Like a half-drunk bat

I'm not sure what comes over me sometimes. I swear most of the time I'm a perfectly competent knitter. Aside from my failings with simple mathematics and my complete inability to follow basic written instructions, most of the time I am able to knit and purl with some reliability, and come up with more or less what I intended. The other times... well, the phrase "half-drunk bat" springs to mind.

Yesterday, I was home for the afternoon, and I decided to put on my big girl knitter pants and finish up some things that I had already "finished" previously. My Lace Stripe Scarf still needed its fringe attached, and Boneyard was complete aside from being bound off. So I parked my butt on the sofa, popped in the DVD for season one of The Walking Dead and took out the first of my unfinished finished projects.

The instructions for the Lace Stripe Scarf were very clear: cut 18 groups of 6 strands of fringe, knit the scarf until the yarn runs out, then attach 9 bundles of fringe to each end. I went to complete this last step, and what do I discover? I'm two bundles of fringe short. Despite counting and recounting, instead of cutting 18 groups, like I should, I cut only 16. And since I've already completed and bound off the scarf, I can't get more to make up the last two bundles. Luckily, the good thing about screwing up basic instructions so often is I'm really good at fixing them. I just took one strand of yarn from 5 bundles on each side, so that I had both 5 and 6 strand bundles. I attached them alternating, so that I didn't have one side of the fringe be thinner than the other. It looks okay.

Ever the optimist and convinced I'd gotten past my rough patch for the day, I took out Boneyard next to bind it off. Because I expect it to stretch quite a bit when I block it, I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bindoff. I started off certain I had enough yarn to do it. I reached the halfway point thinking "man, this is gonna be a close one!" A few inches later I started to doubt whether I'd make it. And 3/4 of the way to the end I was sure I'd run out. And sure enough....

I said some very unladylike things at that point, then paused to consider my options. I could undo the bind off and pick another one that uses less yarn (the downside to Jeny's bind off is that it eats yarn like a mother.) but no, I needed the stretch. I could rip back a row and work the bind off on the wrong side, but no, I was already pushing it with a garter border as thin as the one I have. You can see on the right side where I've already bound off that it's got a tendency to curl. (If this doesn't block out, by the way, there will be more unladylike words said.) No, if I was going to rip back to get more yarn, I'd have to rip back to the previous garter ridge, and that's twelve whole rows, plus all of the garter ridge.

The last option was to scour The Stash for a yarn that matched well enough that I could use it to finish the bind off. I know I've said some unkind things about The Stash in the past. Namely about how it's "too damn big" and how I really need to knit from it more to "get rid" of it. But yesterday it really came in handy. After making the discovery that I don't have very much brown yarn, I managed to dig up something that could work...

On the left, we have a skein of Noro sock weight. The browns in it (actually more of a greenish-grey-brown) are totally off, but the green bit kinda-sorta matches. On the right, we have a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in Torchwood. It's a very subtly variegated brown, and while the darker bits are too dark, the lighter bits are pretty darn close to what I need. To further disguise that the colors don't quite match, I bound off the brown stitches with the green Noro, and bound off the green stitches with the brown Dream in Color yarn. It's.... well, if you're looking at it, you can definitely see that it doesn't quite match. But at a quick glance, it works well enough. And since I mostly wear triangle shawls with the point in front and the ends crossed over the back of my neck and tucked under, it won't be visible most of the time.

So, since The Stash saved my rear yesterday, I feel that I should be singing its praises. But when I went for a dig in it yesterday, I was somewhat... well, "horrified" is a strong word but it's the one that's springing to mind at the moment. Okay, then. I was somewhat horrified to discover that I have a modestly alarming amount of yarn I'd forgotten about. I have three skeins of ONLine sockweight. I thought I only had one, but oh that's right, I bought another two in Germany. And oh yeah, I do have two more skeins of Knitpicks Imagination, I don't know why I thought I'd used all that up.

What alarmed me the most, however, was that I had a small amount of yarn in there that I didn't remember at all. I suppose that's how I ended up with this:

On the left we have one skein of Cascade Heritage in Fuschia. On the right we have two skeins of Kollage Luscious in Strawberry.

They are exactly the same.

Okay okay, so they're not totally the same yarn. The Cascade is 75% superwash wool/25% nylon, while the Kollage is 63% cotton/37% nylon. But why did I feel, at some point, that I needed two pairs of socks' worth of bright pink yarn? So I could have a wool pair for winter and a cotton pair for summer? I don't know. I honestly don't remember. According to the labels, I bought both of them on sale so I'm sure my mental process went something along the lines off "Oooh! It's pink! And it's 25% off! This is coming home with me!"

I'm still somewhat alarmed that I could have done this twice and have absolutely zero recollection of it. This has reaffirmed my convictions to knit from The Stash and (mostly) only The Stash until I can get The Stash shrunk down to a more comfortable size. I won't say that The Stash is "out of control" because it's really not, but we have turned down that street and are now just cruising along looking for the right address. Right now it's still confined to its tote bins (and two baskets and one drawer) so it hasn't grown all that much bigger, although I do admit that the drawer is getting a little cramped.

In any case, I've redoubled my efforts to finish up WIPs so I can cast on new projects from The Stash. I've reached the lace section on Larch, though I did have a bit of a setback with it. While I mentioned that most of the time I can reliably knit and purl, that doesn't always happen. I screwed up one of the yarnovers down the spine of the shawl. I don't know how, but it was just a garbled mess of crap. Of course, I was able to knit on for another six rows, oblivious to it. I tried dropping down that section and laddering the stitches back up, but that just made it worse. So I bit the bullet and ripped back. I used a set of size US 3 DPNs to pick up the stitches and transferred them off those and back onto my circular, which made that process a lot smoother. Then I knit back up to where I was before calling it a night.

Today, more relaxing and knitting. Someone's even keeping my seat warm for me...