Is it Spring or Isn’t it?

According to my calendar, I did not meet my self-imposed deadline of completing DH’s woolen balaclava before spring arrived at sunrise today, March 20th. But, according to Widipedia spring doesn’t make it here until tomorrow, so maybe I finished with time to spare! None of that would have been an issue if I would’ve had just 1/2 ounce more of the light grey yarn! sigh.

I went digging in my yarn stash to find a bit more grey yarn, but it couldn’t be just any grey. I wanted a dark enough grey to create a nice contrast against the lighter grey and I wanted it to be a cool grey, not a warm grey, not a grey with fuzzy angora, a simple masculine grey, a worsted weight grey.

Of course, once I’d gotten into the bin labeled tan/grey, I couldn’t help but look for the camel lambswool that I used for DH’s scarf, because he’s asked for a hat and fingerless mitts to match. Then, when I went to add that camel yarn to the bin for yarn I plan to use soon, I couldn’t help but notice yarns I recently unraveled from thrift store sweaters that I threw in there by mistake and I thought I’d just put them in their correct storage bins before I put all the bins back in place. Next thing I knew there were mounds of yarn-filled Ziploc on the floor and I was stepping over boxes and bins.

I have no idea how much time I spent ‘tossing my stash’, but it sure didn’t get me any further along on the balaclava! However, I did find my Ziploc of sock yarn scraps, which was a good thing because I want to use some to knit a cozy for my camera.

Now, back to The Balaclava. It took 3 1/2 ounces of worsted weight yarn. I started with three ounces of light grey wool that I bought at the Salvation Army Thrift Store last month for 50¢. When I realized there wasn’t enough of that, I pulled a two-ounce ball of dark grey alpaca/wool blend, that I’d unraveled from a multi-colored sweater, from my stash.

The pattern was clearly written, easy-peasy. Knit in 2×2 rib from the bottom edge, bind-off for the eye opening, cast-on the same number of replacement stitches, continue in rib to the point where you begin decreasing for the top of the head. I added 1 1/2 inches to the neck length. Instead of using the backwards loop cast-on, which the pattern recommends after creating the eye opening, I was able to use the long-tail cast-on, because I was changing to the darker color yarn at the same time.

My DH loves the way this ridiculous-looking garment fits.

Thankfully, it looks much better on him than it did just lying there. The ribbing helps it fit snugly without being constricting.

We were curious about the origin of the word “balaclava” and found out it’s the name of a town in the Crimea, Ukraine. British troops wore this type of woolen headgear during the bitter winters of the Crimean War. It just so happens that my DH’s father was Ukrainian.

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