Raise your hand if you remember me starting a scrap project to use up the yarn left over from the scrap blanket I made for my daughter when she was born.
Yes, I am a serial scrap blanket maker. I pull out a pile of yarn (or fabric or cut up t-shirts… my desires to both thrift and make things feed each other), decide I am going to use it all up on a scrap project, choose a project, start said project, run out of something and go buy more materials, finish said project, and then — and only then — realize that I have more materials left than when I started. Doh!
First there was Squeaky, the quilterly knitted blanket I made for my daughter (ostensibly to use up random balls of Wool-Ease) while I waited for her to spring, fully formed, from my womb. Which, she pretty much did if you’ve ever heard THAT story. Oh and I ended up buying a lot of yarn to make the colors in the blanket work. Wool-Ease has a weird palette.
About six exhausting months later, I lit upon the idea to crochet an afghan to use up Squeaky’s leftovers. I had spied a pattern that was basically a giant granny square, but looked like an Around the World quilt. I’m not much of a hooker, but I can handle a granny square. So I lined up my leftover Wool-Ease and soon realized I had a rainbow palette. Well, almost. I just had to buy a bit more yarn. [Cue scary music.]
Four and a half years later, the rainbow afghan of my dreams and nightmares is finished.
What else do I have to say about this project? I didn’t work on it constantly. In fact, years passed sometimes between putting hook to wool. It was really fun at first because crochet is FAST.
Also, I am never actually sad to buy more yarn, which this project amusingly and repeatedly required to be completed to my spec of 4 repeats. It has 13 different colors, 12 Wool-Ease, 1 Plymouth Encore (light blue) because Lion discontinued the delft colorway. (Why do companies get rid of good, basic, timeless colors like baby blue? It’s Lion’s loss ultimately because now I have seen the Plymouth Yarns website and know what an amazing palette their wool-acrylic blend Encore has.)
About 2/3 of the way through this project, the rows became very long, hours to finish just one, and it was a slog. I just wanted to be done. I could have stopped at any time, but stubborn ol’ me wanted to stick to The Plan.
So I did. And now the rainbow afghan lives on my couch and gets fought over — when we’re not all four crammed together with it draped over us.
Feels a little bit like I’m living in a Dickens novel, but I am stubborn enough to wait until fall when space heaters are available again at the corner hardware store.
Meanwhile, in this cold spring, after working for an hour or two in my basement office, my hands ache from the cold.
It probably goes without saying, but taciturn I am not: it is really hard to take pictures of your own hands when one is using a cell phone. Do I have a fancy camera that attaches to a tripod and has a timer? Yes. It is a DSLR hand-me-down (oh, but we paid for it) from my fancy brother. I wish I knew how to use it better. I also wish there were 25 hours in the day, but my tiny tyrant is home in an hour and I need to get this posted, pronto.
I take breaks from grousing to admire my lovely Pageturner Mitts knit out of Noro Silk Garden. The yarn was a random lone skein I had and lone skeins, especially those that are beautiful, are so hard to do something with. Maybe that’s just me. Now I want to make myself a pair of mitts for every day of the week. The pattern is the classic and elegant, yet simple Pageturner Mitts by Sarah Jo Burch. I cast on 40 stitches instead of 30 because I wanted some extra coverage. I knit each block of garter 6.5″ before sewing up, which gives a nice amount of negative ease.
Pageturner Mitts would make a great quick gift if you use a beautiful yarn, like Noro Silk Garden, or something tonal or handpainted.
I finished these on Mother’s Day weekend and haven’t even worn them out of the house, but they are getting noticed. My five-year-old thinks they’re the bees knees and keeps stealing them so I am making her a pair. She is normally into pink, as our species demands of these young females, and when I pulled out pink yarn for her she said, “No, I want orange.” Okay darling, I will make you orange ones. And I am.
Matt laughed to see me wandering the house in May, wearing wooly-silky fingerless mitts and all I have to say to that is: polar vortex. It is still happening, my friends, even if it is only in my mind. It may not be snowing, but damn this weather continues to be weird.