Wednesday 6 March 2013

The Abandoned Snake

Back in the fall I looked at the large bin of cotton yarn that I have in the basement with complete and utter disbelief. I have a lot of cotton yarn and for the most part have no idea what I am going to do with it.

Now I do want to say that I am not against having a yarn stash, in fact I do think it is quite handy. For example, when I came across the pattern to make my crochet hearts, all I needed to do was head downstairs, rummage through what I already had to find a suitable color, and get crocheting. Simple, and no trip to the store needed.

But I do have a lot of cotton, much of it in large 14 ounce balls. I bought all of it at a sale for very cheap (at most, $6 a ball) so there is not a huge financial investment here, but still I felt a little overwhelmed by it all, so I set out to find a project to use up some of my stash.

The project I decided to do was a snake. A long, stripped, colorful snake. Perfect. I selected a collection of coordinating yarns and off I went crocheting round after round, watching as my snake grew longer and longer....
I had to put this project aside before Christmas and when I came back to it in January my excitement had really waned. I thought I just needed to 'get back into it' so I started crocheting round after round again, watching the snake grow longer and longer. And then I stopped.

I suddenly began to think about what the heck I was going to do with the snake after I was finished. The pattern called for 271 rounds, meaning that the finished snake would be over five feet long. Yikes! Where on earth was I going to put him?

Also, because I was single crocheting with cotton yarn using a 4.0mm hook, the snake was very stiff...even with only a little bit of polyester stuffing inside he would not curl up very well which would make him even harder to find a place for. In addition, because he was so stiff I could not hold the project in my lap as I was working on him; I had to hold the working end up near my face and hold the head between my knees. With my arms held up like this while I was crocheting, all the blood ran out of them and they ached; not exactly the outcome I am looking for when I spend an hour or so with my hook.
I came to realize that I was uncomfortably crocheting a long tube with a head on one end. Why? Instead of a bin full of yarn that I didn't know what to do with, I was going to have a really long snake that I did not know what to do with.

So I abandoned my snake.

I pulled out as much of the polyester stuffing as I could, and was going to toss the poor guy into the trash when I visited my yarn loving friend Jill and told her this story. A look of horror flashed across her face at the mention of yarn being thrown in the garbage, and then she suggested a brilliant idea. Unravel the snake, use that yarn, and some of the cotton in your stash, and make a blanket. From there the ideas came pouring out - a stripe blanket, a granny stripe blanket, a ripple blanket. A blanket for the girls to sit on in the yard in summer. A blanket to wrap up in on the deck on a cool summer evening. It was one of those great occasions when two yarn lovers get all excited at the prospect of a new project and the ideas keep coming. I left our conversation feeling like my snake project had not been a complete loss, that out of it a new and better idea had been born.

So that is what I am going to do. I am going to make a Summer Blanket (likely in the summer) to help de-stash my cotton. I am not sure of the stitch details as of yet, but it will be something simple. Something colorful. And something more useful than a 5 foot long tube.

Have you ever abandoned a project? What was it, and why did you decide to stop.

I felt badly at first, giving up on my snake like I did, but now I am glad to be done with him and happy to be dreaming about the more useful blanket I will make once I unravel him.


  1. Oh I am so glad you found another purpose for mr. snake!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite post at Raising Imperfection! We feature our favorites on Friday, make sure to come back and check.

    1. Leslie,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I am very glad that I have a plan for my snake....makes me feel like my work was not completely in vain.