Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's on the needles?

A fellow knitting buddy recently asked me what I've been knitting lately and unfortunately, my answer was  "Not much."  It seems that when I started running last year, I stopped knitting.  My new running addiction sort of took over my life and I was constantly either too pumped up, too tired or too sweaty to knit.  Plus, there's that whole New Year's Resolution thing where I said I was going to go a full year without buying any yarn.  Yeah, like that would ever happen!  Except it has, mostly thanks to the running addiction.

But I have been knitting a little. With my resolution to not buy yarn in 2010, it means I'm forced to look to my stash.  And it is a pretty big stash pile.   I used to be sock obsessed and I have an entire cedar chest full of nothing but sock yarn.  There are some new skeins just waiting to be turned into glorious socks, but most of it is odds and ends and left-over little bits that are too small to even knit baby booties.  And really, how many pairs of baby booties can you knit, specially when you're at that stage of life when you don't know any babies.

So, what could I knit with teeny tiny bits of left over, multi-colored sock yarn?  I decided on a scarf.  Very simple pattern.  Just cast a bunch of stitches onto circular needles and start knitting.  Knit alternating rows with 2 colors, one solid and one patterned yarn.   It turned out...  how do I describe it?  Pretty?   Bold?  Interesting?  The tackiest thing you ever saw?   I wasn't sure.   Actually, I'm still not sure if I like it or not, but no matter - I decided to make another one.  The first had black and gray as the solid "background" color so it turned out not quite so bold.  The second one had blue as it's background color.  It started out with a dark blue and as the knitting progressed and I had to move from one skein of blue to another, the blues get lighter and lighter until the last one is so pale it's almost white.  Again, I'm not sure if I like it.  Is it interesting or tacky?  I just can't decide.  Neither of them are completely finished yet.  I thought I'd really tacky them up by sewing some dangly beads on the ends, except I haven't bought said beads yet.  Haven't been able to find any that even remotely go with the multi-colored yarns.  But I will.  I'm confident.  But in any event, here's a picture of the unfinished scarves.

Obviously, I have a bit to learn about taking pictures of my knitting.  A white background would probably have been a much better choice.   And boy, those scarves look even tackier in the photo than they do in reality.  Oh well.

But no matter how tacky those scarves turned out, I kind of like them.  Or I should say, I liked knitting them.  It was fun and relaxing to just knit away and have the colors constantly changing.  And I have to admit, it was pretty satisfying to watch my stash of teeny tiny left-over balls of yarn disappear.   So, I decided to make a pillow the same way.  I decided to give the pillow a brown theme, cast on about three times as many stitches as I'd used for the scarves and started knitting.  Once I'd gotten enough knitting done to be able to tell how big the pillow would end up being (I was way too lazy to count all those stitches and figure it out mathematically) I realized it's going to end up being bed pillow size.  The tube I'm creating by knitting in the round fits onto a bed pillow perfectly.  And, as luck would have it, we have several bed pillows that stay on the family room couch, so, all I have to do is make the tube long enough and it will fit perfectly.   I'm sort of excited about the project.  The rest of the family just rolls their eyes.  What ever.  Here's a picture of what I've got so far -

Well, ok, it looks like a giant hat, but that's because it's still on circular needles.  And yes, once again, it would probably look better against a white background.  Guess if I'm going to keep up this photo taking, I'll have to invest in a white sheet.  What kind of family doesn't even own a white sheet?

Anyway...  I'm just pretty amazed that such a diverse group of multi-colored yarn can blend together so well.

By the time I finish that pillow, I'll still have more than three quarters of a cedar chest full of sock yarn left.  Any suggestions as to what the next project should be?

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