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My good friend Anne is headed off to China in a few weeks for at least a year, maybe even longer. She has made the day to day grind of graduate school much more pleasant for the past two years and I’ll miss having her living just a block away.

Sometime over the past month I got an idea stuck in my head for a goodbye gift for her – a crocheted bag filled with some things she might need on that long trans-Pacific flight. So far I’ve collected some granola bars, dark chocolate, dried mango slices, chapstick, and a silly fantasy novel about a kingdom of cats. Anything else essential I should add?

There’s something very liberating about working with this bag of acrylic scraps. I don’t have to worry whether a pattern is perfectly right or not for my valuable yarn, instead, I can just pick out some colors and start working, making things up as I go.

In this case, I started with the cream at the bottom and then found three similar light blue/lavender yarns for the next stripes, only throwing in the medium blue on impulse after something didn’t seem quite right. I’m glad I did, I love it.

It’s funny that what’s taken me out of my craft rut is a bag of squeaky, cheap, and sometimes garishly colored yarn. And I’m perfectly happy with that.