Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting Things Done

Guilt disguised as superstition is a powerful motivator.

I have two projects that have my husband's stamp on them.One involves the current, fruitless and, I have discovered, hopeless search for non-Rowan indigo tweed yarn. The Project Which Must Not Be Named is the second. The one where I achieved triangularity and then promptly abandoned. The only thing he has ever actually asked me to knit.

What, you may wonder, has my failure to progress on the second have to do with my complete inability to find an acceptable yarn substitute for the first?

First, you need to hear the yarn story. I will not even pretend that I wouldn't gleefully sacrifice my brother's sweater if I had enough of the Scottish Tweed Aran to make a cabled-cardigan for a former wrestler, but I don't. I only bought enough for a plain EZ pullover, about 400 yards short of the cabled cardigan requirement.

The Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed Chunky, which I misidentified as "Indigo" (or Denim or something) came closest. I went on repeated searches trying to locate a stockist who had Indigo Aran weight on hand. My frustration was a benediction from the knitting gods. The Chunky Donegal Tweed was actually "Navy" and the color isn't available in the Aran weight yarn. Other navy or indigo tweeds are either too dark, too light or involve lavender.

While still in the throes of that frustration I had an epiphany (I know, out of season, but there it is. One cannot always control these things). Clearly, I had failed to find the right yarn because I had squirrelled away the Not Quite A Blessingway Blanket. If I want to make any progress on this newest sweater project, I must get the Blessingway Blanket done. I needed the closure.

Of course, first I had to find it. It's knit in pieces and there was good reason to fear that they were scattered. The stash has been tossed repeatedly since October, when I abandoned, I mean, last worked on the project.

As the pieces started surfacing I had to face a series of dispiriting facts. I had worked barely two inches on the second ecru panel. In my fantasy world it was about half done. I couldn't find the triangle. Let's just say the temper tantrum I threw was rewarded, but it did the stash no good, no good at all. Worst, I didn't write down the final formula for placing the short rows, hence all the little row markers from my attempt to read my knitting.

For posterity, let me note here that I did them every other right side row starting at row 15 until the apex of the triangle, where I worked a short row for three consecutive right-side rows, that is, the apex and the right side rows immediately on either side for a total of 31 sets of short rows. It took me three days to knit the second triangle, where I only needed an afternoon for the first one.

All things considered, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when the weather warmed up outside, which means the radiators are off inside, which means the second triangle is taking forever to dry (it's cotton, after all). I had so hoped to finish it today.

While closure may still elude me, I had a second epiphany. It came after I finished the second ecru panel (just in case you think superstitions are superstitious). There is no substitute for Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran in Indigo. I'm going back to Cascade 220 for Marc's sweater. I'm thinking 2448/Mallard.

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