Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Jealousy and full-body-sock blanket

Before I get into how jealousy led to the FULL BODY SOCK , indulge my thrill at spring, which comes late here in the upper Midwest. Most daffodils and narcissuses are not yet in bloom; however I have some in a sheltered rock garden, and they have been blooming this week!!
In bloom in all the neighboring wooded areas are carpets of scilla. These small blue flowers are ephemerals. By the time the tulips are out, all trace of these scilla will be gone, leaves and all.

Now, to jealousy and the full body sock! Jennifer, of the Major Knitter blog asked readers to send her left over sock yarn. You know, those bits of balls that aren't big enough to really do something with. Well, she posted lots and lots of wonderful photos of the little balls of sock yarn that she received. I was jealous. I wanted leftover balls of sock yarn too. But what, I wondered, would one do with all those little balls of yarn? Well, it turns out that Jennifer, the generous and kind-hearted soul, knits little- little rectangles with what look like toothpicks. She glues these to note cards, sells the notecards, and uses the money for charity. She's a wonderful person.

Well, I didn't know her plans at the time. I stewed and stewed about what I could possibly do with those bits of sock yarn for MYSELF. Then it came to me--little bias squares!! I determined that 5" squares would be a good size; nearly all left over sock yarn is enough to make 5" squares.

Note that this is a LONG TERM project. I plan to make a 5" bias square of left over sock yarn as soon as I finish a pair of socks. I use size 1 or 2 needles. I cast on one stitch, increase one stitch at the beginning of each row until I have 24 garter rides. Then, I begin to decrease one stitch at the beginning of each row until I have only one stitch left. Pull yarn through loop.

Then, I must IMMEDIATELY sew the square to the assembled pieces. No waiting until I have the correct color contrast, etc. This is a spontaneous project.

Thus far, I have made about 16 squares from the leftovers in my stash. I must have made at least 50 pairs of socks over the past few years. Where did all the leftover yarn go??? Who knows, but here is what I have found and made thus far. The squares look a little "out of square". But, when they have neighbors, they will push into shape. Years from now, when I block the baby, all will be fine.

You can see that the self striping yarn is striking on the bias. Because not all of my socks have been made out of self striping yarn, I found that I needed to combine some of my left over skeins to make a triangle that will form a "center" with the tips of other squares.

Eventually, I hope to have a blanket that is 60" (12 squares) by 40" (8 squares). That is 96 squares!!!! Gee, I better start churning out socks to get my leftover yarn.

I plan to give this as a blanket to my 14 year old when she goes off to college. A reminder of seeing me knit and knit. (This is my yarn heathen daughter, who will positively NOT wear ANYTHING I make.)

Here are the RULES FOR THE FULL BODY SOCK blanket:

1. You can only use leftover sock yarn; no fair purchasing new yarn for artistic effect.
2. Use of other people's leftover sock yarn is ok.
3. You can use up your leftover sock yarn stash at the beginning, but afterwards, you can make squares only after you finish a pair of socks.
4. You MUST sew the square into the blanket as soon as you finish it. No fair hoarding squares for artistic effect.
5. Make squares on the bias. As big as your leftovers will permit. You may combine different leftover sock yarn.
6. Send me photos of your Full Body Sock blanket in progress!!

NORWEGiAN SINGERS. Last week two lovely Norwegian girls stayed with us for two nights. They are 14 years old and belong to a cathedral choir in Norway. My daughter sings with a regional youth choir and the two choirs got together for rehearsals and a concert. The Norwegian girls wore their national costumes, each different. Our girls wore a burgundy long concert dress. We loved the visit and hope that someday our girls can also go to Europe or Norway to sing.


betty said...

i love the leftover sock yarn blanket!!! :O i must begin mine right away! :)

by the way, Gail, I wanted to tell you about my trip to NY. i saw "cheaper by the dozen 2" on the flight, and you know what? the family vacations in wisconsin (by the lake winnetka) and one of the characters wants to live in Madison! i couldn't help but think of you all the time! :)

Anonymous said...

WOW - I love the way the sock yarn knits into squares. What a great idea! I'll be watching the progress....

Fiberjoy said...

What a great way to use left over sock yarn! I've been wondering what I could do with the small balls of wool.

Finish the baby jacket first since that's a smaller project which shouldn't take as long.

It's so hard to resist beginning a new project when there's new yarn begging to be used.

Lorette said...

That is a very cool idea! I might have to try that one myself. Though at the rate I finish socks, my blanket might be finished just about the time I check into the nursing home.

kmkat said...

Just found this post. I think I might just make me a sock yarn blankie, too, but I plan to break pretty much all your rules ;-) btw, I live near Milltown -- find THAT little hamlet in your Wisconsin map!