Saturday, July 12, 2014

Scrap Yarn Socks

When I went on that knitting retreat back in January, we decided to do a sock exchange for the next year. The stipulation was that the socks had to be made of scrap yarn. It turns out that I won't be able to attend next year, but I since I already agreed to participate, I had to knit the socks for my recipient. Aside from weaving together the toe and the loose ends on the second sock, they're done.

I used several different Knit Picks yarns. I don't have the ball bands any more so I can't tell you what color ways I used. Because I had such small bits of each yarn left over, I couldn't get the stripes to match up exactly, but I think they still look good.

I still have a lot of sock yarn left over, so I think I'm going to make some baby socks and hats for Afghans for Afghans. After that, I think I'm ready to make something for myself before fall.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Diamonds Versus Squares

This dish cloth was supposed to be a mitered square. It's not as if I haven't done a mitered square before, and yet this one really wants to be a diamond (or maybe it's a leaf).

I can yank it into submission, but it won't stay that way. 

Maybe it's because I used cotton, which tends to stretch, or maybe it's because I used such large needles that the fabric is too loose to behave properly. Whatever the case, I can still use it, but it still goes to show that things don't always go according to plan.

I think I'm ready to start the socks for that sock exchange, which I will not be attending because it turns out that I have to teach the weekend of the Bunch of Stitches retreat. I went through some leftover sock yarn today and came up with a plan for a stripe sequence. I think (hope) it will look pretty cool.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Default to Dish Cloths

Whenever I can't decide what else to knit, I make dish cloths. They're fast and fun, not to mention practical, and making them is an easy way to play around with different patterns and color combinations.

I think these will be a housewarming gift for my nephew and his mom, who just moved to a new apartment. I made them with my beloved Peaches and Creme, which is still my favorite craft cotton yarn.

The circular one is basically a mini version of the circular shawl in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac. I didn't block it, which is why the garter stitch border isn't lying flat. But who is going to block a dish cloth? It's made for washing and scrubbing.

I still don't know what I want to do next for a real project, so I guess I'll keep making dish cloths for a while. They're great to have on hand as gifts, and I should replace a few of my own old ones anyway. Some of them are looking pretty grim because they've been in use for years.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shop 'Til You Drop Bag

Last night I finished my hemp string bag, just in time for the Hyde Park farmers' market tomorrow. I got the yarn as part of a kit from Hemp for Knitting at the Vogue Knitting Live expo a couple of years ago and finally got around to making it. I'm happy with how it turned out.

It doesn't look very big when it's laying flat, but I put a heavy book in it last night, and it really stretches. I'm glad the vendor told me to make the medium one instead of the large. The large would be flapping around my ankles. It was easy and fun to make. I really like these string bags over other re-usable bags because they fold up incredibly small and take up no room in a purse, so I can always have an eco-friendly shopping bag with me without carrying around extra bulk.

I think next I'm going to make a few dish cloths as a housewarming gift for my sister-in-law, who is moving into a new place this week. I have a ton of Peaches and Creme yarn in dozens of colors, so I have plenty of choices.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Top Secret Project Revealed

I mentioned a while back that I had been recruited to work on a top-secret project. Now that it has been given to the recipient, I can tell you what it was. Lynette's mom has had some health problems recently, and a mutual friend emailed several of us asking us to contribute squares to a blanket for her. My contribution was a plain garter stitch square made of Berroco's Cotton Twist Variegated.

With a beautiful variegated yarn, the less you do to it, the better. Let the yarn speak for itself.

This is the finished product, with all our squares sewn together.

 Isn't that gorgeous? This is what I appreciate so much about knitting and knitters: it's a great community that pulls together in times of trouble and is always ready to lend a helping hand. I'm so grateful I able to participate.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Work in Progress: Hemp Bag

A couple of years ago, I went to Vogue Knitting Live here in Chicago, and I bought this kit to make a market bag using hemp yarn. I finally started on it a few days ago.

As you can see, I'm about halfway done. The pattern is easy and fun to knit.

I did deviate from the instructions slightly. The pattern says to cast on and just start knitting in the round, and then you're supposed to sew the bottom of the bag together when you're done. I hate sewing and I also didn't think that such a seam would be terribly stable. Instead, I decided to start the bag with double-knitting so that the bottom is organically sealed together and I don't have to do any sewing. It did make things awkward at first, but once I got a couple of inches beyond the beginning it opened up nicely and it has been smooth sailing ever since.

I will have to sew on the handles unless I can think of a way to incorporate them into the body of the bag. Stay tuned for further developments. And I hope you have a very happy Memorial Day.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Charity Knitting During Lent: Postscript

I asked the women in my church knitting group to consider making something for Afghans for Afghans during Lent, and one of them came through with three pairs of mittens.

I think they look great with my three pairs of socks. Funny how we both decided to go with stripes. So tomorrow it's off to the post office to mail all of it.

Up next? Well, I got recruited into a secret project. I can't say anything until it's done. *evil cackle*