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Knitidote of the Day 2013-01-17

twig's picture

neck warmer

Hello. My name is twig and I'm a yarnaholic. So I'm experimenting with Knitidotes, to see if anyone else shares my addiction. If you do, you know that chronic yarn users end up with lots of leftovers, in the form of small balls of yarn. And you also know that most yarn is not cheap. So it's good to have some patterns handy that only require a little yarn or that combine a lot of small balls in one project.

The neck warmer above (click on the images to enlarge) was made from the tail end of an Ozark Handspun skein. Ozark Handspun is expensive -- worth every penny, but you don't want to waste it, either. So I used whatever was left -- maybe 15 yards or so (sorry, I didn't measure, but will next time) -- to make a simple "collar" type thing. The mismatched buttons go with the multi-colored, varying textures of the yarn, imo. You could also make a headband by simply sewing the ends of the finished strip together. I like simple projects like this that don't require a lot of charts and graphs and thinking.

Here's another thing you can make with leftovers -- a striped hat. Just use your favorite hat pattern, inserting a row or so of color whenever you feel like it.

hat

If you've got a box full of bits and pieces, you can make a wrap like this one:

wrap

I've made quite a few of these, mostly in color themes, like this one. There are dozens of wrap and shawl patterns online. This one is a good example, and here's another. Once you get the basic idea down, you can free-style and combine things like fabric strips, ribbon, lace and who knows what all. Or, with some simple math, you can create your own patterns, which is a lot more fun than it probably sounds like. I'm saving that topic for next week!

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote, Petidote, or Knitidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

You mean you don't understand what the first item is for, the one with the not-matching buttons? It's a thing you button around your neck to keep warm, instead of wearing a scarf. Scarves sometimes get in the way and can be an annoyance, but this nets the same effect (warmth) without the inconvenience. They're also fast and easy to make -- win win!!

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

knitting. Did learn the 'knit and purl' simple stitch over thirty years ago, and knitted a couple of simple things, but that's it.

OTOH, always wished that I'd seriously taken up knitting. Love the gorgeous colors you used in the neck warmer and buttons. Too bad this venue would not lend itself to actually instructing folks how to knit.

But, I do look forward to seeing your handiwork, twig. Thanks.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Check this out:

And there's lots more where that came from. Also, most yarn stores have people available who can show you the basics. It's NOT hard at all. And another nice thing -- aside from the fact that you can make something useful -- is that it's a lot like meditation, with the repetitive movements that engage some part of your brain but not the whole thing. Kind of like jogging for your hands.

It's also one of the activities that may prevent or delay Alzheimer's, which is nice, if true.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Yes, I have a friend, a scientist, who knits like that, with charts and patterns and spools of different colors, very precise and detailed work.

My brain doesn't work that way. A lot of the time, I don't even have a pattern and just make it up as I go along. There's a book that is going to be next week's Knitidote that explains how to get out of the "follow the pattern" mentality and just wing it -- a philosophy you can apply to many things in life, I've discovered! Plus, it's fun to envision something and then figure out how to create it.