There is no perfect project

The trees are wearing their yellow flags. The weather is crisp and suited for sweaters. Ah, Fall! I find myself turning the lamp on earlier and earlier these days. The cats sleep in tighter balls and their coats seem a bit thicker. It's the perfect time to start (and ideally finish) a cozy sweater.
I have plenty of Christmas knitting to ignore, so I did a stash dive to find yarn for a new project. My criteria: enough to make a sweater, wool, and suitable for a relatively boring project that can be knit at work. About four years ago when I worked at a yarn shop, I bought a kilo of Manos del Uruguay yarn to make a large shrug. Yes, there were plenty of jokes at work about getting a kilo from South America. Well, the shrug never got made and the yarn stayed in my stash waiting for the perfect project. I thought again about making that shrug, but it doesn't seem like something I'd wear very often.
Anyone who keeps a stash will recognize this situation. Precious, precious yarn never finds the perfect project. Nothing ever seems worthy of the stashed treasure. You can't have your stash and knit it too. There is no perfect project. Find something that you like that works with the yarn and make it. How much enjoyment is really derived from yarn sitting in a drawer?
That Manos was ripe for knitting, I decided, recalling that I had a pattern calling for that yarn in one of my books. I'd made the Not Your Standard-Issue Sweatshirt a few times before, using Malabrigo Worsted. Malabrigo is amazing, but its merino softness leads to an unacceptable amount of pilling and a shorter garment life. And readers, I wore the shit out of those sweaters. Here's hoping the corriedale wool in the Manos will give it more staying power. I've already knit the back and have started on the front. I'd say that this is a quick project, but I recall from previous versions that the hood takes forever. Oh well, I've got plenty of time to work on it during the show.


Since my last post, I have done two shows and started a third. They were: awesome, asskickingly hard, and easy-peasy, in that order. During the shows, I knit a pair of socks and two Daybreak shawls. I think that I have made six Daybreaks now, which is a record for me. The only other pattern I've knit so many times is the felted slippers from Tracy Ullman's book. Don't tell my cousin Bam Bam that, as his many requests for felted slippers have been denied. I'm not cruel, I just don't want to do all the work to adjust the pattern to fit his giant feet.
Since it is September, I have started work on my annual giftmas knitting. I probably should start a month earlier, but it's hard to get motivated about Christmas when the weather is so muggy. This year, my plans are less ambitious than in the past. I've already finished one present (a Daybreak) and half-finished a second (an Ulmus shawl in delightful Malabrigo sock). The second is languishing at the moment while I work on a lace sweater for my non-internet using grandmother. She is the most appreciative recipient of knitted gifts, so she gets the most involved project nearly every year. And, unlike many other mothers and grandmothers, she actually uses the sweaters and shawls I give her instead of stashing them away in a drawer forever, lest something happen to them.
I'm oddly fortunate with my current show. It's simple playback with lots of downtime when I can knit. The designer told me when I joined the show to being two books so that I wouldn't get bored. This is exactly what I need for my holiday knitting, though it means that I have to rotate through patterns that can be knit in the dark. My current project, a February Lady Sweater, was perfect for knitting at work while I was working on its garter stitch yoke. Now that I am knitting the lace body, it has to stay at home. Now I must strategize: I need a project that is plain enough to avoid mistakes while I am knitting under the dim run lights that will also make an appropriate gift for someone on my list. Or I can give anyone who has been unappreciative a lump of coal and knit things for myself. But have you seen the price of coal lately? I'll have to strike upon something else to give as gifts that properly conveys how little I care.

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