When I finished my recent blanket knitting, I immediately picked up another project which had been sitting around perfectly ready to go for a few years. I bought this yarn on my first trip to KnitWit in Portland, Maine with this exact pattern in mind (Deco by Kate Davies) and then, once again, it sat untouched for ages. But I never stopped liking the pattern or the yarn and I’m pretty excited about finally having that very green cardigan. (I didn’t quite capture the color, it’s really a true kelly green, the colorway is Parsley from Quince and Co.) I’ve been cruising along, feeling like the progress has been remarkably steady for a summer sweater project… until this week.
I was mentally going over my packing list for our upcoming backpacking trip and recalled my annoying lack of a good backpacking hat. And then remembered that I solved that problem a year ago when I picked up a closeout merino Buff (it’s a hat! it’s a neck gaitor! it’s a ninja costume!). Except that the merino was such poor quality that it actually gave me contact sores on my forehead. I wear a lot of wool next-to-skin and this was the worst experience I had ever had with it. So naturally I decided to just knit a replacement. Or more accurately, I was struck with the irrational compulsion that I must knit one NOW.
Generally speaking, deciding to knit something that you want NOW is a very bad idea. Knitting is a terrible plan for producing finished goods on demand. Producing something in the background while you think you’re doing other things? Yes, brilliant. But deciding that you want something, especially something from fingering weight yarn and then casting on? You’re begging to throw hours away creating the first three inches before conceding defeat in disgust and living with the reminder of those three inches sitting in the unfinished project pile for all time.
I know this. So what did I do? I dug around for a pair of needles, grabbed a ball of merino sock yarn from the drawer, and started casting on while I decided how many stitches I might need. And then proceeded to knit the most crushingly boring object of all time. Straight stockinette in the round, no pattern, no markers, no landmarks to indicate any progress except the occasional comparison to the measuring tape. And that friendly compulsion to have it NOW. In just over two days I had this:
I also had two sore forearms and a worthless claw of a left hand. But who needs hands? Did I mention that it could be a hat?
Or a neck gaitor?
The possibilities are endless, really. It is exactly what I hoped for when I started, an extremely soft and comfy and washable and adaptable bit of head gear for backpacking. And possibly the most boring knitting project of all time.
Speaking of boring, I finished a pair of (green) socks a few weeks back. These sat on my for the last several months slowly growing and finally graduated to my dresser drawer. Just another basic staple, but it’s awfully nice to have another pair created out of nothing more than boring meetings and long phone calls.
(Also, can we acknowledge how awkward it is to try to model and photograph your own socks?)