I have a theory that if I’m working on a project that’s well within my skills and I keep messing it up again and again and again, there’s something that’s just not working. Either the yarn doesn’t want to be whatever it is, or the needle size is too big or too small. But something is wrong. And until I figure out what the problem is, that project will continue to be…problematic.
Not this time.
After listening to Debbie Stoller encourage us to try new things and be fearless with our knitting, and after reading her book and reading about doing cables without a cable needle, I decided to put it to the test and cast on for the Brea Bag (Ravel it!) from Berroco. This is a pattern I’ve wanted to do since I first saw it, and had immediately bought the yarn the pattern called for. For whatever reason, though, I bought 4 skeins of the Ultra Alpaca instead of the 2 suggested by the pattern.
A few years ago was The Great Flood. It basically destroyed the inside of my condo. I lost about a third of my stash in The Great Flood. The reason it wasn’t more was I had bought plastic containers to put my stash in, and most of it was already in there. The stuff that was left was either basic yarns or things I picked up at bag sales, or in the early stages of knitting where I thought ribbon yarn would be FUN! FUN! FUN!
The upshot is: My Ultra Alpaca for this pattern could be anywhere. I have yarn in my garage. Yarn at Chez Guppy. Yarn under my bed. Yarn in bins in my room. Yarn in bags. Yarn in boxes. It could be ANYWHERE. And there’s no guarantee it all survived The Great Flood. I knew at least two skeins had survived, because it was in Ravelry. But did I keep the yarn here at the house? Did I take it back to Chez Guppy? Who knew???
After pondering for a few minutes I figured the best bet were the storage boxes under my bed, but rather than drag them out if I didn’t have to, I went to the bottom drawer in my room, pulled it out, reached in…and put my hand directly on the 2 skeins of Ultra Alpaca I needed.
I immediately cast on and within a few days I had a front and a back knit up. Cabling without a cable needle was No. Problem. easiest thing I ever learned. I started surfing through the Ravelry projects to see if I could find a handle I liked, and I noticed that a bunch of people said they needed to buy an additional skein to finish the bag.
The first two balls I used were still skeined. And I could see by my Ravelry stash page that I had at least one more skein that was a cake. Hmm…Could I find it? If I could, I could knit the cabled strap I wanted with no worries.
Went back to the bottom drawer, reached in…and put my hand on the cake of yarn.
That NEVER happens. Projects going this easily never happens. Finding 4-year-old yarn in 10 seconds never happens. Learning a new skill right off the bat and performing it so well that I then did it on my lace shawl with absolute confidence? That CERTAINLY never happens.
I’m now slowly working on the gusset. It’s my purse project (ha ha!), so it’s not getting a whole lot of attention, but enough that it keeps growing at a decent rate. Pictures and more later.
Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks