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Thursday, August 09, 2007

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What to do With Leftover Sock Yarn

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

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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:

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It's a Leftover Sock Yarn Afghan.

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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.

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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?


Monday, August 06, 2007

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A Long List

Thanks for the comments welcoming me back to blogland. I'm actually surprised you guys didn't give up on me after my long absence.

I've been catching up on my blog reading and I saw this list on a couple of blogs. It looked like fun, so here goes:

Mark with bold the things you have ever knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest. [And I, in my ultimate analness, have made things bold and italic if I have tried the technique (like in a swatch or a UFO) but not finished an item with it yet.]

  • Afghan (I've started a sock-yarn afghan, but it's not very big yet.)

  • I-cord

  • Garter stitch (Is this question really necessary?)

  • Knitting with metal wire (Sounds painful, but still intrigues me. I think I saw some wire & bead candleholder thingies I'd like to try.)

  • Shawl

  • Stockinette stitch

  • Socks: top-down (my favorite way)

  • Socks: toe-up

  • Knitting with camel yarn (very fragile)

  • Mittens: Cuff-up

  • Mittens: Tip-down (I might try gloves starting with the fingers)

  • Hat

  • Knitting with silk (I'd like to make a silk shawl someday.)

  • Moebius band knitting (Need to buy the book.)

  • Participating in a KAL (However, the level of my participation is not exactly stellar.

  • Sweater

  • Drop stitch patterns (Hmmm, I don't think so.)

  • Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn (I did unravel a sweater a few years ago with the intention of reusing the yarn, but I never got around to knitting with it. Now I've got too much stash to make this worth the effort.)

  • Slip stitch patterns

  • Knitting with banana fiber yarn (Not sure. I guess I might do this just to say I tried it?)

  • Domino knitting (=modular knitting) (I've done some swatching, but this is definitely not my favorite technique.)

  • Twisted stitch patterns (love 'em)

  • Knitting with bamboo yarn

  • Two end knitting (Took a great twined knitting class and made a kid's mitten. Very cool technique.)

  • Charity knitting (Dulaan)

  • Knitting with soy yarn (I recently bought some Tofutsies though.)

  • Cardigan (I started one, but never finished it.)

  • Toy/doll clothing (doll socks)

  • Knitting with circular needles

  • Baby items

  • Knitting with your own handspun yarn (Only in the very distant future. I am currently trying to resist the urge to become a spinner.)

  • Slippers (Have a pattern waiting.)

  • Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street) (This wouldn't really work in my neighborhood.)

  • Continental knitting

  • Designing knitted garments

  • Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)

  • Lace patterns

  • Publishing a knitting book (I guess I shouldn't say "no", but it's very unlikely.)

  • Scarf

  • Teaching a child to knit (a whole street worth of little girls)

  • American/English knitting (as opposed to continental) (my preferred method)

  • Knitting to make money (Hmmm, not if it sucks the joy out of knitting.)

  • Buttonholes

  • Knitting with alpaca

  • Fair Isle knitting (I've done 2-color stranded colorwork, but not with traditional Fair Isle patterns with the shading of the foreground & background colors)

  • Norwegian knitting (I've done 2-color stranded colorwork, but not in a sweater and I've not done steeks.)

  • Dying with plant colours (Maybe, in the very distant future)

  • Knitting items for a wedding (sounds stressful)

  • Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)

  • Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars (I love using 2 circulars.)

  • Olympic knitting (I sucked at this. Never finished.)

  • Knitting with someone else's handspun yarn (Yes, thanks to Anne of knitspot)

  • Knitting with dpns

  • Holiday-related knitting (Mini mittens that I intended to use as ornaments, but never hung on the tree -- do those count? I keep saying that I'm going to knit Xmas stockings, but somehow I never get around to it.)

  • Teaching a male how to knit (I've taught 2 boys to knit. Does that count?)

  • Bobbles

  • Knitting for a living (not sure -- may kill the love)

  • Knitting with cotton

  • Knitting smocking
  • Dying yarn (again, distant future)

  • Steeks

  • Knitting art (hmm?)

  • Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously (Well, one person I know is very fond of knitting 2 socks at a time. She's even written a book about it, although on one circular. But I am far too apt to rip back in search of the elusive perfect fit, and ripping back 2 socks is just too painful.)

  • Fulling/felting

  • Knitting with wool

  • Textured knitting

  • Kitchener BO (love it)

  • Purses/bags (drawstring bags, no purses)

  • Knitting with beads (I've got a huge stash of seed beads. I should do this more.)

  • Swatching (enjoy it)

  • Long Tail CO

  • Entrelac

  • Knitting and purling backwards (I can knit backwards fairly smoothly, but I haven't gotten the hang of purling backwards yet.)

  • Machine knitting (maybe, distant future)

  • Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn

  • Stuffed toys (I made a stuffed seal. It was kind of a pain. Too much sewing for me.)

  • Knitting with cashmere (yes, and it's lovely)

  • Darning (not much fun)

  • Jewelry (a knitted bead bracelet)

  • Knitting with synthetic yarn (novelty scarves, and maybe a foofy tank top here or there)

  • Writing a pattern

  • Gloves

  • Intarsia (only a little bit)

  • Knitting with linen

  • Knitting for preemies

  • Tubular CO

  • Freeform knitting (hmmmm, I don't think freeform fits my oh-so-methodical style)

  • Short rows

  • Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers

  • Pillows

  • Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine (Jaywalkers, Wavy Scarf. Surprisingly, that may be all.)

  • Rug (Have the book. Have been meaning to make something.)

  • Knitting on a loom (not really interested)

  • Thrummed knitting

  • Knitting a gift (lots)

  • Knitting for pets (have no pets)

  • Shrug/bolero/poncho

  • Knitting with dog/cat hair (ummm, no)

  • Hair accessories (headbands)

  • Knitting in public (ALL THE TIME)

Holy crap, that was a long list! It will be interesting to review this list in a year and see if I can bold any of the non-bolded items by then. Which do you think would be the most likely or the most unlikely? Any guesses?


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Listen to this post as an mp3 file (for posts after 3/6/06)
Blog Avoidance

Wow, it's been exactly 5 months since my last post. How much do I suck? In case you are curious, I am not dead. Nor do I have any other good excuse for my shameful lack of blog posting. I have, however, been knitting. But I still haven't attempted to fix that shawl (is anyone really surprised?).

In an attempt to get back into the swing of blogging, I have updated my Gallery. I have listed every single stinking pair of socks that I have ever knit (cuz I'm anal like that, in case you haven't noticed). Anyhow, it contains several things I have never blogged about, so you may want to check it out.

Here are some teaser pics from the Gallery:

click for detailsChipman's Block Mittens

click for detailsCashmere Fingerless Gloves

click for detailsSilk Garden Ribbed Hat

click for detailsCascading Leaves Socks

click for detailsUgly Purple Sockotta Jaywalkers

click for detailsManly Greenish-Brown Trekking Socks

click for details6-ply Regia Socks

click for detailsCabled Bearfoot Socks

click for detailsAmerican Girl Doll Socks
(made from Trekking, of course)

click for detailsLacy American Girl Doll Socks

click for detailsSimply Lovely (or not so lovely) MISTAKE Lace Socks
(Trekking XXL again)

click for detailsCrazy-Patterned Opal Socks

click for detailsMore Trekking Socks
(Apparently I am addicted to Trekking XXL. It's like crack.)

click for detailsMother/Daughter Socks
(click for cute stuffed bunny picture)

click for detailsStrange Blue & White Opal Jaywalkers

Plus some oldies from several years ago:

click for detailsBrown & Natural Stranded Socks

click for detailsDK-weight Purple & Green Socks

click for detailsCrazy Furry Socks

And much more in the Sock Gallery.

Oh, and if you are looking for some entertaining blog reading, go check out my friend Rachel's new blog, Diary of a Mad, Mad Housewife. It is a wickedly funny look at the trials and tribulations of a slightly paranoid "Suburban Mommy". It's good stuff.