Category Archives: Stash-busting

What to do with left over yarn

Isla inspired phone cosy

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That floral motif from the Isla cloche which I wrote about a couple of posts ago… Y’know, I liked it so much that when I was asked by my cousin to make her a phone cosy for Xmas, I decided to whittle out the motif from the hat pattern and incorporate it accordingly. I’m only writing about it now, over a month later, because we finally met to exchange gifts on Friday. My cuz does sometimes read this blog and, of course, I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. She beamed with delight when she ripped open the wrapping paper.

I used the leftover yarn (Malabrigo Rios) from the Isla cloche I made for a friend, and I chose a moss stitch for the base of the cosy to represent the crumb structure of a good soil that the flower might be growing in. The reverse side of the cosy is in plain knit stitch. I decided against an envelope flap and button like on my phone sock. Instead I opted for ribbing using a smaller needle, and thought the result was much better.

In return, cuz gave me a stitch dictionary for knitting in the round. Just right for plotting designs for socks. I’ve got several ideas brewing and don’t know which one to go for first, like a kid in a sweetshop. (I usually went for rhubarb and custard in the end. Wonder what that suggests about my sock knitting future..)

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Roses in a concrete jungle

As my “work an octagon from the centre using some detail of interest” submission for IDC Part 2, I chose to do the rosebud motif I found on Dearest Debi’s website

http://dearestdebi.com/crochet-flower-bud-granny-octagon

I decided to use grey as the background rather than white, partly as I wanted to do a spot of stash busting, but also because I thought of a theme: greening up the cityscape. My suggested project is to turn this into a “Roses in a Concrete Jungle” bedspread, interspersing the rosebud motif with plain grey octagons..

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Well, of course I’m going to think of something like that – I’m a gardener for a living and found my vocation through an interest in environmental conservation and wildlife. As a city girl, I realised we can do a lot for biodiversity in an urban context through gardening. Clink.. is that the sound of a penny dropping..?

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Camera Cosy

There is something about cold weather which seems to affect phone and camera batteries – they drain quickly only to revive again when back in the warm. Or is it just my technology?

The reason for mentioning this is that I have a new camera, courtesy of Father Christmas, and it didn’t fit into my old camera case. For a while, I took it out to play in a mere wisp of a cover, to stop the screen getting scratched. One particularly frosty morning, the battery registered full before I went outside only to threaten “no charge” when I was taking photos. This has happened occasionally with phones too. So I decided to crochet a cosy for said camera, utilising a tranche of my ever-growing stash and one of the buttons that came free with a magazine a while back.

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Using Tunisian simple stitch, and an envelope style with asymmetrical flap, the whole thing was stitched up using dc as an outside seam. My camera hasn’t complained of  cold since, even when I took it out on the one day of settled snow here in north London.

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Half A Mermaid

My oldest friend (i.e. the friend I’ve known the longest, not my most elderly friend.. Big difference!) is expecting her first baby any day now, so I’ve been crocheting something for the new arrival. As she doesn’t want to know the gender of the baby in advance of the birth, I can’t make some of the cutest things as they are obviously girly.  Not that I want to go gender stereotyping..

I was trying to follow a pattern for an adorable mermaid tail ‘sleeping sack’… but got stuck.  That seems to be happening all the time these days – I’m not sure if I’ve just become really impatient with patterns of if they’re just badly written! Anyway, I tried experimenting my way out of the problem, but the tail still turned out too narrow, even after I changed hook size etc..  So I settled on making a blanket in a simple shell pattern, with pompoms at the corners, which worked out well.

100_7005I must say how much fun pompoms are!  I never used to like them, but then the massive ones became fashionable and I changed my mind..  I’ve recently discovered those pompom-makers which takes the tedium out of the process. Honestly, you can complete a pompom in a mere 5 minutes! The circles open out in halves, so no need to thread the yarn through a needle and poke it through the ever-diminishing hole in the  centre, like we did in primary school..

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Give it a go, I urge you!  They’re great stash busters. And, y’know, I’m thinking pompoms might make good Xmas decorations..

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Fantasy Garden

Am a bit stuck on projects for the IDC..  again!  But I won’t bore you with the details.  Instead, here is a fun project I’ve busied myself with..

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It’s  a contribution to a charity yarn-bomb project for The Grange Range, to brighten up a local doctor’s surgery.  There’s still time if anyone fancies joining in.  Head over to: thegrangerange.wordpress.com

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I was in one of my favourite shops, Lush, recently and spotted this postcard as I was paying for my soap..

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Wool Against Weapons is part of a peace campaign aimed at banning nuclear weapons.  The request is to contribute a 60cm x 100cm knitted or crocheted piece (peace!) in … PINK!  My least favourite colour. Funnily enough, I was chatting to the cashier about it and she happened to be a knitter.  She said although she loves the colour pink, she doesn’t like knitting with it!  We laughed about how bizarre that is..

The crocheted and knitted rectangles will be stitched together to create a seven mile long peace scarf, to extend between two Atomic Weapons Establishments: Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, unrolled and twined into place on 9th August 2014 (Nagasaki Day)  For more info about the event and how to get involved, visit: www.woolagainstweapons.co.uk

Here is my rectangle in progress:

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The suggested number of crochet stitches required to reach the right width is 75, but I found I needed 90!  Something I learned doing the IDC is that the taller stitches spread more than the lowly dc – obvious now I know, but I never observed it before it was pointed out.  So one of the reasons for needing more stitches was the type of stitch I’m using.  I’ve chosen something basic in order to  finish up quickly and without hassle(!) I prefer texture to colour work so I’ve interspersed trebles into rows of dc, creating simple bobbles.

I won’t have enough pink yarn to complete a metre..  No doubt I’ll end up with more left-over pink.. Groan..

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June 8, 2014 · 2:53 pm

Leftovers: Part One

Alpaca yarn shop Toft is running a stash-busting competition which I’ve been tempted to enter.  Thing is, I don’t have any Toft yarn as it’s a bit pricey for my purse.  Consequently, I don’t have any Toft leftovers and so cannot enter the competition.  I toyed with the idea of getting hold of some but that’d be ridiculous, to buy yarn especially to have ‘leftovers’, so I decided against it!

Still…I’m taking on the challenge just for myself, using any yarn.  The limits were: fine – 20g:  dk – 30g:  aran – 40g:  chunky – 60g.

So far, my stash-busting has gone into making squares for a hotch-potch blanket, but now I will endeavour to be more inventive.  More on this as it develops…

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