I like to knit. And I don't like to spend a lot of money on yarn. So I pick up random yarns at thrift stores, and a while ago I started buying big, ugly sweaters so that I could salvage the lovely fibers in them. It brings me a great sense of satisfaction to rip out the stitches in a horribly designed, huge sweater and give the yarn a higher purpose than haunting a rack at the local Salvation Army for decades to come.
So I had piles and piles of salvaged yarn sitting around, and lots of single skeins of varying colors, fibers and weights. I live in a fairly small space with two little girls and a packrat husband, so it was well past time to clear out my stash. I researched patterns online, and wanted to try something random, but not too random, similar to the idea behind the magpie scarf
posted on craftster by aliastriona_angerboda. I decided to use two strands of yarn held together on a long size 15 circular needle, with a "pattern" that allowed for enough randomness in colors while maintaining uniformity throughout the piece. I used certain yarns at regular intervals, while grabbing others blindly out of a bag, with the rule that I couldn't use any of the random yarns more than three times in a row. I wanted the afghan to be reversible so I did a very large basket weave stitch (27 stitches x 24 rows for each block) with a garter stitch border around the whole thing. Since I hate weaving in ends, I just left the ends of each row about 6 inches long and then tied them into a lovely irregular fringe that didn't need to be trimmed.
I started this project just after my second daughter was born. She turns two in a little over a week, and I just finished it a couple of days ago, to be sent home as a Christmas gift with my mother-in-law. I call it the Stashbuster because it used up a helluva lot of yarn. And it's super warm too!
So, without further ado, here are the pics...
(my walls are yellow and green, and I didn't use a flash, so the colors are a little bit warmer than in real life)
I love the way the "random" yarn choices still create distinct paths of color.
Detail of the basket weave squares.
Close-up of one of the squares.
Did I mention it's long?
Happy (and warm) mother-in-law, catalog shopping for seeds under her new afghan!
Thanks for looking!