When life is stuck, break through wherever you can.

As I wrote earlier, I’ve been in a bit of a rut for a while. Everything has felt a bit off and I haven’t found my groove. If this were cross country skiing, I can’t keep my skis in the tracks and I’m making my life more difficult than it needs to be. That’s actually the opposite of being in a rut, but it’s cold outside and I can only think in winter metaphors.

For some reason, as I scheduled my Looking Forward rut post, the only thing I could think of was “I need to knit up my rainbow yarn”

What the heck, Kate??

Of all things in life, I felt my energy was best spent knitting my rainbow yarn. This was also at 10:00 pm at night, already past my bedtime.

Let me explain.

I don’t know when or where I acquired my Rainbow yarn. I’ve been knitting since I was 9 or 10 and I certainly had it before high school. I don’t know if I bought it or if it was given to me, but every time I look at the yarn, I get excited.

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Rainbow Yarn Ball. Can you feel the joy?

Every time I hold the yarn, I get hopeful about the possibilities. It’s a fun thickness and texture to knit. The colors are so vibrant!

The trouble is, I’ve made at least 20 different projects with this yarn. Every time I complete a project, whether it be mittens, a hat, or a shawl, I knit it up, take a good look at it and then rip it all apart. Us in the knitting world call this Frogging. Rip it, Rip it, Rip it. I kept frogging it because nothing with this yarn looks right.

This is a little technical, but the yarn is a short self-striping yarn. It transitions through the rainbow. Because of the short stripes, the colors tend to pool. Yarn pooling is when one or several colors find their way to each other. With this yarn, I typically get a big yellow blotch. When the colors pool and with this yarn in particular, it looks ridiculous. I am a perfectionist with my knitting and so far, nothing has passed the test.

But here’s the thing… I know I’m completely irrational with my perfectionist knitting tendencies. For example: I made a beautiful shawl 3 years ago. The pattern was striped solid brown with a variegated pink. The cutest. However, the variegated pink had less than 3 stitches of yarn per 150 stitches where the color was orange and not a shade of pink. I hated those orange stitches so much; I nearly threw away the entire project.

Pink and Brown Clockwork!

Pink and Brown Clockwork!

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. I finished the project and I didn’t throw it away. However, it took more than 2 years of me forgetting about the project to appreciate it, orange stitches and all.

Back to the Rainbow yarn.

There is something about this rainbow yarn that I need to overcome. I’ve made it a life milestone. I’ve had this yarn for at least 15 years. I don’t want to get rid of it because I love it, but I need to use it up. Keeping yarn in a ball in the corner of my stash is not honoring it.

The yarn brings me so much joy to look at, but I need to accept the realities of how it will knit up. Color pooling will happen. Overlapping Packers colors, Vikings colors and Christmas colors are inevitable. I need to deal with it and accept the project how it comes.

To capitalize on my determination, I went into Ravelry.com (the best knitting/ crocheting database ever) to find a pattern. I didn’t want to overthink my project. Criteria: With Pictures + Free + Super Bulky yarn + <150 yards.

I selected the first result (which also happened to be adorable) and made a few changes to shorten the project. I wanted to knit this up once and make sure I didn’t run out of yarn. Yarn chicken is NOT fun.

I am happy to report that what I made is adorable. The pooling is perfect and the overlapping colors haven’t bothered me one bit.

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It took conservatively 15 years for me to find a project for this yarn, and 2 days to knit it.

This seems like such a silly little milestone, but I’m so proud of being able to knit this project and have a positive mindset about all of it. As I knit it up, I kept thinking about how it would be a great gift for my sister. She may not want it, but I loved thinking about her and how proud I am of her as I made the project.

It feels pretty gosh darn great to remove the rainbow yarn from my yarn stash. I wonder what I can accomplish next.

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8 comments

  1. I love this story. 🙂 It’s kind of like how I walk past the broom for months thinking, I should sweep, but don’t…but then eventually when I do pick it up and do some sweeping, I find that it’s so, so nice to have clean floors, and I’m motivated to clean other things too. (Although on the other hand, it’s not one bit like that, because you’re talking about creating something cool and I’m just talking about getting rid of dust.)

    In any case, I know nothing about knitting, but I love the rainbow yarn and I also love the pink and brown. Congratulations on making the project happen.

    1. I so do that with my bathroom. The hair/dust collects behind the door (“swept” there by the door movement). I spend more time thinking about needing to sweep my bathroom than it takes to actually sweep the bathroom. WE CAN CONQUER THIS TOGETHER!

      Thanks Sarah 🙂 Now to figure out what other projects I can tackle.

      p.s. Knitting is awesome. If you ever want to learn, hit me up. I’ve been helping Claudia at Two Cup House learn how.

  2. I love how we have random things that hold us back. I’ve gotten over several of my own skeins of rainbow yarn this past month just finishing things I have been putting off and getting rid of things I don’t want to finish but also don’t want to feel guilty about not finishing anymore! Excellent work! (PS – I’m a crocheter… do you hate me now?!)

    1. I have no hate for the crocheters! I’ve made many a granny square, but I really struggle to maintain gauge. My crochet stitches are all over the place. I also feel like there is more freedom in crocheting. That intimidates me.
      Nice job getting rid of unfinished projects. That’s a hard task!!

  3. Knitting is hard. I know that from experience. So if you managed to make that cute little project, along with all the mittens, socks and shawls you previously created, consider those big milestones in themselves.

  4. The yarn is really cute. I’m glad you found something to make with it. I didn’t know yarn pooling could happen but I guess it makes sense as the colours aren’t not random. Yay to arts & crafts milestones.

    I used to knit (simple patterns) back in the day. You’ve reminded me that I should take it up again. Thanks for that. ^_^

  5. This feels like a perfect metaphor for a million things that we put off, especially for those of us who tend toward perfectionism. I have a fancy block of linoleum I’ve never carved (but I keep carving the cheap stuff, which crumbles), several pieces of fabric I’ve never found the right garment for, etc. I just need to get on with it, and use the good stuff! Because in the end I’ll have a super cute rainbow scarf (or, you know, the actual item I made, non-metaphorically speaking), and making always feels better than not making.

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