Sometimes I feel smug when reading of other people’s yarn stashes. Mine is under control, confined to three small cases on top of my wardrobe. The smugness then diminishes when I remember the considerable stash of mohair in the ‘craft cupboard’ in the front room. Oh well, at least there was space in some of the cases, and I was not gaining any more yarn. Until Christmas, when I received two lots of yarn for making blankets, my own request…
And I was so good at keeping the works-in-progress to a sensible number – just one major work in each craft at the most, with the occasional small project on the side. But then I would remember the alpaca jumper languishing in the front room while some cotton creation was in progress elsewhere in the house. Oh dear. But at least the cotton projects are now complete (a plain jumper and a plain cardigan, both very dull but exactly what we wanted) and I am working on the alpaca (another plain jumper).
Then I read of people declaring how they do not make New Year’s Resolutions. Oh, neither do I, I’d think, I just list projects I would like to work on some time in the future, and tick them off as they are made, and while I aim to unclutter the house during the first term of school, it is not an actual resolution. Given my current sense of let-down and self-disgust, I think the uncluttering was a resolution, or at least an unachievable goal, and I am deriving satisfaction from ticking off completed craft projects (green crochet cat, cotton cardigan, modification of a bag…). I have temporarily abandoned the front room, pruned a couple of plants, and cleaned out a bathroom cupboard, so there is progress, just not what I imagined.
The most sensible aim for the year is to knit my nephew a mohair throw to give him for his 21st birthday in November. There are too many browns in the stash, so there is a strong brown element in the blanket, but I have added other colours to keep it from looking dead. I have made a lot of throws in a related feather-and-fan pattern, but decided I preferred a more zig-zaggy look for this one. Maybe it is also due to laziness – fewer holes per row in this pattern.
One tip, for anyone interested in knitting anything striped in mohair blend yarns: Mohair is very ‘grippy’, so when changing colours it is sufficient to twist 10 to 20 cm of yarn (up to 4 inches) at the site of colour change, then just knit it into the piece. It is not noticeable, and saves a lot of time later.
The pattern I am knitting (after 3 rows of garter stitch):
rw 1: knit
rw 2: k1, purl to last st, k1
rw 3: k1, yfwd, k4, sl1, k2tog, psso, k4, yfwd; repeat to end, k1
I have 133 sts, and I am using size 8 mm needles. The pattern requires a multiple of 12 sts + 1 for the end.
I change colour after rw 3, and I usually knit about 200 rows for these throws, and finish the ends with fringe.
And this throw will be finished by November, as I will knit a minimum of 2 stripes (6 rows) per week, and that requires very little time.