mason-Dixon Slogalong; I thought I'd share it with you as well.

My Cheatin' Heart

I am so sick of my Lamb's Pride Moderne-istic Log Cabin Blanket that I don't even want to take the time to photograph it and show you how much I've done. I just want to spill my guts about this blasted thing and go on with my life.

As you may remember, when last I wrote, I had three sheins (yes, skeins) of dark teal green and three of purple to add to this garter-stitch monstrosity. I finished the three skeins of green. I'm just about done with the first skein of purple. And I am so sick, so very sick, so very cannot stand it anymore sick of this endless, boring, boring, did I mention endless and boring, blanket.

I have a confession: I purled two stitches of purple, rather than knitting them, and I am leaving them in. God, it just felt so good to purl! OK, I was under the influence of two margaritas at a new-to-me SnB in a yarn shop with cool knitters (one was knitting knee socks on size 1 dpns! With her handspun! My kind of obsessive!), but still - I purled. I purled and it felt reeeeeeally good and I'm not too proud to admit it in public.

That was Wednesday night. Friday night I went to my friend Pat's house for dinner and knitting. Pat's daughters are 8 and 12 and they're learning to knit (Pat is a Very Good Mother). Since Pat is just a beginning knitter herself (but she has three sheep, so she's forgiven), I was called in for back-up, along with Pat's other friend Brenda, who has Jacob sheep. I mentioned that I had had fun Wednesday knitting while drinking margaritas. Bam, Pat's husband made us margaritas.

And then...and then.... well, I can't remember whether to blame Pat or Brenda, but one of them said if you're so sick of knitting on your blanket, just don't use up all the purple, that blanket is big enough already.

Heh. That thought had never occurred to me, properly brought up Puritan that I am. I mean, I had planned on using up as much of my stashed Lamb's Pride as I could, but I am so sick of knitting this thing and it's enormous already and heavy and awkward to move around and did I tell you that I also have three babies and one wedding to knit for this summer? Not to mention the unfinished baby blanket for one of these moms-to-be, unfinished from four (four!!) years ago? Plus the Yarn Harlot is coming to speak nearby and I need something suitable to wear, obviously, and, oh, I just remembered this morning that two of my friends are turning 50 this summer and I am so sick of garter stitch I could just scream. Sick of it, I tell you. Sick, sick, sick. Give me some purling, some yarnovers, some cabling, anything but knit, knit, knit. I tell you, I have lust in my heart for big, fancy cables, true hormonal lust.


I am going to finish that skein of purple and I will border that purple log with the lovely dark red. I will add some more gold borders around the other edges. I will weave in the ends and wrap it all up in fancy paper and give it to Earle on his birthday the 28th of this month and I will stuff those two other skeins of purple back deep in my stash, very, very deep (I have true depth to my stash). I will do this, I will, I will, I tell you - I will break free of my artificial Puritan boundaries and not finish something I started exactly the way it was planned. This will be good for me; I'm entirely too well-behaved.

And then I will knit the lace shawl for the Harlot visit and adorable little cabled baby sweaters and that ripply wedding afghan and maybe even some socks for me. Maybe even spin on my porch to the sounds of happy little birds (Brenda wants to give me a Jacob fleece, bless her!). And do anything else I damn well please. So there.

[yes, yes, I know there are 10 or 15 - there couldn't possibly be as many as 20, could there? - unfinished projects tucked in cupboards and bookshelves and scattered bags around this house, but they're just on hiatus, they're not really abandoned - I just had these other deadlines I had to meet. Really, I swear it's true.]

An update, later that day: I am done, so done, with the purple. The purple has its red border. I'm almost done the final gold border on the top edge of the blanket. All that's really left is the gold border on the left and weaving in the ends, most of which are already done. I have a dentist appointment and an oil change today; maybe the blanket will be finished today.

I don't know why I set myself these unreasonable goals (e.g., see the 2007 Resolutions in the sidebar). Nobody is forcing me to make Chloe a baby blanket and Melissa two cabled baby sweaters and Dave and Shelley a wedding afghan - I could just knit baby hats and buy a beautiful pottery bowl for a wedding present. Everybody would be happy and I wouldn't have these self-imposed burdens. Just because I can imagine something doesn't mean I have to do it.

Keep reminding me of that.