Wednesday, January 18, 2006

What's a Challenge?

Stephanie has put up the Challenge of a Knitting Olympics. The question is, what is a challenge for me? The state of my hands and wrists is not suited for duration knitting having, since Thanksgiving, knit the Peacock Shawl in 25 days and then, 11 days after that, done the bulk of the knitting on the Anti-Blather Nalgar in a 3.5 day roadtrip with Potential In-Law visiting included.

I'm not going to set myself a quantitative challenge, I'm going to do something I haven't done before: bring myself to use some of the J&S Shetland I bought at Meg Swansen's 1991 First-Timers camp, $400+ worth (in 1991) that hasn't been touched since, to make a tam out of Mary Rowe's Knitted Tams. The challenge will be the choices to be made without paralzying myself: putting together pattern combinations and color sequences, making the blessed thing and blocking it on the tammy-stretcher.

17 colors, mostly 8 ounces of each if I remember correctly, though some are only 4. I'm going to put colors together and see what happens. Me, with the color sense of New England boiled dinner (see what I bought in 1991?)? I reserve the right to fill in with more current color options, if needed. And to bring in a coach or two for critique.

What's been holding me back from using this for all these years? Fear that I would "wreck it" by using up yarn "wrong." However, I have since come to realize that Schoolhouse Press has *lots* of this yarn. They will let me buy more when and if I need it. Really. I can use what I have without recrimination. See prior posts about using the good stuff.

What's even more surprizing is that I've been thinking of doing this project since last Fall, and hadn't had the nerve to open the boxes storing this yarn, worrying that it had suffered light (or insect) damage over close to 15 years. I'm amazed it's in as good a shape as it is. There's no fading, no "unusual ends," no sign of anything getting into it.

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