Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blanket Squares

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While I am working on other things (the hand-pieced nine patch squares are still calling to me, and piling up very satisfactorily) I keep coming back to this. Sock yarn seems to come in two options—sedate and neutral colors, beige and charcoal and so on, the colors of ordinary men’s socks; and vivid hand-painted skeins in gorgeous colorways that sometimes verge on the lurid, and sometimes leap headfirst directly into the lurid.  I have a whole bunch of both, because sometimes a person needs an ordinary pair of regular-looking socks, and sometimes you want to let your yarn-loving flag fly.  And those hand-painted skeins are so beautiful, like watercolor paintings.  They cannot be resisted!  I know you know what I mean.

A lot of my sock yarn remnants are the leftovers of socks that have already worn out and are gone.  I made them so long ago, wore them for years, darned up the holes in them at least twice, and then threw them away, and still I have this little ball of the yarn left.  It’s too pretty not to save, which means that in the dozen or so years I have been knitting socks, it has accumulated.

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As you know, I am ever in search of ways to use up my leftovers, and also in search of a Big Project—this one is firmly both.  I am making a blanket out of sock yarn, and while I may have to supplement the pile of leftovers with more neutrals or more light value colors or whatever (poor me, sock yarn shopping!) I really think there’s no way this won’t use up the leftovers.  I can already tell there’s no way it won’t be a Big Project.  Big might not be the right word, actually.  Enormous Project?  Gargantuan? 

I choose two different yarns that look nice together.  I cast on 35 stitches on a US 4 needle, and work 35 garter ridges.  I throw in stripes as dictated by my whims.  I read a book, look out the window, look people in the eye, knitting all the while, and when there are 35 garter ridges, I bind off and start another. The pile of squares is growing, but the basket of yarn has not gotten any smaller yet.  It has to, eventually, start getting smaller.  It has to!  Right?