Should you ever HAVE to knit something?

August 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Has this ever happened to you?  I’m planning out my vacation knitting, which has a variety of variables so it’s a little confusing: something easy for the car, something complex for the beach, limited stash availability, haven’t checked the gauge yet on potential projects so needle size selection is still up in the air, lost my size 5 Denise convertibles, bamboo size 5’s are tied up in that cotton project I haven’t wanted to work on yet because the cotton hurts my fingers and I got to a hard part, need to keep my size 6’s free because I need them for oddball sampler blanket squares, and guilt because I’m not working on the projects I should be.  Guilt?  Since when is guilt a variable in knitting project selection?  Since I haven’t made anything for myself in a really long time!  And since I’m in serious stash conservation mode.  You see, I’ve got my 1 hard project for the beach, a gift for she-who-shall-remain-nameless-so-she-will-be-surprised.  And I’ve finally nailed down my easy project for the car: legwarmers.  But it was tough, gauge-and-needle-wise.  Here’s why.  My awesome sister-in-law Michelle sent me some awesome alpaca silk blend.  3 skeins of charcoal greyish/brown, 1 skein each of ever-lightening brown/beige shades.  I did the unusual, which was to gauge swatch the charcoal.  I wanted to make legwarmers out of it, since there were 3 skeins, so I knew I’d have enough for 2 legs, and I wouldn’t need to stripe.  (Incidentally, I didn’t want to make squares in the car because I’m actually runnng low on pinks and purples in my stash, and I need to keep squares in reserve for beach knitting, because they’re small, and they can be complex or easy, depending on my mood.  But due to low resources, I didn’t want to use up this finite project in the car.  I can’t do the mystery gift in the car because it’s very difficult and I get carsick, plus if Dan talks to me, I’ll mess up the pattern.)  So back to legwarmers.  There I am, gauge swatching the charcoal, and I realize 2 things: (1) it requires a size 8, which is good, because my 8’s aren’t otherwise occupied at the moment, and (2) it is drop dead the most beautiful lovely scrumptious yarn I have ever laid my hands on.  It’s soft, not scratchy, and it lays itself out in stockinette like nobody’s business.  And it’s neither black nor brown, but somewhere in the middle.  It can go with both black boots or brown boots!  And it’s neutral, to offset the glaring fuscia bad-choiceness of my winter coat!  And would not make a sensitive person’s neck itch in the winter!  The only problem is, for it to truly achieve all these qualities, it would need to be a scarf, not legwarmers.  And I don’t have a scarf right now.  My only scarf is black (doesn’t go with brown), and completely ratty and ugly and itchy.  And my coat is way too bright and strangers accost me on the street because of it.  And everything else in my stash is either too itchy or too shockingly bright to make a scarf.  So I am basically OBLIGATED to make myself a scarf out of this gorgeous yarn.  So, you say, get started.  But I don’t wanna make a scarf right now!  Because I got myself fired up about legwarmers!  Which I don’t need!  And I need a scarf.  Do I make the scarf now?  I should just do it, because it’s the right thing to do. 

I should remind myself right now that the right thing to do would have been to buy a neutral, self-effacing winter coat.  But no, I have to be so addicted to flashiness, that I have to put all my eggs in the once-every-3-years basket of the winter coat purchase and go with a winter coat that looks like a neon sign.  And if I had done the right thing THEN I wouldn’t be in this predicament NOW and I could use my lovely neutral charcoal to make a fantastically soft pair of charcoal legwarmers, because a garish scarf is the perfect complement to a black coat.

If you had trouble following that, no worries, so did I.

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