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

 

 

 

 

FREE PATTERN! CroKnit Shrug

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This shrug is a hybrid of two techniques, with the main back piece crocheted and the trim knitted. Oddly, many people hold “views” on combining these techniques (perhaps borne of snobbish attitudes towards whichever one they don’t do). But I say, let us fibre craft together!

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Like many hybrids, it takes advantage of the benefits given by both parents. The crochet grows very quickly and gives a relaxed airy panel and the knitted trim gives an elastic edge with good drape.

This works-up nice and quickly (the crochet panel can be done in an evening, but the knitting takes longer) and is a good stash buster.

Good for smartening up a sun dress, but watch out for comedy tan lines!

Free Pattern CroKnit shrug

For more free LouBugKnits patterns see our free pattern page.

Hearts Shrug Hug

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You might remember my mighty fine Liberty’s yarn shopping from earlier this year. Well, it has now fulfilled its yarn destiny and moved successfully from shop to stash to project to finished object.

Now to most of you this might sound like a reasonable and expected progression for all yarn, but believe me there are more than a few balls of yarn that have taken refuge in my stash and waiting like X Factor Wannabes. I do try my best to use things up (especially sock yarn) as I feel a bit guilty about spending money and then “wasting” it by not using the yarn.

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The shrug is made out of a Rowan Linen and cotton yarn, which I’ve not used before but I have been pleased with the stitch definition. I will drive myself crazy washing this (anyone any thoughts? It is definitely in the hand-wash pile at the moment), as I am not feeling brave enough to risk it on a wool cycle. It is based on a hearts shrug I made in pink and have loved to the point that it is more than a tad scruffy and I am pleased that the new one is just as lovely.

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I even took the sensible step of blocking it before adding the border. This took real will-power as I was on holiday when I finished the main panel and had to hide it from myself as I was itching to finish it.

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So here it is! I purposely made it one repeat wider and longer (to help it drape) and I am pleased that I judged the trim right and only had about 30 cm left over (it was a bit nerve wracking during that bind off!).

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I am also pleased as linen is supposed to get softer with age and it is already pretty scrummy! Well the new term beckons and I am pleased with my holiday output. I look forward to wearing my new gloves and scarf to brighten up the cold evenings ahead.

Anyone else got products waiting for the temperature to drop?

LouBug

Butterflies, Dinosaurs & Knitted Shrugs

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Well, I am now a year older and obviously much wiser. In a bid to show my maturity I decided that my birthday treat should be to go and see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum in London. As an added bonus they have currently got a living exhibition of tropical butterflies. It is a fantastic experience and immediately turned everyone in the room into a giddy five-year-old.

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The whole thing is in a specially sealed marquee and it is full of flowers and smells gorgeous. I had four real-life tropical butterflies land on me, and yes one of them did land squarely in the middle of my chest!

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Luckily I was wearing an appropriately themed top! From there it was on to see dinosaurs and cool sparkly gems and rocks. Of course, no knitter’s birthday is complete without a trip to a yarn shop. As I did Loop only a month ago, and I go to I-Knit reasonably regularly, I decided to go to Liberty’s instead (a good excuse to poke around Carnaby Street as well).

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I got myself some thoroughly lovely linen and cotton blend yarn (perfect for summer) and I have an eye on making a second “hearts and diamonds” shrug.

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The shrug was made a couple of summers ago and rapidly became my all-time favourite summer shrug. Extra brownie points came as it was made of yarn I reclaimed from a ill-considered scarf (the shop version I was trying to copy was made of kid silk haze type yarn, I made it from a cotton/Angora DK yarn *sigh, the foolishness of youth*). Incidentally, does anyone recognise the stitch pattern? I hand-copied it into my book, but I have no idea where it came from!

LouBug

Summer is here – Time for a Knitted Shrug!

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My plans for knitting two projects (a winter and a summer) to dare the sun to make an appearance have worked! The sun is shining, cold drinks have been served and my LouBugs basic mitre square cushions are well positioned (which The Cat took full advantage of when he finally woke up). Life is good!

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I have also now finished my new shrug, with a new personal best for speed. The main back piece is crocheted and the trim is knitted in rib, it follows the basic shrug construction of a large rectangle folded in half. I am very pleased with the quickness of this (about 3 evenings’ work) and I am already playing with it being a stash buster pattern, as it only took 100g of DK.

Yarn allowing, I might try a shell crochet edge that the rib then attaches to (to allow for extra frou-frou). Stripes are also a possibility, as it would do interesting things to the crochet panel.

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I will post a better picture of it (as the pillow doesn’t really do it justice) when I can find a willing model. Sadly Mr LouBug refused. I might even be able to do something artsy at work with the mannequins if they aren’t being used.

I am still stuck for a good name for this. “Airy shrug” is a reasonable description, but lacks punch. I am tempted by “Cro-knit shrug” to help cover its dual craft approach, but that kinda sounds a bit like Cro-magna and it is definitely evolved! Mr Loubug (helpful as ever) said that it looked like a fishnet, but “fish wife” isn’t a name anyone wants to wear!

Any ideas?

LouBug

4KCBWDAY4

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