You Gotta Know When To Hold ‘Em…

…know when to fold them, know when to walk away and know when to run…

Now that I’ve got you thinking of that famous Kenny Rogers song, I do want to assure you there’s a reason I bring it up.  Actually, you’ve probably already seen the image that has me fleeing from my latest project.  The

The offending article. Notice I've already taken it off the needles in preparation for frogging!

The offending article. Notice I’ve already taken it off the needles in preparation for frogging!

colors and the transitions just didn’t come out the way I had envisioned.  It was supposed to represent the layers of ocean coming up to the breakers represented by the open wave lace, and then the green for earth.  After the three or four frogs I had to do, I figured it was time for this to go away….

I had recently finished two projects that took way longer than I thought they should and I didn’t want this top to take forever, so I chose an exceedingly simple box top style with no shaping whatsoever, and a cotton yarn that would be easy upkeep for casual summer wear.  When the design for the color transition had to be modified three times, I settled on the last one, even though it still wasn’t what I had originally imagined.  When the colors didn’t want to jive, I had to modify that several times before finding another color of the same type of yarn I’d had in my stash.  My husband joked that I could reimagine this as a Nordic beach.  But it wasn’t until the open wave lace work that made me give it up.  Oh, well.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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A Pattern Emerges

Oh – snap!  I have neglected my miniscule part of the internet far too long.  It’s not that I don’t think about it…on occasion.  I do miss it.  Somehow, my life has become busy.  Well, at least more cluttered than it was when I started blogging.  Work (that’s a biggie), buying the house and all that entailed, keeping up with my MeetUp, my Facebook page, bookclub, thinking about knitting (!), helping my sister to plan a move up here, a parent visitation….it goes on.  You know, life.

In the midst of all this “life”, I discovered a pattern, if you will, that I use for my particular lifestyle.  It must have occurred when I was scrambling around for a pair of socks.  I don’t know about you guys, but I am soooo not a foot person.  I don’t have a separate closet full of shoes, I don’t hoard sexy socks or whatever, but necessity has me using them.  If it were up to me, I’d run around barefoot like a yahoo.

One hole is fixed, and another is formed

One hole is fixed, and another is formed

So there I am rummaging in my delicates drawer, looking for a pair of good work socks.  Partially through my quest for frugality, and partially through my neglect and disinterest in this department of clothing, I find that my repairs to this particular set is failing.  Note the salvaged heel (which I used blue thread to repair, NOT an appropriate color, which I do own) and see the gigantic hole at the bottom.  What would you do?  Throw them away and continue your search, or wear them one more time and buy some more socks immediately?  Not only have I NOT done that, I’ve worn them twice more since starting this article!!  They’re still in my drawer because I just put them there this morning as I was sorting laundry.

At this point you may be thinking, Damn, Glenda, are you that broke?  We’ll send some money, just put up a PayPal link and promise to get/make some new socks!  Thank you, really, but it’s not necessary.

This revelation lead me to search other areas of my closet/bathroom.  I discovered two refugees

Disco lives!

Disco lives!

Back to stateside, where I had to find a real job

Back to stateside, where I had to find a real job

from the 80s that have come with me on every move (14 times for the sparkly evening shirt I purchased while I was active duty in Air Force!).  The Liz Claiborne was used over and over and over and over…I’m getting dizzy…Suffice to say, it was used up to a few years ago, and then I got too fat to wear it.  😦  I’d still be using it if I could!

This made me wonder about other departments outside the wardrobe closet where my parsimony was employed.  I didn’t have to wander too far, for lo and behold, right on my bathroom counter, I found two more examples of my thriftiness.

Yep.  You know this brand...

Yep. You know this brand…

I do advocate using the store brand on many sundry items as there is virtually no difference in composition, only in the perception of the consumer.  Not on everything, mind you, but on most.

I was starting to feel that my teacher in Home Economics class I had taken in junior high had done an exceptionally good job in subliminal techniques because it had taken me 35 plus years to realize the importance of what she was teaching and that I was finally incorporating these values.  Yessirree bob.  I felt so Suzy Homemaker, that I reached for my most recent knitting project.

The knitting project I’ve been working on forever because I’m using fingering weight yarn that’s composed mostly of cotton but also has bamboo and silk incorporated into its lovely strands and

Beautiful cotton...mostly

Beautiful cotton…mostly

takes forever to make any significant progress.  The yarn that cost $11 per skein, and I got 6 skeins.  A $66 tank top.  Feeling a little dizzy at the excess, I rationalized that I rarely purchase such extravagant yarn.  Then I walked back into my closet where there before me lies all the yarn I had to have, stuffed in projects bags, on the shelves, hanging from their original store bags on clothes hangers, and it hits me.  The pattern emerged.

Am I the only knitter/crocheter who forsakes such finery as socks that are in good repair for the love of yarn?

Working with Fingering Yarn for a Top

Am I out of my mind? I hope not. I found a cute tank I could knit and the pattern called for sportweight yarn, but I was able to find a comparable fingering weight.  Correction:  an expensive comparable fingering weight made of cotton, bamboo and silk. High definition for the pattern – not

A foresee some blocking in my future.

A foresee some blocking in my future.

that it’s needed; it’s a simple 3x rib.  Period.  I need something a little mind-numbing, and the toy rabbit still isn’t finished because I was having to do too much thinking.

Anyway, I wanted a summery top after working with all that heavy winter wool.  This will also be the first article of clothing, that’s not an accessory, I’ve made in a long time.  The last one I made took my three months, and it came out way too big.  So I deliberately threw a wool sweater into the dryer.  Now, the arms a bit short, and all the detail work is lost due to the felting effect, but I still wear it!  I didn’t spend three months on that just to throw it away, dorkified or not.

 

Oo-la-la!

Worn with a rakish tilt!

Worn with a rakish tilt!

Cable detail

Cable detail

Top detail

Top detail

I was so pleased with how quick and easy this beret was to make!  It was hardly what I would call a project it went so fast, even when I had to restart because I got twisted in the round.  Now that I have finished this, I hope I have enough yarn to make some cabled finger-less mittens.  This particular yarn has been used for several different items and it keeps on going.  I didn’t have a color pattern in mind when I started; just kind of changed when I felt like it was time.  It’s organic cotton and probably not the best fiber for a hat, but there you have it.

I have attached the link to purchase the pattern; alas, it’s not a freebie, but well worth the small investment!

Weekend Cable Beret