Lesson of the New Year #1: Trust Your Resources


When I decided to embark on my “Make Do and Make” challenge, I allowed myself the wiggle room that I could buy new supplies if I needed them for a specific project. So, when I got the invitation to yet another baby shower (this should be the last of them for a while), I decided I’d let myself go to the store and buy some yarn.

I was thinking about this baby blanket as a project for my book, and thus I needed some bulky yarn to knit it (also, this shower was, like, two and a half weeks away. Now it’s six days). So one day while the Bit was home on holiday break I took her to the craft store and set out to find some bulky yarn that would do for a baby blanket.

I didn’t find anything. That doesn’t mean I didn’t buy anything. I talked myself into some Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick, which is a lovely yarn but in no way has a baby-friendly palette, at least not where I shop. I picked out a few skeins (in red, gold, green and, I kid you not, black) and convinced myself it would all be OK. (I can’t even bear to post a picture, it’s so horrific.) It would be funky, full of personality, just like the mama I’m knitting it for, I reasoned.

I secretly thanked the crafting gods that the cashier (my favorite, the ironically named, piercing bedecked Heaven) didn’t ask me what I was making with all that yarn.

As the deadline crept closer, I refused to cast on.

After giving it about 5 seconds’ thought, I realized no one buying a book about baby knits wanted to see a red, green, gold and black baby blanket, and my friend probably didn’t want one, either.

By this time the new year had begun, and I’d long ago decided that transgressions in 2011 would be allowed but that I would be a lot stricter with myself in 2012. So I went where I should have gone in the first place: my stash.

My stash is horribly disorganized, but it is a thing of beauty, full of all sorts of undiscovered (and sometimes unremembered) goodies just waiting to be knit. I started wandering around the stuff in the linen closet: Should I continue on that purple cotton blanket I started in the summer before we knew everyone (other than this mama) was having boys? No, that yarn’s way too thin. Rip out the shades of green scarf I just started and use all my greens to knit something? Maybe, but I’d still like to at least use a picture of the project in my book, and I don’t want to have to try to guess yardage on that stuff.

I pulled out my bins of pinks and purples, thinking maybe I could do something holding two strands together. But with so much unlabeled stuff I didn’t want to accidentally throw in a wool yarn and suddenly have the thing be unwashable (I’m flexible on fibers for baby clothes, but a blanket that can’t be machine washed is a really bad idea).

I don’t remember exactly where the yarn was lurking; probably in the giant bag in my closet that holds a lot of yarn samples companies have sent me (because I have an awesome job), but there they were: a couple balls each of Naturally Caron’s Spa in light green and cream. In my pink box was some Country, from the same company, which is slightly thicker but they all look nice together.

baby blanket color palette
See? Pretty. And it was there all along.

So the pink sections are just a little denser than the green and white sections, but it adds an interesting bit of texture that I’m sure a baby will love to pet. I’m not posting my project in progress in case the mama in question sees this, and also because I don’t want to admit how much I have left to knit in the next six days.

But I definitely learned the lesson: trust your resources. You already have everything you need, if you know where to look and can get a little creative. It’s as true in other aspects of life as it is in knitting.

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