Yarn Gone Bad

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I have always said that there is no such thing as bad yarn, just bad project matches. Unfortunately, that makes it hard to get rid of ugly yarns, but it has (on occasion) paid off with deep-sea stash dives unearthing unlikely (but perfect) yarns. My best success story is a pale pink cotton yarn that made a hideous crochet spiral scarf (I now realise that the pattern called for 4ply mohair, not DK cotton). It could have doubled as a pot scrubber and sat around my neck like a dead tentacle. This went on to be frogged and sent back into the stash (to think about what it had done) and eventually went on to make my favourite hearts and diamond shrug, which has now been washed to tatty and still worn. Good yarn. Bad pattern. Lesson learned.

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In a break from shawls (because I have started to chain knit them) and in an effort to tidy up the yarn pile, I decided to cast on a quick stash busting granny square blanket. So, time to tie on a safety line and delve deep in the stash. And sure enough, deep in the lower strata I found a bag of semi-forgotten yarn in just about the right quantity.

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This yarn is ok, but it was a gift from another knitter and in the balance of things not something I would have bought for myself. The colour is fine but I am all about the texture and it feels like old cotton wool/candy floss with an odd “crackle” feel to it. Yep, it is 80s acrylic at its finest, and with a slight mock-mohair halo. But never one to look gift yarn in the mouth, I accepted it but it quickly sunk deep into the stash with barely a ripple (a bit like the car/swamp moment in Psycho).

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Near it (perhaps for emotional support) was an equally texture-hideous yarn. Bought because I really cannot resist sparkly yarn that was 50% off and then (as the yarn fumes receded) slightly regretted it as I couldn’t imagine having it near my face and hair in the originally planned scarf. Static nightmare. Together, however, and in a blanket I spot a win.

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So the plan is to use the four different sparkle yarns to break up the wide stripes of the red. Time will tell if there is enough yarn for a full bed blanket but I can always do something clever on the boarder to make it wider.

LouBug

 

 

 

 

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Bath Mitt Frenzy

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It was always inevitable that ‘Finish-Up February’ would stutter to a halt with half term and ‘Crazy Cast-On March’ would begin early (although I am now on the sleeves of the big green jumper!). It is this time of year when my project bag collection, love of new needles and prolific stitch marker making suddenly pay off. It is unusual for me to focus on just one area of knitting (usually it is a scatter gun of casting on anything from blankets to egg cosies) but I am currently mad about knitting bath mitts.

Flannels annoy me. They either have to be bunched up in your palm or flap about while trying to soap up. Bath mitts are a genius item that allow a languid, relaxing bath moment to happen while also being practical and allow gentle soaping alongside much needed exfoliation.

I haven’t really made many bath related accessories before, but I have been aware that they are a big thing with our knitters across the pond. I have always been a bit reluctant to dismiss it as a knitting activity, as I appreciate that my sock knitting is regarded as mildly barmy by some knitters. However, the moment is now with me, fuelled by the fact that my favourite bath mitt has gone way beyond “well-loved” and is now firmly in the “not-even-for-dusters” camp.

The time has come, my friends, I have bought my last bath mitt!

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I like to approach things mildly logically and my first step was to get stocked up with some likely yarn. Luckily KnitWit was down at LouBug HQ this weekend and so we hit the shops. I think I have pretty much cleared out my local yarn shops of all of the likely varieties of cotton (I might have gone a bit mad, but it was rather pretty and I can always use it).

Second step is well underway; I have fired up the old sketchbook and I have been bouncing ideas around to see what I can see. The real joy of bath mitts is that one side is plan garter stitch (for exfoliation) but the other is a blank canvas of possibilities. The main thing stopping me at the moment is every time I am about to start knitting the main side I come up with a better idea!

The third step is still to come, the testing phase. Me (being me) I have carefully noted everything down and I fully plan to test, wash and check all the outcomes. I have no wish to make a bath mitt that leaves my arms an interesting shade of orange (even though I do come from Essex) or one that turns my whole wash blue.

Now, I am aware that my various obsessions have led to me making multiple versions of an item (just look at my project bag, stitch marker and sock collections). I am currently ignoring the fact that if I make one from each of the yarn types then I will have more bath mitts than a reasonable person needs. Factor in the fact that each ball should make about two and all I can say is “Be warned friends and family members, this Christmas is likely to have a bit of a gift theme…..”

LouBug

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