Right at the beginning of lock down, I sat down to knit socks on a Sunday but I could not settle to them. I wasn't enjoying the yarn I was knitting with but that wasn't the problem, I've knit through yarn I haven't liked before. I could have picked up another project or just cast on another pair of socks but my heart wasn't in the knitting!
I started some ‘busy work’… sorting through my pile of knitting magazines, cutting out the patterns I wanted to keep and recycling the rest. I mean, who really does that when they could be knitting! Then I started organising my knitting book shelf and my sock yarns … but there was a block… my yarn remnants … all those quarter balls of sock yarns, the ends of hats, the ends of sample balls … I knew it was time to do something about them!
I need colourways in all of these combos!
I got my 7mm needle tips (based on a 6mm being the starting size for chunky and I figured 4plyx* 3 would be chunky-ish), a long cable (150cm) and just cast on, holding the yarn triple. I worked out that I had plenty of golds and oranges and thought if I held them with a pale and with a dark, I’d get a relatively even look, or a faded look.
I cast on enough stitches to just cover the big circular needle I was using. 275 stitches as it turned out. I slipped the first stitch purl wise with the yarn at the back for every row to get a nice slipped edge.
I can never get enough of a slipped edge
I decided to just change a colour when I ran out of another. I did this by working until one of the three balls had about 5 inches of yarn left, I then got the next ball and joined that in so that I was knitting with 4 strands – the new yarn, the two yarns I was continuing with and the yarn I was about to run out of. I kept knitting all of the yarns together until I ran out of the fourth yarn and then continued with the new yarn in its place. This will mean that I can just clip off my ends rather than sew them in (I think …)!
Will they ever be sewn in?
For the last who-knows-how-many-weeks, every time I wanted to knit but can’t settle, I have continued knitting the blanket. I’m so glad I made it. I feit comforted by it. It’s helping clear out my stash and becoming something useful – this cold blooded creature always needs a blanket! My yarn drawer is definitely tidier. As I write this, I am just about to finish the cast-off.
If you fancy making your own, the following is a quick guide but if you need any help, pop over to the TLYC Facebook Group!
To make your own
- Gather all of your 4 ply yarn ends
- Work out how many stitches to cast on
- Using size 7mm needles, and the yarn held triple (three strands) cast on 20 stitches. (I used a loose cable cast-on)
- Knit (garter-stitch) until you have knit for two inches (No need to knit more as row gauge doesn’t matter, you just keep knitting)
- Measure how wide your piece of knitting is. Don’t do this too close to the cast on edge
- Work out how many stitches you have per inch/cm (Divide 20 stitches by width of your knitting)
- Decide how wide you want the blanket to be in inches/cm
- Multiple the width you want by the number of stitches you have per inch. This is your cast on number of stitches
- Cast on the number of stitches you have calculated
- Work in garter stitch until the blanket is the length you want, changing colours every time you run out of a single colour (change using the method described above). Slip the first stitch of each row purl wise with the yarn in back to get a nice slipped edge
- Cast-off (I’m using a modified version Jen’s surprisingly stretchy cast-off, the video is on the TLYC Facebook Page)
I’ll probably cast on another one to eat up all my other yarn ends but first I am going to have to get comfortable that it will have to be a lot less even! Perhaps if I make bags of each yarn weight and then pick one out every time I need one and have no control at all … I’ll let you know how that goes!
It weighs 3.2kg!
Stay safe x
Worried you won’t have enough yarn? Just make more socks ; ) Visit the sock shop here!
Care note: I am not going to block mine and will spot clean it. I can’t machine wash it as I know I have some non-superwash yarn in there. If you want to be able to machine wash it, use only machine washable yarns and wash your swatch to see how that goes. I am not sure how successful machine washing a multi-stranded project would be.
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