Monday, February 11, 2013

Year of Using Up the Stash: In which I lose my Netflix Documentary privileges

Good Evening, Readers!

41 days. It has been 41 days since I last bought any yarn.

The good news:  I haven't gone into cashmere withdrawal.

The bad news: Inspiration's cruel hand has been smacking me in the face. A LOT. Because of this, I've been  coming up with several projects I want to make but do not have the resources for.

I'm going to make a note of these ideas, but I don't want to dwell on them too much. If I do, I'll be grotesquely clawing my way to my yarn shop Gollum-style before long.

There must be something about limiting my resources that really gets my creative juices flowing. For the past week, I've been mulling over the idea of knitting anigurumis of people I like or find interesting; making knit versions of Hilary Clinton, Pope John Paul II, Niecy Nash, and Carl Sagan.

If I WERE to begin making these dolls, (and I will NOT begin these projects until my yarn stash is completely EMPTY), I'd probably start with Carl Sagan since he would be the easiest. No long doll hair, no complicated clothing...the whole knitting and construction process would be relatively simple. BUT, I am nowhere near finished with my goal of using up my yarn stash. A knit-version of Carl Sagan will have to wait.

I have made a bit of a dent in my yarn stash, though!

My husband and I decided to be homebodies this past Saturday; he was diligently working on some graphic design work for a client of his, and I parked my rump on our couch, knitting furiously away as I watched a marathon of depressing documentaries on Netflix.

Here is my first "Using up the Stash" project: a lovely lace dishcloth, which I finished while watching "American Meth":

The pattern for this dishcloth can be found here:
I proudly showed the finished project to my husband when the documentary was about halfway over. John looked up from his laptop computer, nodded in approval, and after glancing at what was playing on the television screen, visibly grimaced.

"Isn't the lace pattern on this pretty? It reminds me of the orange one I did a while back, but you don't need a cable needle!"

"Hon, WHY are you watching this?"

"I messed up a bit with the p2tog tbls, but you can't really see the mistakes. The designer of this pattern did a beautiful job!"


"Hmm? Oh, that's a side effect of long-term methamphetamine use. The drug makes it so you can't produce any saliva."


"I dunno, it was next on our instant queue. I'm almost nervous to use this cloth; I don't want the white to get stained."

He wrinkled his brow playfully to show his disapproval, kissed me on the cheek, and got back to work.

I decided to turn my attention away from detailed lace-work for a while. For my next few projects, I wanted to focus on PRODUCTION. "American Meth" had finished, so I flipped through the "Because you watched 'American Meth'" Netflix menu to choose my next dose of entertainment. I settled on "Cropsey", and knit these four dishcloths:

Pattern found here:
This pattern is awesome. This was the very first knitting pattern I ever learned, and is one of the very few patterns that I can knit entirely from memory.

The solid purple cloth and the purple/white striped cloths turned out peachily. The tri-color striped cloth, though, not so much.

I thought I could get away with carrying the contrasting color yarns up the side of my work with the tri-color, in the same way that I did the purple/white. It was just a bit too much, and the cloth ended up folding in on itself. The picture doesn't show it, but the tri-color cloth will not lay flat; one corner of it folds in, making an almost-cone shape.

I was about three quarters of the way through "Cropsey" when I held up the nearly-finished tri-colored cloth to my husband and voiced my frustration.

"Ugh. This isn't working."

"What's not working, Sweethear-WHAT THE F---?!?"

"I know, right? I'm not carrying the color that much at all, and the cloth is buckling like crazy!"


"Well, yes, dear, Willowbrook was disgusting. Can you believe that they didn't shut the place down until the 1980's? It's no wonder people don't trust the mental health care community."


"The dishcloth or Willowbrook?"


I playfully stuck my tongue out at him as his eyes widened with shock and disgust. He shook his head, put his headphones back on, and got back to work.

In spite of the tri-color washcloth not turning out as well as I'd like, I was beaming at my achievement of using up all of my purple and white dishcloth cotton! Hooray! I was feeling the knitting groove, so I set my sights on making a couple of Warm Up America squares. I got out some graphing paper, quickly sketched out an adorable pear, and made a quick color-work chart (which I will post if any of you, Readers, are interested in two-dimensional knit pears).

All stockinette. I'll post the chart for the pear once I figure out how :-) 
Cropsey was finished. By now, John was satisfied with his work and shut his laptop down for the day. He sat down next to me so we could enjoy the next docky together.


"Oh, come on! You still owe me like five picks after we watched  all of  the "Cosmos" episodes last weekend!"

"I thought you liked "Cosmos!"

"I love "Cosmos", but it's still MY TURN!"

I playfully smacked him with a pillow.

"Fine, fine, sweetheart, you pick. But please, NOTHING TOO DEPRESSING."

He got up from the couch to pour us a couple of glasses of wine. I commandeered the remote and flipped through the line of documentaries, looking for something that wasn't so dark. I came across "Dear Zachary"; and thought it looked promising.

*For those of you who haven't seen "Dear Zachary" yet, major spoiler alert*.

John sat back down on the couch, and began to sip his wine.

"What's this?"

"It's about this guy's friend who was murdered."


"It's not! It's a celebration of his life, a compilation of interviews about the guy for the benefit of his son!"

"*sigh*. Fine."


I was happily knitting my Warm Up America squares, half-listening to the drama on the TV. I proudly held up the finished pear square to my husband:

"This is so ADORABLE! I'm almost tempted to keep it!"

"I knew it. I knew from the second the film started that she was going to kill that baby."

"You MUST give me a run-down on Photoshop. I'd like to post the color chart on my blog!"

"This is probably the most depressing thing I have ever seen. Oh my God."

"Well, yes, it was horrible, but think of the amazing things that the grandparents accomplished!"


So, Readers, there you have it. Those are the first of many projects that will deplete my yarn stash, and why we've been watching nothing but Futurama and the Colbert Report as of late.

Until next time <3

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