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Knitting…with a plan

May 28, 2014

Jake is fond of asking the question “What’s the plan?” This could be reference to an evening, weekend, dinner, you name it. My standard response is “There is no plan.”  Like that kid on the Matrix stating “there is no spoon”. I like not having a plan, which is odd considering how much I actually like planning. The best times are when the plan is not have a plan. In Ireland, we had room reservations and a car rental. That was the extent of the plan. I had a list of things we could do if we wanted, or not. It was amazing. We loved it. Planning to not have a plan. A non-plan.

When I was pregnant with Annabelle, I made her a blanket. I loved making this blanket because there was a general idea, but no real “plan” or pattern. You basically start at the middle, knit each color until you want to switch, turn the blanket 90 degrees, pick another color and go to town. Then when you’re done, you stop. Like the Mad Hatter. Start at the beginning and when you get to the end, stop. I like movies. Is it obvious? I really like Disney movies and can’t wait to take the kiddos to Disneyland someday. Jake is not nearly as excited about this inevitability. He’s even less excited that I’ll also insist on Disney World someday. One of the things I was excited to discover about Springfield is that flights to Orlando are super cheap.

See how great not having a plan turned out?

So why am I now needing a plan? Well, I haven’t found a similar “non-plan” for a blanket, aside from just making random width stripes. There’s also the question of colors. And yarn. Jake is an art major and has specific ideas about colors that don’t necessarily match the palette of colors that are available. Another complication is that I wanted to try a different yarn than I used last time. Not that that yarn is bad, just the opposite! But there are have to be other great yarns out there, right? I should try them!

After much (much much much) deliberation, I found a yarn to try and we agreed on colors.  The order was placed before either of us could change our minds or rethink it. We’re really good at over-thinking. Hence the weeks long discussion on the colors and pattern for the baby blanket. He left the yarn issue up to me.

Yay! Isn’t it pretty? The skein of Anzula on the side isn’t part of the blanket. It was just pretty. And on-sale. I’ve got a whole post about buying things on sale/clearance coming up but that’ll have to wait until next time. The only reason I mention it, is because I’ll forget completely and next time I’ll sit down to write a post and think “What was I going to write about?” So here’s my reminder: the next post will be regarding sale/clearance purchases.

Since I didn’t have a suitable “non-plan”, I needed an actual plan for the yarn. I actually had to have a plan before I bought the yarn, which is not typically the way I do things. I usually buy yarn I love and then just wait until a project comes along. Again, my usual methods wouldn’t work here and caused me to do things all backwards. After the colors were chosen, I was having troubling envisioning the final product and I turned to my favorite program ever. Microsoft Excel. Oh yes, I love spreadsheets. I have lots of them and they’re awesome for knitting. I use them to keep track of my stash, potential projects, you name it. In this case, I used it to graph out possible blanket ideas.

Nifty, huh? I started on this blanket a few days ago and can’t wait to see how close the final product looks to this plan.

I also made a hedgehog for the new baby. I love making hedgehogs. They’re just awesome little projects and hardly take any yarn at all. I bought two full skeins to make the first one and I’m still working on those first colors, 5 hedgehogs later. I’m pretty sure I can get at 6th hedgehog out of it too, but that’ll have to wait until after the blanket is done.

While we’re discussing knitting, I have to say that I’ll go months and months without any new yarn purchases. Then I’ll have a few at once. It’s like that first purchase opens the floodgates. I had my own stash enhancement this week, that will eventually become a blanket for me.

I love this color combination. Aqua, grey and yellow. There is also a plan for this yarn. Buying yarn with a plan in mind. What crazy thing will I try next?!

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