Sometimes I just need to zone out, no thinking allowed, like visiting a dear friend, where long silences are welcomed. That's what my knitted blanket was to me. It was that on-going project that required no explanation, no pre-meditated planning, just pick it up and get to it. I had been working this blanket, on and off, for almost five years.
You see, I had visited the fiber festival some years ago, and picked up a very large hank of the most lovely yarn. It was soft and lofty, variegated in earthy browns, coppery pinks, and rusts. The vendor said there was enough to make a small afghan. Moi, having only knitted a few, well-guided projects, thought I could wing an afghan. I mean, it was a smallish thing, really. If I knit the whole thing, that would make it elementary and easy; right? I found a 52" cord for my size 9 Denise needles, and set about casting on. Just how many did I cast on you might ask? Well, at 300 it seemed ample, and sounded like a nice round number. Now, right about this time all you seasoned, experienced knitters are chuckling or perhaps even tsk-tsking and rolling with laughter. Who casts on 300 stitches???? Well, unfortunately, I did.
Back then I was not used to looking up things on the internet, like "easy knitted afghans": I wasn't part of a knitting group: and I didn't know anyone whom I felt I could ask. Hindsight being what it is, I could have gone to the library or I could have asked the ladies down at our local knitting store. I felt a little awkward, since I had not purchased the yarn from them. But really, I should have gone in. They knew me as a customer and would have happily steered me in the right direction.
But no, I just wanted to knit. So I began. When I had practically used up my very large hank of yarn and only had, oh, about 20 inches to show for it, I realized I had made a very big mistake. This was either going to be the worlds longest scarf, or I was going to have to change my plan. Unknitting ... had I even heard that term then? .....was yet another unknown technique, thus starting over was not an option.
I looked at my crude, proportionally incorrect "afghan" and realized that if I added to it, perhaps I could still save it. I had many odd balls of yarn sitting around that would look fabulous with the variegated yarn, yarn that had the same fluff and loft, yarn that had a little mohair or silk spun in. Hence, plan B was hatched ~ a knitted blanket. I began searching and gathering like-handed yarns. I found ten balls of rust colored, vintage mohair at a flea market; a cone of bumpy variegated reds and wine colored silk at the op shop; a bag of fluffy browns. You get the picture.
I knitted, and set aside, and added, and paused, gathered more yarn, and knitted some more, and over time my blanket grew. It grew to rather ridiculous proportions. I never truly knew how long it was because it was on the 52" cord. The yarn was so lofty and fine that it just smooshed up into a smaller looking parcel than it really was. I knew it was not correct, but I was so much enjoying just sitting and knitting, and having this lovely wool around, and feeling the softness on my fingers. I enjoyed the mindless, meditative quality of just picking up and making.
|You can see my cat also enjoyed the knitting time.|
I recently pulled out my blanket. I could tell I was nearing the end of this endeavor. It would never really be complete. I was running out of yarn for it, and mentally, I was ready to finish the project. I had thoroughly enjoyed the process, but now it was time to move on.
When I knitted my last ball of yarn, the blanket measured just over five feet in width. I still did not know how long it was. Last week, with slight nostalgia, similar to reading that last chapter of a very long, engaging novel, I bound off those 300 stitches. I got out my measuring tape to see just how long it was. Those 300 stitches, the tape revealed to me, equated to ....are you ready?....12 feet....TWELVE feet! Oh, my goodness, ridiculous proportions indeed.
|For reference the couch is 7.5 feet.|
It just goes to show you that a little planning can go a long way: Or conversely, a lack of planning can also go a long way. Lucky for me, I enjoyed the journey, and have gleaned a very good lesson in the process ~ winging it can be great, taking you down paths you may not have tread; but sometimes the path can be much shorter (and less expensive) with a little research.
My knitted blanket is warm and toasty, with colors that make me happy. It is useful, cheerful, and reminds me of life's lessons learned.