Scrappy Stripes

Leftover yarn scraps.  The yarny crafter's nemesis, or is it a gift?

You can rarely ever knit or crochet something up without having some yarn leftover can you?  In fact, it won't be too many projects down the road before you have quite a few bits and bobs left over, often in quite a few colours too.  Too much yardage to throw away but yet, not really enough in any one colour or weight to do much with either.  Awkward.

In theory it's simple.  It should be a gift.  It's extra yarn that we can make another project out of, for 'free' after all.  So we come up with projects to try and use our odds and ends up but somehow it doesn't always work out quite how we plan...  How often have you tried to make a project 'from stash' only to end up having to buy more yarn to finish, which then turns into yet more leftovers?  Yep, me too.

So this blanket was my attempt to answer that little problem.  I have quite a hefty bag of remnants left from my Colour Theory Blanket that I wanted to make use of so I came up with a cunning plan.  I decided that I'd keep things very simple and just work back and forth in rows of treble (US - dc) crochet using one colour until it ran out and then just switch to the next and so on.

Pretty cool plan huh?  Well it may sound good but I was a little dubious about how it would turn out.  Which is probably why this particular experiment was destined for the pupper's crate from the outset.  The idea was that not much thought would be given to colour selection and obviously the amount of each colour used was predetermined by the size of the leftover.

  I've mentioned before that I like my colours to go where I want them too go and so as well intended as this plan was it probably won't surprise you to know that I had to tinker with things a bit.  The hodge podge of yarns that tumbled out of the bag when I decided to get started weren't terribly inspiring.  There was a lot that I felt fell into the 'dirge' category and the pretty, appealing colours were fairly sparse.  On top of which, the yardage of the dirge far out weighed the yardage of the pretty.

I decided to plunge on regardless but it soon became clear that I would have eek my nice colours out a little and pepper them in amongst the less appetising offerings.  It was also fairly clear that due to the ample yardage of some of the colours, I'd have to step in and prune a little early rather than let nature take it's course.  Otherwise this wouldn't have been so much a blanket of stripes, more of a block of colour with a strange discoloured assortment at one end.  Not ideal.

So that's how it went.  A completely random and naturally occurring striping mish mash of a blanket, helped along by me to seem just 'random' and just 'natural' enough.

My plan from the start was to felt the blanket.  The yarn is 100% wool and as it's for the hound I knew I'd probably be washing it plenty and didn't want to worry about slinging it into the machine.  I thought it'd be a good plan to toughen it up against pin sharp teeth and I was just generally interested in how it would look felted and how much it would shrink too.

I just did a simple crab stitch edging, there was no point in doing anything fancy with the felting treatment coming up and anyway, I like how it looks.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out in the end.  The palette isn't obviously something I'd come up with given free rein but for it's intended use it's perfect and I'm happy with scrappy stripes effect.  I like the way the colours just end in the middle of a row and that's all part of it's charm.

Here's a picture of how it looks once it's been felted up.  It had been through the machine twice by this point.  The first trip had quite an effect but the second go through really made a big difference.  The stitches are all merged together and indistinct and the edging is smooth and muzzy.

It looks and feels exactly like a rug now, it's quite firm.  In fact I'm almost tempted to make another for that very purpose.  It would look good in the craft room I think.  Of course, I'd need more yarn....


Pattern:  None really, just the stitches mentioned and linked above
Yarn:  Cascade 220
Hook: 4.5mm (G/H USA)

Size before felting: 70 x 140 cm
Size after felting: 54 x 80 cm

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