Out of the leftovers

I’ve been collecting a lot of fingering and sock yarns over the past couple of years. It’s probably about 2 pounds worth – all beautiful and lovely yarn, most of which, on its own, is not enough to complete a project.

So, over the past few months I’ve been examining different patterns to use up this yarn. There’s the sock yarn blanket, and the beekeeper’s quilt – aka, the hexipuff throw. But I really didn’t have the mojo to do something that big. One runner-up was Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Magic Cake Ruffle shawl – I still may make one!

Then I saw the Scrappy Bias Shawl,  which is a basic garter present shawl, with the idea of using up scraps, and I went through the big bag of scraps and got about 300 grams of scraps together, knowing I’d use somewhere between 170-200 grams. This is the pile:


Color choices

It’s mostly greens and blues, but I specifically included some other colors for pizzazz – yellows, gold, orange. When I took a color class at Stitches a couple of years ago, a couple of the lessons I learned were that the colors that catch your eye need to be in smaller proportion than the other colors – so I should use more of the mid-range colors than the hot or especially light or dark ones. The other tip was to put in a couple of very unexpected colors – colors that might not appear to go — and will add life to the scarf.

I also made the decision to use repetition along with the unexpected colors. I had a lot of the kelly-green color at the top, so I decided to use that more than once, along with some others, to give the shawl more coherence.

The blue stripe below shows an unexpected difference in the middle of the shawl, and the narrow stripes of orange give another pop.

Of what will we be makers?

When I was up at Zephyr Point, I did a message on knitting and ministry, and used the leftover pile as an example of how we often view folks in the congregation. But with a little help and seeing more deeply, things that seem useless and ready to throw away can actually turn into something beautiful:

There were audible gasps as I had been wearing the shawl, and took it off to show them how it had come about.

This is what makers do – we take ordinary things of the world, things that other people don’t see as valuable, and make them into a beautiful creation. It’s what God does too – people who think their life is over because of mistakes discover that a gracious God and communities who follow her find that out of the ashes, something new can happen.

This shawl I love because of how it came to be – it has a story. And these kinds of stories are worth sharing.

What stories does your knitting tell?

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Christmas in July (and August, and September…)

As long-term readers know, I am a pastor who is typically quite busy in the month of December, so I don’t try to pull a lot of last-minute gift knitting off – that way lies many tears and no sleep. Instead I begin thinking and planning my Christmas knitting in the summertime, when there is plenty of time and I’m not usually trying to get my own knitting done – especially this summer, in which the forecast as looked like this for the past four weeks:

Yes, that is about 6 weeks of weather that is constantly above 100 degrees. No, I do not like it. But this will probably be the last month I need to worry about (news next week on this!). On top of that, there’s the long-haired cat that doesn’t seem to get I’m not all that interested in her on top of me at this time of year:

That’s how I feel with her hot furry body on mine!

Planning time is going ok. I’ve got one project underway with stash knitting, and the yarn came for another one, and I went to the yarn store today for another knitting project, and bought yarn for one more. There’s a cowl, a shawl, and a pair of socks all ready to go, and a ponchette is kitted up if I get to that. That leaves a few projects yet to work out, but all will work itself out in the coming weeks (or not – that’s ok too). It feels good to have some projects ready to go, because I got to the point where I didn’t have much on the needles.

What is your knitting looking like at this time of year?

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Go Forth (and Fourth!)

Having finished all my knitting projects that are active, including some Knitted Knockers for a total of 23 that I need to submit:

Today was the day to figure out the 2nd half of my knitting year, just a start of course. I’m shawled out (for myself), and while there are a couple of repairs to do, I really needed to figure out something for me, and also it came to me – Christmas is coming. Yikes! Now, let’s be clear, I only knit for Christmas way ahead of time because I am a pastor and doing the last-minute knitting does not work for this lifestyle. The most recent Knitty just got published, and I have a couple of ideas from that.

First up will be the Scrappy Bias Shawl by Emily Clawson.

I have a very large bag of sock/fingerweight leftovers, so that this is a no-cost project. This is about 300 grams of yarn, plenty for the project.

Plus the pattern is free. Even though I need to switch colors, I think it can be a traveling knitting project.

The lovely Martina Behm has a free Ravelry pattern for a cowl that will work for a lovely warm and light cowl. Check out Wolkig in the First Fall Knitty issue. I’m going to use this yarn, which should have some drape with it:

Knitty also published a sweater pattern that is almost perfect for me, Wisteria, a cardigan with a shawl collar and set-in sleeves, along with some small cables for interest. Showing absolutely no self-control, I immediately bought some Miss Babs Yowza yarn for the project, and that will be my “big” project for the next while.

So, the second half of 2017 knitting has begun. In these hot days, what is holding your knitting interest?

Have a great fourth, everyone!

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