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The Power of Taking A Step Back

Black cats on multi-colored crochet blanket
These Cats Give me No Respect.

There is something I want to say up front before we get to the knitting. Some pretty terrible things happened to POC this week. No. Stop. Let me rephrase that. Some pretty terrible things happening to POC were in the national spotlight this week. I will not cite them here, in case they are triggers for you. If you don’t know what I mean, please go review the news from this past week. To my friends, family and readers who are POC: I see you. I hear you. I love you. I am listening. I have more that I could say on the matter, but it is not time for me to talk. It is time to listen and reflect, and to think about how I can be a better ally. This is a safe space. Be kind to each other.

To knitting! Friday already? How did that happen? Memorial Day was Monday, so I guess this was a short work week. The weeks are running together. Some days, I feel like I sail through the day, crossing things off my list like a boss. Other days? On the other days, I feel disconnected and distracted. Anyone else feel that way?


A cream gansey blanket with a progress keeper and stitch marker
The Big Easy Weekly Progress

I want to talk a little bit about The Big Easy Blanket by Jennifer Hagan. This project has been in “time out” for...I kid you not...5 years. I am not even sure how that happened. The blanket has been sitting in the ottoman, right next to the couch since we moved into this house in 2017. Before that, It was in the same spot in our previous home. I think I had convinced myself that I wasn’t happy with it and that it was not interesting to knit. These things could not be further from the truth, but I am getting ahead of myself.

September of 2015, my family had just moved to New Jersey. We had not even been in town for a month, when we all had to pile into the car to attend a USMC promotion ceremony for my husband. I was looking at a 6-7 hour drive to Virginia (and back), and I needed something I could knit in the car. I grabbed the first pattern I could find and a bunch of stash yarn, a pair of needles and off I went. I couldn’t find the size needle the pattern called for, so I grabbed size 5 (3.75 mm) needles and a long cable. I am a loose knitter, so I figured it would be fine.

The trip was great. The promotion was beautiful. My son fist-bumped with a now Major General of Marines. My favorite moment of the day. I carried on with the project, but soon realized that I was not going to have enough of the mystery yarn to finish. No problem. I figured I would do my best to try and match it. It was a creamy acrylic blend with some flecks of faux tweed in it. I found a Plymouth Encore that was kind of close and ordered it. It was, indeed, very close, but not exact. The original yarn was a warm cream color, and the new yarn definitely had a cooler tone. I decided that I could get a nice effect by alternating the skeins. At the time, I don’t think I had done this before, and I was eager to give it a try. Meh. I wasn’t crazy about it. The perfectionist in me was not happy with either the striped effect or the busy tweed competing with the pattern stitches. I finished more than half of the blanket and then put it in its time out. For almost 5 years. Each year at Stash Dash, I would take it out, look at it, think about frogging it or finishing it, and place it back in the ottoman for time out.

So what is different now? I am not sure. Is it decor? Maybe. I have a dark brown couch, and the room I plan to put the blanket into has many shades of white on the walls and in some of the furniture. My black cats are going to look amazing on this blanket, and isn’t all knitting basically for them? Finally, I think I have so much more knitting experience that I am enjoying the process of knitting the patterns while I listen to books. This week, I completed two pattern strips and two garter sections, and I do believe that I will actually finish the blanket this year. Some time outs are longer than others, but at the end of the day, I think it is a good thing to take a step back from a project and give it some thought.

Multi colored fingering weight granny square blanket and ball of yarn
Granny Square Blanket Detail

I also worked a tiny bit on the Crochet Granny Square blanket. I only finished about 3 rounds. Hey. It’s getting rather big. Those rounds represent at least 40 minutes of crochet. The black kitty Progress keeper was a gift from my fibreshare partner. Isn't it cute?

A New Cast On, what?

Yes. a new cast on. I am participating in the Sock Hop KAL with The Local Yarn Store. I really enjoy Gretchen’s classes, and I am a little nervous about these Afterthought Everything Socks. I cast them on last Sunday because I want to be able to finish the knitting in order to get help with the cutting. I am using The Alpaca Company Paca Peds in the “Age of Steel” colorway. These are going to be the perfect socks for the husband’s putty colored pants (if he ever goes back to the office). I am knitting them on US Size 1 (2.25 mm) dpns. The yarn has a bit of a halo, and it is a little splitty, but that could be the super pointy needles I am using. They will be terrific winter socks.

Multicolored knit sock in greys on green dpns against wood floor.
Paca Peds Afterthought Everything Socks

Another KAL?

You will see another cast on next week. I will also be participating in the RiftKAL at the Local Yarn Store. It’s a really cute basic tee. I chose this yummy Berroco Mantra yarn in colorway “Twilight”. I think it will be great with denim. The yarn is 100% silk and oh-so-soft. I haven’t swatched yet, but you will probably see something by next week.

5 balls of luminous blue silk yarn and a pin from the Local Yarn Store
Berroco Mantra in "Twilight"

Reading Update:

Libby returned “The Stand”. I finally got to listen to the last 2 minutes.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass has gotten much better. It is not great literature, but it is kind of fun. I have always liked Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels. This definitely falls squarely into the entertainment category, and it is action packed with a couple of entertaining characters. I am sticking with last week’s opinion that the cats are my favorite part. Use caution if you are not a fan of spiders.

Here are some images from my garden. I have to get the columbine and grasses into the ground this weekend. Somehow, I missed the fact that my roses began to bloom this week. I hope I don’t miss the red ones.

Have a great week. Thank you for stopping by. Wash your hands. Be kind, and happy knitting.


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