Loving the Leftovers

One of the sock yarn match-ups I did last year was to put all the marled yarn together. Some weeks back my art teacher wore a cute pair of fingerless mitts. They were simply a section of stocking stitch between two wide bands of rib, with a gap in the side for the thumb. I figured it wouldn’t be hard to whip some up on the machine.

My first attempt wasn’t successful, however. The rib was much tighter than the stocking stitch, making the middle section bulge. I did the stocking stitch section in the round which involved too much fiddly moving of stitches from back to front beds, casting on and kitchener stitching.

So I started again and just knit a long length of 2×2 rib. Once off the machine, I divided it in two, finished the ends with a stretchy sewn bind-off, then sewed up the sides. And because I did wide stripes, sewed in lots of ends.

I’d like to make more of these. But with smaller stripes, so I can carry the yarn up the sides an avoid all that sewing in of ends.

I’ve started a hand knitting leftovers project. Shock! Horror!

When I culled my leftovers stash last year I made two magic balls out of the leftovers. What’s a magic ball? Well, you gather leftover yarn in batches that make nice colour schemes. The yarn should be of similar weight, but you can double or triple thinner yarns to match the thickness of the rest. Then you cut the yarn into lengths of between 1 and 2 metres and knot it all together. I like to graduate through the colours, but you could also mix them up or do stripes of similar colours.

I knit some stocking stitch pillows yonks ago, hiding the ends inside. But my favourite magic ball project is the Magic Ball Scarf:

It’s colourful and loooong, and often attracts admiring comments.

The magic balls I created last year weren’t big enough to knit a whole scarf but I thought about alternating stripes with a plain yarn. Then the RSI came along and scuttled a lot of my plans. The balls were put aside since the knots and ends make it too difficult to knit on a knitting machine. Recently, however, my hands have been a lot better. I decided to try combining the magic balls much like in Noro Stripe Scarf. The more different the colour schemes are, the better it looks.

It’s slow going. I can only do a half hour or so a day, and only on days my hands aren’t already getting a work out with writing, drawing or another craft. But I like how it’s turning out, and watching the colours combining and changing is quite addictive.