Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fallin' Off the Wagon

Today tastes like unsweetened black cherry Kool-Aid. I can't decide if it's more bitter or sour.

I took rather a bad tumble off the stash diet wagon. I didn't buy anything, but I wagged home a ton of freebies--that I didn't need. Not even for the project I thought I'd do with them.

See, Project Linus had a blanket bee February 3. Yeah, blame it all on the tough crowd that does charity knitting. They softened me up with brownies and coffee, those infamous gateway drugs.

I was being so good. No, wait a minute, SOOOOOOOOO GOOD. < puts away megaphone>. I was ignoring the hospitality table with all the free yarn. I looked at the booklets (most were crochet, as that's the way the pendulum is swinging now) and didn't take any of them. Hey, I was being SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD.

And then they announced October's blanket challenge. This is a biannual event--February and October. The challenge varies--usually it's color for the knitters (make something in pink and brown, teal and purple, orange and green) and subject for the quilters (sports, puppies, games). This time, it was just one theme.

*****JUNGLE***** (lemme try that again)

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Yeah. Like that.

Now, before you can understand why this drove me to a) start a new project before finishing one already on the needles; and b) snarf up a metric ton of stash yarn from the pushers nice folks at Project Linus, you'll need to know that in my stash as I sat in my folding chair, was a big cone of boucle yarn in camel, gold and rust. I'd been thinking about a Project Linus binkie pattern for that stuff for years, and just had never found anything that made me hungry to take it on.

I was going to use it as a carrying thread to unite a black and white blanket (ehhhh); then I was going to double it and use it as stripes in a blanket (ehhhhhh); then I was going to use it in a slip-stitch honeycomb/big dot pattern (ehhhhh). But now, it had found its calling in a tiger blanket. Hmmmmm . . .

And so I swooped down upon the freebie table and snarfed up every skein of funny green (for the background), black (well, duh, a tiger blanket), and white/cream I could find. Someone had donated a pair of pillow shams and a half-completed crochet coverlet in cream--they went into the bag, too. (Hey, if it was a treasured heirloom that someone in the family was dying to have, then they would have gotten up and found someone to complete it or figured it out themselves. I hope that when I go, my good stash is eBayed and the acrylic is donated--whether the project is finished or no. I'd rather someone get the material and do what they want with it so someone can have and love the finished object until it wears out.)

Not pretty. Not pretty at all. Rather like watching a 300 plus pound person in foodstained clothes gobble down an 18-scoop and all the toppings sundae with their bare hands, solo. (That's probably going to garner some flames.) You can't help thinking, "Honey, have a little self-respect. You don't NEED that."

And then, that very evening, I cast about for how to make this work. Stripes of all sorts and kinds fell off the needles and were ripped out until I decided on entrelac, and then made a chart to keep the borders from being uniformly sized and shaped--I was going for more of an impression of a tiger in grass, with just the black and orange fur and green framing and intruding and . . . well, here's a photo.

Fortunately, I didn't hit my head too hard, but coming home from the bee and digging through all the black and cream and white to get to the cone of the orange boucle was a real killjoy.

< gets a cup of coffee, sits in the wayyyy back> Hi, I'm Spike, and I am powerless over free yarn.

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