<  |  Home  |  >

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Listen to this post as an mp3 file (for posts after 3/6/06)
What to do With Leftover Sock Yarn

Want to see what I've been knitting lately? Well feast your eyes on this:

click for bigger picture
Oooh, pretty.

Can you guess what it is?

Well, when you knit a lot of socks, you invariably are left with lots of leftover sock yarn. And what do you do with all of those tiny little balls? [No you don't throw them out! Who said that? You should be ashamed.] No, you use them. You knit something like this:

click for bigger picture
It's a Leftover Sock Yarn Afghan.

click for bigger picture
It's colorific.

The plan is that I will knit one block on this afghan for each pair of socks I have ever knit. Since I give away a lot of the socks I make, this will serve as a nice little memento for me. The problem with my plan is that I have no yarn left from several pairs of socks. That bums me out. Maybe when those particular socks die (I officially hate to darn socks), I will unravel some yarn from their ankles and use it to make a block. We'll see.

Anyhow, as of this morning, I have knit 43 blocks. My current sock quota is 61 pairs, so I've got some more blocks to go before I catch up. Also, clearly, it will be a loooooong time before this thing is big enough to actually use as an afghan. Guess I better knit some more socks then. ;) [Do you see a cycle here?]

I'm knitting the afghan in entrelac (so no seaming, yay!), with each block consisting of 24 sts and 47 rows. Since I've knit socks from many different weights of yarns, from aran-weight to very thin sock yarn, I've had to mess around a bit with various needle sizes to get the blocks to come out roughly of equal size. I divided the plies of the aran- or worsted-weight yarn to use only half of its thickness. The DK yarn I knit fairly tightly. The fingering-weight yarn I knit at varying degrees of looseness (mostly looser than I would for socks). I'm going for an approximate gauge of 7.5 sts/inch, which is giving me a block size of approximately 3 x 4 inches. It's going to take some serious blocking to get this afghan to lie flat, but I did a little trial steam-block (love that Scunci steamer) and it seemed to work fine.

click for bigger picture
The trial steam-blocked section is on the left side of this pic -- nice and flat.

I haven't yet decided what kind of edging I should do (since that step is far off), but I'm thinking it will be black. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Leave a Comment 22 comments:

MelissaKnits said...

i recognize the trekking from the renamed "classic sock", don't I. I should show you kristen's solution....

that's very cool. i wanted to knit mine into baby socks, but you guys are chaning my mind

goosefairy said...

Wow. That's so ... wow. Entrelac scares me. wow. That will be some fantastic afghan when you're through.

As to the edging, well, black is the great unifier but it might also be really nice with continuing the sock yarn to the border. What kind of border? Icord?

MadMad said...

What a cool use for that left-over sock yarn! I keep all those little balls, too, and never know what to do with them. Of course, I haven't knit 61 pairs of socks yet... !!! Do you ever sleep?!

Lynne said...

What a neat idea. I love the way it's turning out.

I think I would go with more sock yarn for the border, maybe stripes of different sock yarns for the border?

I might just have to learn enterlac now.

Agnes said...

This is a TERRIFIC idea ... wish to see the blanket assembled soon.

Connie said...

That is epic epic epic. Wow. I feel guilty of all those sock yarn leftovers too ;)

Angela said...

A bleated (ha, I meant to type "belated" but "bleated" seems appropriate for a knit blog!) welcome back to blog world. Looks like you've been busy knitting, anyway. I like the idea of knitting for dolls--even faster than knitting for babies.

Esoteric Knitter said...

It's looking amazing!

JessaLu said...

It looks awesome - black would be nice but you could continue with the sock yarn, too...

Octopus Knits said...

That is a great idea -- so colorful, too!

Norma said...

That is SO COOL. I could see it as a scarf, too...

Dusa said...

Welcome back!! And I'm doing a similar thing with sock yarn, but my squares are mitered. Woohoo. Great minds, eh?

knittin gin said...

What a great idea! That will be such a fun memento of all your old projects. I like your idea of a black border - it would really set off all the other colors nicely.

Dusa said...

Dear Ms Snickety - Just wanted to let you know I knitted up your Arrowhead Lace headbands and posted a pic at my blog (and on Ravelry). I loved the pattern - a very satifying knit!

nuttnbunny said...

Yummiest of the yums. A total inspiration.

greenmama said...

Wow! You are incredibly creative and amazingly talented. I found your blog while looking for sock patterns, & I'm just trying that toe sock out now. Happy knitting!

Tasha said...

That is SOOO cool.

Steph said...

That's so fantastic. I love the idea! One question--how did you start the triangle row? Did you use one color of sock yarn for the starting triangles, or different yarn for each triangle?

Tally (Niece #1) said...

this is SOOO COOL.

i can't wait to see it when you're done, although i imagine it'll take quite a while.

:)

Tabitha said...

I think for the border I would do some kind of sock. For example use one colour for the corners and making them turned heels, then maybe the rest in garter stitch to look like ribbing.

kokorimbaud said...

What a brilliant use of left-overs! I'll have to keep this in mind for later ...
As for the finish, I believe black would indeed be great to bring it all together. Applied icord or crochet scallops, maybe?

Bonnie Clarkson said...

There was a designer on one of the PBS knitting shows that instead of using black for edges and joining, she used dark brown. She thought it gave the blanket more color and more life.