Remember this? The Barn Raising Quilt from Knitalong? I decided when the book first came out that it was the perfect summer knitting project. Modular and therefore portable. Sock yarn (something I hadn't had an excuse to stockpile, not yet having discovered fingering weight shawls) and therefore posing no risk of lap-full of worsted on a hot July afternoon.
It wasn't that big a project. It still isn't, at the gauge I got. No more than 42 squares. Okay, maybe 48. Or 56. Anyway, given that the squares max out at 43 stitches per side, that once you've got your stitch markers in place (and have remembered to us an odd one to mark the start of the round) the knitting is self-correcting, and that the knitting is simple stockinette in the round, they just don't take that long to knit. A day, a day-an-a-half, tops.
Why then, one might wonder, have I been knitting on this since 2008 and still have only 16 squares finished? That would be because I haven't touched it since 2010, when I jokingly estimated 4 more summers to completion. What happened is, alas, a sad, sad tale of indecision and hand-dyed yarn, not in that order.
The last time I wrote anything about the Barn Raising Quilt, I referred to a serious dyelot issue, but claimed a happy ending. I was unduly optimistic. Had the yarn at issue been any other than the colorway I had chosen to base the blanket on (on which I had chosen to base the blanket?) (A preposition is a perfectly good word . . .), I could have coped. Had the first two dyelots of Claudia Handpainted Fingering in Walk in the Woods been close, I could have coped. When the third dyelot, which I had bought directly from Claudia at the Fine Points booth at Stitches Midwest, and which (I thought) I had minutley compared to a knitted square in the original dyelot, didn't match, I called it three strikes and hid the project deep-deep in frustrated and rejected project-land until this summer.
This summer I am feeling brave. This summer I am feeling capable. This summer I really, really needed something to distract me from the disaster that overtook my home in the name of kitchen renovation. Chaos everywhere meant I needed to impose order somewhere, so the Princess and I tossed the stash with an eye to String Theory's Stash Sale. We didn't make it (although we'll be ready for next year), but I found most of the yarn from the original Barn Raising. I still have some absentees -- the second of the original Walk in the Woods comes to mind, along with the tiny stitch markers I used on the tiny needles -- but by laying out the finished squares and the remaining skeins, I realized that I can make a pretty darn nice looking blanket, even if I can't base it on the Walk in the Woods Dyelot of My Dreams.
I've suffered one slight set-back. I had planned on three squares per 50g/175 yard skein of Claudia Handpaints fingering (now known as Addiction). As it happens, I come up about 9 rows and a bind-off short. That safety pin marks the start of the new skein of yarn.
Make that two slight setbacks - some of the colorways have been discontinued (Claudia Handpainted in Taupe, the Shibui Knits in Pagoda and in Dragonfly), others are lost in the stash (the dark blue, which may be Claudia Handpainted Antique Jeans). Some are both ( the Claudia Handpainted in Jungle).
Poor me. I had to buy more yarn. Since I've learned my lesson from the Walk in the Woods disaster, I'm not even going to attempt to match the absent yarns.
Instead I'm trying three completely new colors: Rubies Playing, Honey and Mushroom Hunting. All Claudia Handpainted Addiction. The plan (I always need a plan, don't I?) is to knit one square of each color, see if any of them work, and go from there.
That, or I'll scout Fine Points booth at Stitches again this year and come away with a fourth Walk in the Woods dyelot.