August 17, 2011


This blanket is turning out to be a bit of a black hole- not that it's a remarkable amount of knitting, it's just a baby blanket, but because it's total mass seems to exceed its total area, and I don't know what phenomenon that is, but let's go with black hole.

When I planned it, my plan was loose (if by loose, you understand that I didn't have one at all.) I knew I wanted a blanket of roughly a certain size, that it would be lace, and I took those two concepts and looked at a bunch of other blankets with similar concepts, and I made a really educated guess at how much yarn I would need.  Then I took that idea down to Lettuce Knit and told a whole bunch of other experienced knitters what I was planning, and how much yarn I was buying, and when nobody screamed "Danger Will Robinson, Danger" that's how much yarn I bought.  It was 10 balls of Viking Baby Ull, and each ball is 50g, and that's 175m - for a whopping total of 1750m.
That seemed, in any reasonable universe, to be enough.

I started knitting.  I knit and knit, and the yarn was holding out just fine.  I knit the centre, then started on the border, and was pounding away on that up at Port Ludlow when it occured to me that I might want to sync up the yarn supply with the project planned, and did a quick headcount. I had two balls left with me, so I texted Joe and asked him to tell me how many balls were left in the basket at home.  He replied (after noting that being sent on yarn hunts is one of his favourite parts of our relationship) that there were three. 

Two plus three is five (pro tip) and that meant I'd used five, and that meant that I had tonnes left.  Buckets of room.  I decided to make the border a little bigger, and use the three at home for the edging.  Shazam.   I knit and knit, and then this weekend I tossed all the yarn left into a bag and went to the cottage.

I knit like the wind there, and what seemed like ball after ball went into the thing, and it wasn't until this morning, when I reached into my back to get one of the remaining balls and came up with ONE remaining ball (with 3/4 of the edging to go..) that alarm bells went off.  One ball wasn't going to cut it. Not even. It took me one ball to do 1/4 of the edging and any way you rig the math on that, I was going to come up short.

I came to the only reasonable conclusion I could.  I must have stashed the yarn somewhere else.  I've been in and out of a couple of suitcases since I started this (four, to be precise) so I dedicated a chunk of increasingly panicky time to ransacking my house.  Nothing.  Just the one ball of yarn - and my heart sunk with every moment.  I imagined the look on Jen's face when I told her that I'd gotten held up on this thing, then imagined the look on her face when I told her that I'd ordered more and was sure it would be here "soonish" and I was sure there wouldn't be much of a hold up,  and when my minds eye saw the look on her face in my imagination... I realized that there was no way I could tell Jen anything about this.  I would figure out how to get more rather privately.

I still couldn't understand how it had happened though.  Ten balls of yarn should make a baby blanket bigger than what I was holding... and ten was what I bought, so there should be more in the house.  I  checked the car. Rechecked my bags.  Checked bags I never use - called people to see if I'd left it at their house... and finally, in desperation called Lettuce Knit to see if there was more.

I knew, since I distinctly recall having bought all that they had, that this was a pipe dream - so imagine my surprise when Laura immediately located more, even in the right dye lot.  Crisis averted.  I had her set it aside.

I got off the phone, and thought for a second that I didn't have a problem, then realized that I might have a bigger one.  This, my friends, means that I have had a yarn blackout, where I knit up two 175m balls of baby yarn and can't remember it, and that seems like a pretty big chunk of missing time. Even in the blur that's a biggish baby blanket, that seems like a rather remarkable thing.  I thought all sorts of crazy stuff about yarn fumes and having a little too much yarn in the evenings, and wondered - if I was going to start having yarn blackouts where I don't remember knitting 350m of yarn - maybe I should cut back a bit on the yarn consumption.

Then I found this.

It's my receipt, and it turns out that it's not my yarn consumption that's the problem.  It's my memory.  I only ever bought eight balls, and five plus three is eight (pro tip) and not ten, and that's why I was missing two and why there was still some at Lettuce Knit, and somehow... the idea that my memory is going was a lot more comforting than thinking I'd lost track of my knitting.

It means I don't have to cut back on the knitting to avoid blackouts, but I might need better records, and then it occurred to me that a little of that decent record keeping here on the blog could have totally given me back hours of my life this afternoon while I ripped up the house (and hours tomorrow when I put it all back.)  I started to write a note about that for all of you, and went back to the entry where I first wrote about the blanket.

No, go look.  I'll wait. 

See the picture?  Eight balls.
I'm obviously beyond help.

Posted by Stephanie at August 17, 2011 3:51 PM