Tuesday, August 2, 2016

When Life Gives You Scraps...

… Make a blanket — or two!

A few years ago, I was browsing Ravelry and came across the Sock Yarn Blanket by Shelly Kang. It’s gorgeous, and such a great way to use up scraps. I knit a lot of socks, so I have plenty of extra sock yarn taking up space. And as I looked through my yarn stash I realized I have a lot of extra worsted weight yarn as well. So why not make one of each size? I started both blankets in late 2011–early 2012.

Two folded and stacked hand knit blankets in progress using scrap yarn in a mitered square pattern in sock yarn weight and worsted weight, on a white background.

The catch, of course, is that scrap blankets should look, well, scrappy. I made a block of every type of extra yarn in my stash, then a second or maybe third block here and there if I could space it out from the last use of that yarn. I quickly came to the point where I needed to generate more scraps before I could do more work on the blankets.

Then last fall as I was doing some holiday shopping, I came across the Jimmy Beans Wool Beanie Bags subscription. What a great way to try some new yarns and continue my blankets at the same time! My husband gifted me with a full year subscription for my birthday. It’s so exciting to get fluffy mail every month, and to make regular progress on the blankets.

Six mini-hanks of yarn, a sample packet of Soak wool wash, and knitting needle point protectors on a white background.

The July samples were six mini-hanks of Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Worsted. The samples aren’t always from the same yarn line or maker, but the colors usually coordinate. Most of the time they’re wool or wool blends, but June was all cottons and cotton blends. Each Beanie Bag comes in a zippered fabric bag along with some Soak, some sort of notion — needle point protectors this month — and a pattern that will work with the samples in both knit and crochet. (I’m not affiliated with any of these companies, by the way.)

Hand knit sock yarn blanket in progress using scrap yarn in a mitered square pattern, on a white background.

And so my blankets have begun to grow again! The sock yarn blanket is about 60 inches wide and six inches long, or about four staggered rows of blocks.

Hand knit worsted weight blanket in progress using scrap yarn in a mitered square pattern, on a white background.

The worsted weight blanket is about 80 inches wide and 16 inches long, or about six staggered rows of blocks.

I know I’m still years away from completing these blankets, but I’m really enjoying the process. And isn’t that half the point?

I’ll leave you this week with a quote I recently read in “Code: Version 2.0” by Lawrence Lessig: “…keep the elements simple, and the compounds will astound.”

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