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On the needles – Part 4

Man, I should probably take it as a sign that I’ve let the to-knit pile get out of control when I can get this many blog posts out of it. And this isn’t including Green Sprite, about which I could blog for hours. (Oh, Green Sprite…I wonder what you’re doing right now?) I keep coming up against the abundance of Merino Supreme. It is currently a life goal that I will use up all the Merino Supreme in my possession and not accidentally buy more. This is not as easy as it sounds: if I’ve calculated this correctly, over the course of my knitting life I have acquired six bags — at ten balls per bag — of the stuff. One in mauve, one in aubergine, one in olive, three in black (maybe four in black, actually). Plus two random navy blue balls that rolled merrily into my life at some point.

I suspect for some time I must had some sort of psychological howl that could only be silenced by the soft, udon-noodle-like, springy loveliness that is Merino Supreme. When that howl was corrected — was it the massive amounts of compost I inhaled while trying to fix the bin? was it the moderate electric shock I received trying to lick the food processor beaters post-pesto-producing (I wasn’t zapped by the beaters: M tasered me for being so dumb)? could it have been that tango with salmonella I enjoyed in late 2008? who can say? — I came to my senses and realised I had let my Merino-Supreme-lust overwhelm the stash. I’ve been working my way through it, mostly through socks and thick woolly hats, scarves, etc., and I’m down to one manageable bag:

SWARM

You’d think this would be the final sprint. But I think the delay is that they’re just so damn pretty together. Something about this particular bundle of olive, purples, navy and black: they’re just beautifully matched. So I have to use them all together. I thought — oh, how I thought — about a blanket of bias-knit garter squares. I imagined it so simple, springy, soft and light, and so, so warm. Oh. Beautiful. But then I got thinking about how Merino Supreme has hurt me in the past: the cruellest thorn is the tiny yardage. Seriously tiny: like 60 metres per ball. I know you need less yarn when it’s thick and springy, compared to, say, laceweight, but 60 metres? Cleckheaton, please. So I regretfully pushed the blanket idea to one side (well, I tried: I am still finding scraps of it in my head, all the bits that say “well, yeah, but if we did it on huge needles, it’d work…” and “it doesn’t need to be a huge blanket…” and writing the above brought me dangerously close to reconsidering my position) and thought about stripes. I love Merino Supreme for socks; it makes thick, cushy boot-socks that I live in all winter. I have several pairs already, but none with stripes…and now, I think, is the time. Thick, toe-up, knee-high socks, with stripes and solid heels/toes. Yes. I can feel it in my bones. And then, finally, the ghost of Merino Supreme will be laid to rest. I grow weary of its taunting; its smug “hah, you’ll never find a project worthy of me” airs — hey, it’s a gorgeous yarn, but I don’t need ‘tood from the stash.

My bag of Merino Supreme is coming on holiday with me, as part of the Finish-the-WIPs campaign I’m on, and when we come back, it will be on the needles.

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