February 23, 2008

This Is Still a Knitting Blog

The Hemlock Ring baby blanket came off the needles yesterday and I finished weaving in the ends today. It just needs a really good, severe blocking.

This blanket could have been finished a lot faster but with all the craziness of the move, I didn't get to work on it as often as I normally would have. Also, I had a bit of a situation deciding when to bind off.

I had worked through row 65 of Jared's chart and still had most of my last ball unworked. I didn't know if it was enough yarn to complete the next repeat and the bind off. To be safe, I put in a lifeline before starting the next repeat. Man, that was tedious. The scrap yarn I used was not ideal lifeline material. It was too thick and not smooth enough, but it was the best of the choices that I had easy access to at the time. It was painfully slow both putting in the lifeline and working the row where it was.

Lifeline in place, I got all the way through the next repeat (the last one on the chart) and started the bind off. I was maybe 1/16th of the way through the bind off when I had to admit there simply wasn't enough yarn to finish.

blanket stretched over exercise ball.

So now I needed to make a decision. I could rip back to the lifeline and start the bind off from there. OR, given that I'd gotten all the way through the last repeat and only needed more yarn for the edge, I could work the bind off in a contrasting color.

I contemplated this second option for about a day and a half. On the pro side, a contrasting edge could be really pretty and the blanket would be bigger than if I ripped back. On the con side, I'd have to go buy the new yarn.

Since when is buying yarn a con, you ask? Well, since about November I've been really good about knitting from my stash. I've felt very virtuous and clever every time I've found suitable yarn without having to go buy some. I realized there's lots of wonderful knitting potential sitting right in my stash. I already have the perfect yarn for many of the projects in my queue. To be clear, I have not put myself on a yarn diet. However, limiting myself to stash knitting as much as possible has given me the strength not to buy yarn. I've even passed on some killer yarn sales! It's been a stash-knitting roll and I wasn't sure about breaking it just yet.

From the pictures you can probably see that the edge is not a contrasting color, meaning I did rip back to the lifeline. I'll tell you what sealed my decision. It wasn't my reluctance to buy new yarn. It was that this yarn (Rowan Cashsoft Baby DK in Snowman) was a gift from my mom. She gave it to me the first time she saw me after I'd told her about my pregnancy. How cute is that? I tell her I'm pregnant and the first thing she does is run out and buy me some white yarn with the word "baby" on the ballband.

This blanket is a gift to Minnie Purl from both her mom and her Grammy. Introducing new yarn to the project, even just on the edge, somehow would've spoiled the purity of that.

And also? All the tedium of inserting that darn lifeline wasn't in vain.