Another shade of grey

My two weeks of annual leave is about to end, and it has been mostly remarkable for its total lack of remarkableness. I wanted to go for a long walk each day, but it is cold and gross outside. I started about 47 books and managed to read an average of 2.9 pages of each one. I stared at my three knitting projects currently in progress, and failed to be excited by any of them. I looked at my 3495 favorited projects/patterns on Ravelry and couldn’t find a single one to knit. Finally, I took down the mountain of boxes stacked up in the corner containing my knitting stash and ripped through them, trying to find something that says “Knit me!”.

Me in my knitting cave, surrounded by stash boxes:

I grabbed a skein of gorgeous, fingering weight, hand-dyed yarn in a merino silk blend in luscious, subtle tonal shades of grey with very slight undertones of lavender and pink. I realised that this skein had been a Christmas gift to me some years ago from my daughter, Emma, who had purchased it on a trip to Portland. I never have to remember dates, because I write a blog so I can literally look this stuff up – and it turns out that Emma bought me this beautiful skein of yarn way back in 2014! I wrote about it in the post titled “How to spoil a knitter for Christmas”, which you can find here. Okay, so one problem solved: have yarn. Now, what to knit with it?

I spent another (very long) time searching patterns that could be knit with a single skein of yarn (this was more difficult than it sounds because I ruled out socks, mitts, and hats). I eventually picked out seven patterns and sent links to Emma. Before she could write back, I had already settled on one pattern in particular, and then Emma responded with the same choice. That makes life easier. The pattern is called Fractal Danger (Ravelry link), by Martina Behm. The reason it won, besides the fact that it’s a lovely pattern: it is basically composed of garter stitch, my stitch of choice when I need comfort knitting.

I started it yesterday, and it does make for lovely comfort knitting, with an intuitive, rhythmic pattern:

Here is a close-up in which you can see the tonal shades of grey:

Don’t say: “What a horrible mom I am! My daughter buys me some beautiful yarn and I stick it in a box for 6 years!”

Do say: “I have the best family on earth. They really get me. How nice that they buy me beautiful yarn to stash away for a day when I need comforting.”

13 thoughts on “Another shade of grey

  1. I love your room and the beautiful picture of you surrounded by your “toys”.
    I feel just about the same, can’t get much of the planned done, can’t focus on reading… In such times we do what we can to keep in good spirit.
    What a lovely family and to have beautiful yarn squirrelled away 🙂
    Enjoy the garter mantra

    • It really feels a bit like a cave at the moment. I emptied the boxes all over the floor, and haven’t gotten around to packing them back up yet. Even with all of this yarn, I am having trouble getting inspired. I am counting on the spring to kick me out of this!

  2. Looks lovely! These times have contributed to issues of indecisiveness and lack of focus. We are retired snowbirds and returned home early in March/20. Realized then that I had 30 beautiful sweater quantity yarns, when reviewing my Ravelry Stash list and set objective of only using stash yarns, After spending hours looking for suitable projects, happy to say I have used my stash to complete 6 sweaters, 3 shawlettes, 1 baby sweater and 1 languishing WIP but it hasn’t been easy. I don’t have a stressful job, as I know you do Kelly, and anxiety and lack of motivation have been real issues over the last year. Good luck, Kelly getting through these times and thinking of you as your leave is ending. And …. Happy Knitting!

    • I am trying hard to use up yarns from my stash. It’s really hard, for some reason. My problem is that I have only about 3 sweater quantities in the stash, but mostly I like knitting sweaters. I keep reminding myself that there is enough anxiety this year in just getting through day to day…knitting is supposed to alleviate the anxiety, not add to it. So, I am trying not to think about finishing things, and just do what feels right, even if that is lounging around on the couch. We will both get through this weird time, Karen, day by day.

  3. Lovely knitting – what a great use of that birthday yarn – it must have been extra special to take so long to decide what to do with it – I wouldn’t worry about how just how long. I suffer regularly with ‘lack of focus’. I often can’t decide what to make or I start something and go off it quickly, or it goes wrong so I abandon it. During the pandemic this has got steadily worse, think it’s the same for many of us!

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