Friday, September 13, 2013

Chance Favors the Prepared

Thirty degrees is a lot.

It's strange, but no matter how many times I hear it, no matter how much I look forward to it (at least when the drop starts from the mid-90's), no matter that except for that brief stint in California, I have spent my whole life in the Midwest, I am never prepared for just how big a temperature change thirty degrees is until it happens. Tuesday we were sweltering. Today I've thrown open my windows and am sitting here in a sweatshirt. It's Fall in Chicago.

You know what this means, don't you? This means I can confess. This means I can go public. This means I don't have to hide any more. No more pretending all I'm working on is easy warm weather knitting like cowls and fingering-weight shawls. This means I can announce that I am (wait for it) knitting another blanket!

I've written a couple times that the Princess and I are valiantly working our way through reducing the stash. When you work on cowls, mittens, socks, hats and children's sweaters, though (well, socks and mittens not me, but she does) the stash fades away gradually. I want some major disappearing here. I want my stash to fit in its baskets. I want Their Father to not walk from room to room and wonder if we're single-handedly supporting a sheep farm somewhere in Montana. Dang it, I want to buy more yarn with a clear conscience.

Which is why I am saying thank-you to Stephen West for the Garter Squish Blanket (it's free on Ravelry).

Worsted Weight. Double-stranded. Big needles. Full-size blanket. We're talking about ridding the Stash of 16 skeins in one fell swoop. And easy. It's garter stitch. Knit until the skeins run out and then start the next two. This thing eats yarn. Even better, I'm using up some of those lost, lone and left-over skeins. Those eight skeins of Rainier Heather Cascade 220 that I bought online when I thought they were blue and they turned out to be purple? They have found their project.

Okay, so this is me and I had to change it. That would be because two of those lost lone skeins are a really awful orange-and-green-heather-makes-for-one-muddy-brown.

I worried about knitting a large block with it. Even double-stranded with the Rainier Heather (purple) it looks brown. Keeping in mind that if you only choose pretty colors for a project you'll end up with a pretty boring project, I took the advice of Lady Macbeth and "screwed [my] courage to the sticking place" (that and I may have knit with one eye closed at the start). Somehow, though, juxtaposed in narrower bands between navy/purple and charcoal heather/purple, I like it. I'm curious to see what it looks like between the charcoal heather/purple and the more bluish/greenish-grey of the Smoke Heather/purple combination.

I find the knit-as-you-go I-cord edging particularly fetching. I may do this for all my garter stitch blankets from now on.

Not to mention that now that it's getting chilly here, instead of shivering in this robust northeasterly breeze, I get to sit with a lapful of wool.

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