"Whatever shall we do in that remote spot? Well, we'll write our memoirs. Work is the scythe of time." --Napoleon Bonaparte, on his way into exile.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

New life for old yarn

"How old?" you ask...well, I bought the original 14 balls of Rowan cotton about 12 years ago (how I afforded it all, I can't remember...Rowan yarn is ex-PAHN-seev, as Ella would say). At the time it was posh to use teeny tiny needles and, for the pattern I chose as my first-ever sweater, seed stitch (an annoying knit 1-purl 1 repeat that makes me dizzy). So, the bottom project pictured below took me over a month to complete and was the straw that broke my knitting back all those years ago. Yes, I still have it on the teeny tiny #3 needle. Tenacious, that's me.

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Since then, I have found a pattern I love and a yarn to mix the old with, one that helps me reach my gauge of 4 stitches to the inch for this sweater (as opposed to oh, say, 7?). What's funny to perhaps only me is that the bottom edge and a bit of the sides on the new sweater feature -- you guessed it -- seed stitch. Oh, the irony.

I'm very close to the end of my poncho but after going to Drop-In Knitting last night and wandering the yarn aisle and touching and feeling new stuff, I just wanted to get started on something new. The top project in the photo above is my latest, with the old yarn, mixed with the new, and on a fat, juicy #9 needle.

We were chatting last night in the knit shop and I've been reading knitting blogs online enough to know that my desire to have only a couple of projects going at a time (preferrably just one) is a bit unusual. Then again the only small projects I've learned are hats and scarves -- no mittens or (what I hear are highly addictive) socks yet -- so my range is limited.

Actually, my budget is extremely limited since I'm not working and I feel guilty spending. Especially $50-$100 on a sweater project. Nothing like stretching that out over 12 years to make it work. Seriously, the yarn I'm adding to this new sweater is going to end up costing me $60, and the 12 year-old yarn probably cost me $130 (gulp) back then, so this will end up being a very pricey sweater. I won't be able to do a lot of those, so I'd better learn mittens and socks.

I finished all that on the top project in just two nights of relaxing knitting. I read about a woman recently who gives herself an hour of prayer and meditation in the morning, only meditation was boring for her, so she knits. As meditation. Which explains why I knit, since I can't sit still long enough to meditate. Now I'm just waiting to sleep a little better after all that relaxation.


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