Thursday, February 10, 2005
My sister Sarah is getting close to her delivery date, so it's time to finish up a baby blanket for the little one. I'm using the Rambling Rows pattern by Cottage Creation, the same folks who publish the Wonderful Wallaby sweater pattern. Like all the Cottage Creation patterns, this one gives a lot of detail about how to negotiate the sticky bits in the pattern. The pattern was so fun to read, I couldn't wait to get to the yarn store to pick out the yarn.

Finding the yarn at Mary's Yarn Shop (my favorite Central Illinois LYS) was the fun part. Sarah isn't sure whether she's having a boy or girl, and she liked the idea of "jewel tones." The purple yarn really drew me from the shelf. The other colors fell into my shopping basket to complement the purple. I couldn't wait to get started.

But my results, so far are.... mixed. The pattern is fun to work, but my results look a little too close to something Aunt Mable would sell at a the church basement rummage sale. The yarn colors are fun, but the acrylic yarn is not really to my liking. It's soft and can be machine washed, but OH how I would prefer to knit with wool. I'm using Reynold's yarn, and it seems to unravel a bit if I try to adjust stitches along the way. The idea is to create a blanket made of patches of color, kind of like a patchwork quilt. I don't mind a "homespun" look, but I don't want it to look tacky, either.

As I've gone along, I've fussed a little with how best to pick up stitches for new squares have made themselves clear. I'm still not sure what the best technique is to cast off each square so that I don't make awkward looking knots in the middle of the blanket. All of this fudging is giving the blanket a really amateur look.

So, tonight I'm going to start over. We'll consider the word so far a sort of extended swatch. Last night, I found the thought of starting over a downer. Now, I'm looking forward to a fresh start. I think I can make the whole thing look a lot better, instead of just living with the little flaws that have cropped up along the way.

Whenever I get stuck with my knitting, whenever I reach that impossible point where I realize there's no choice but to rip all the way back, there's just one thing to do. And that's to stop knitting for the night. At the end of the day, I just can't face the thought of taking out my work. A day later, I can approach the project with a fresh eye, and ripping out seems like the most sensible way to go.

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