Thursday, July 2, 2015

Project Evolution

This project has evolved. Originally, I meant to make something Purl Soho-ish, beginning with the acid green and with plans to move through mustards, creams, and soft pinks. I was going to work on it now and then, when I just felt like crocheting something, okay, and it was going to be smallish, maybe throw-sized. There was no end game, because I didn't know who or what it was for, but sometimes, honestly, that is beside the point. Critically, though, it ended up being much wider than the plan called for, and the mustard yarn I chose was wrong--too thick, and also not really interesting enough. I guess I need my mustard to be more complex. And it turned out to be a fairly yucky acrylic, and working with it was terrible, so it went in the donations bag and I turned to Plan B--shop the stash. The back of the cupboard has for years hidden quite a few bags full of yarns that had either been unraveled and recycled from other, older projects, or had failed to ever become anything at all--some Blue Sky cotton, some gold Cascade 220 Superwash, and a bunch of Wool-ease, which I once upon a time bought in sweater quantities, before realizing that I really did prefer to knit with wool. So the blanket became a dumping ground for all the unwanted hangers-on in the cupboard, and nothing about it pleased me more than to deplete the stash of all those weird things, meanwhile granny-striping my way happily back and forth and keeping my lap all warm while I worked, which was nice because it was January and the cozy work of a huge crochet blanket project is quite welcome in the depths of a northern hemisphere winter. But it became hard to stay interested, and I stopped working on it much. Since I can't really crochet without looking, I couldn't fall back on my habit of making progress while binge-watching Netflix, and it had grown huge, which made it a poor candidate for a travel project. I was not/am still not sure about the color scheme--maybe it is nothing but a blanket full of yarn I don't really like? And then the lack of purpose began to haunt me. Where will this thing end up? Why am I spending my time on it? What do I want it for?

There is beauty in the process of things, I know this. Sometimes, the only value a yarn project has for me is in the work of it--making design decisions, or figuring out an interesting construction, or sometimes just the plain and simple effort of putting the stitches down, one at a time. Sometimes, there is tremendous comfort in the stitching itself, and that is enough. That's what happened here. Even though I still don't know what will become of it in the end, or whether I will finish it this week or even this year, it is there when I want the simple pleasure of crocheting with yarn. I have unraveled whole (or practically whole) blankets that bored me, to recycle the yarn, and I eventually might do that this time, too, or I might not. I really don't need any more blankets, and I'm not really sure yet how it's in any way better to have less stash to deal with but more blankets to deal with, but I do need to crochet something. Besides which, it is only 65 degrees F today [FOUL! IT IS JULY!] and the coziness of a lapful of yarn has got a certain (seasonally regrettable) appeal. All that is good enough for now.

11 comments:

  1. I don't know how to crochet, but I agree with the fascinating 'process' of knitting, or any hand craft for that matter. There is a beauty that you've defined so well. I've forgotten what life was like BEFORE knitting! (30 yrs ago) In the end - good, bad, ugly, it doesn't matter. All that matters is what pleases the heart and soul of the maker. And personally, I LOVE poison green!

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  2. or mustard green - however you define it!

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  3. I know what you mean. I love the acid green.

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  4. I've given a couple of blankets I haven't liked for me / my house colours to an old peoples home. They were really thankful to have them. Maybe an option if you really can't find a place in your home? It gave me purpose, an opportunity to try some different things, and someone else benefited, Wins all round. Have fun. x

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  5. I'm beginning to question if I need to be more brutal with the things in my stash - there's a bunch of yarn that is in there because I don't like it and can't think of a way to make something that I won't dislike because it is made from crummy yarn... maybe time to donate it all and have a clean sweep so I only keep wool I actually want to use

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  6. Always good to throw on the lawn for picnic at this time of year, or the car for an emergency blanket. Sometimes the process is all that matters.

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  7. Yes to crochet just for the sake of crocheting something, anything really is somehow necessary. Even if you never use or like it, it becomes a bridge that you crochet across to another (even better) project waiting on the other side.
    I just started the sunburst granny blanket from Jane Brocketts Gentle Art of Knitting. Stash busting has begun.

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  8. Your blanket is beautiful, I think it is good for the soul to crochet for no reason!

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  9. I'm impressed that you got so far with no plan in mind. I try to enjoy the process, but in bigger projects like blankets, there is always a point where the only thing that keeps me going is to imagine it in use, and to get excited about it as a finished object.

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  10. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - worth a watch if you haven't already seen it.Lost my crochet/knitting mojo somewhat since it appears that Summer has finally landed over here.

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  11. Hi Kristen,
    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Book and movie both very good. (I don't know why I am telling you this, except to second Nana Go-Go's Yea vote it being Independence Day w/e and all.)

    Had to think for a while to see how I felt about doing for doing's sake. My answer is, it depends. I am more inclined to just start sewing some quilt blocks with no destination in mind. Eventually they kind of tell me what they want to be and where they want to go and who they want to go to.

    Since my house is so small, I have no extra space to store yarn. Therefore, I have to buy one project at a time. And, Therefore, I pretty much have to have the entire thing designed in my head. And, Therefore therefore, I take a Very Long Time to get around to the actual crocheting.

    Not that things don't go awry. Started a blanket for a HS graduation gift. While it was ok, I knew it could be better. So, got about 8" of sc stripes done and had to come up with Plan B. Will probably start that tomorrow if Migraine Day 3 doesn't preclude it. If Plan B doesn't work, Plan C will probably involve some sort of creative language and making her a quilt.

    But the zen of being in the process? Always.

    :) m & jb

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