In my weekly wrap-up post on Sunday, I posted a picture of the garter stitch baby blanket I’m knitting. I also mentioned that its “saga” was kind of ridiculous and deserved its own post. Well here we go.
First, the backstory.
Two Christmases ago, my dad and stepmom gave me a bunch of yarn. By “a bunch” I mean something like fifteen big skeins. They don’t know much about yarn, though, and gave me cheap acrylic stuff that they found in a big box craft store. Now, I can appreciate pretty much any type of yarn that I don’t have to pay for. Even the scratchy and exceedingly cheap stuff – you know, the yarn that practically squeaks as you work with it? – has its uses. And boy, howdy! I will use the hell out of that yarn when I find the right pattern for it. And, when it comes right down to it, they were really sweet to get me all that yarn.
Six skeins of the yarn was Bernat Pipsqueak. It’s cute enough, I guess, but I don’t really like it. For one, the colors are pastel and I am not a fan of most pastels. For two, the yarn and I do not play nicely together. It feels flimsy and I’m constantly scared that I’m going to break it.
The biggest problem, though, is that it is so fuzzy that I can barely see what I’m doing with it. The fuzz does hide mistakes, which is nice, but also makes it harder to correct booboos. I actually tried crocheting with Pipsqueak at first. That was a disaster. I couldn’t see where to stick my crochet hook in order to make more stitches. There are published crochet patterns for this stuff, though. I don’t understand! How can ANYONE crochet with it?
Fortunately, the beauty of knitting’s culture of gift giving means that I’m not required to put up with this yarn forever. I can always knit something for an actual baby instead of for myself. One could make a strong argument that I’m more of an overgrown child than an actual adult, but I digress. As fate would have it, this is exactly why my dad bought the Pipsqueak yarn that Christmas.
My niece was born earlier that year, and Daddy insisted that I knit a blanket for her. He bought the yarn, after all, so I suppose the request is reasonable enough. (Thank goodness my sister-in-law likes the “candy girl” colorway.) However, Daddy started to get on my nerves because he kept asking me “When are you going to make a blanket for Clara?” Every single time I saw him, he’d ask me again.
Before I go any further, I want to state that my father is usually a pretty nice guy. He buys me beer and gives me blueberries that he grows and picks himself. He hates gossip and is the best secret keeper I have ever met.
But, bless his heart, he is a little clueless.
After hearing “When are you going to make a blanket for Clara?” one too many times, I got what my mom calls “snippy.” I told him that I was working on another blanket that I had been planning for weeks before he gave me yarn for Clara’s blanket. I also told him that it takes a LONG time to knit or crochet something as big as a blanket. I appreciated the yarn, but bugging me about when I’m going to make something with it is not very nice.
I could tell that I kinda hurt his feelings and I felt like a heel. However, he was a teensy bit presumptuous about the blanket. Non-knitters like my father are often oblivious to the amount of time and effort required for knit projects. Even if they mean well, they can be frustrating. He did not ask about it anymore, though, so something resembling peace returned to the family.
Alrighty. Let’s fast-forward approximately fifteen months. I have FINALLY started Clara’s blanket. I figured I’d bite the bullet and get it over with before the kid goes to prom in sixteen years and tells her friends all about her loser aunt who wouldn’t even knit her a baby blanket.
But, Clara obviously is no longer a newborn. This means that I should probably make a blanket that is larger than what six skeins will make. So, I went ahead and got a skein of white Pipsqueak a few weeks ago just to see how it looks with “candy girl.” As you can see in the photo at the top of this post, it works. So now I need to get more white. Unfortunately, our local Wal-Mart no longer carries ANY Bernat Pipsqueak yarn. Those bitches. Now I’ll have to hit up expensive internet retailers or drive for miles just to get a few more skeins of that dinky, fuzzy yarn before I can finish the blanket. Sigh.
This situation got so much more complicated than I ever anticipated. First, my well meaning father and stepmother give me some yarn that I don’t really like. Then, I hurt my dad’s feelings and took FOREVER to start the blanket. Now Wal-Mart is punishing me by drying up the local supply of Bernat Pipsqueak.
This has gotten just plain silly. I should write an epic poem about it and set the saga to sad music. I’m as tragic as Oedipus Rex. Uh, minus the you-know-what with relatives.