Fiber Geekery: Patchwork Afghan (10% completed)

I learned how to knit several summers ago, when I took a class at the Yarn Barn and made a horrifically ugly yet functional felted bag (which was, of course, left in Germany at Dory’s house). I really got the hang of knitting in the round (start knitting and keep going) and decided that, when I needed a portable keep-my-hands-busy hobby last summer, that knitting hats for my in-laws’ myriad grandchildren would be just the thing.

Always when I get into a new fiber art, I get really ambitious, and start a huge project that I never ever finish. I was determined not to ruin my own fun by starting yet another huge project, but I also wanted to complete something more time-consuming than a 2-year-old’s hat.

I was inspired by a quilt that was left at my house long years past by a roommate who moved out and forgot to take everything with her. It’s a patchwork quilt, done mostly in strips, using all manner of leftover random fabric, as any good quilt does. [Photo forthcoming, when I get said quilt out of the car. It’s been traveling lately.]

What I had in my knitting basket was six different colorways of the same yarn I’d used on most of the kids’ hats last fall; a discontinued yarn, so I wouldn’t be able to simply go down to YB and get another couple skeins if I wanted more of X color for a project. I was stuck with remnants, and I hate to throw away anything; yet another legacy of my Depression-era grandparents, I’m sure.

Since, I reasoned, cloth scraps could be quilted, yarn scraps could be, too, so I started small, casting on 12 stitches, and knitted until the piece I had looked roughly square (turned out to be 16 rows). I changed colors at that interval, and this is what I have so far:

patchwork afghan

Strips of knitted fabric, much like sewing quilt squares together for a strip quilt. I found someone else’s project on ravelry, showing that she’d knitted similar rows together, so I’m planning on doing that as well — picking up stitches on the long edges, knitting one row each, and finishing with a three-needle bind-off (which I will have to learn how to do).

The confidence to strike out on my own in an art that I’m relatively unpracticed at is a fun little challenge, even though I’ve pretty much kept it really simple (I knit every row — no fancy stitches for me! Simple garter will do.)

I’ve also found that I want more colors than I have, and that quite a few users on ravelry are willing to either trade or sell the Classic Elite Flash prints and solids in their stashes (or even give away remnants of skeins) so that I’m not limited to red, orange, blue, green, pink and white.

In any case, this is the first present I’m making for the impending kiddo (a.k.a. Plus Sign, wiggle-wort), and I want it to be colorful and soft. The yarn I’m using is 100% cotton and has a nice hand, and with all the help from other ravelry users, it should put rainbows to shame.

[In case you’re so inclined, and a member yourself, you can watch this project as it progresses on my ravelry project page: Patchwork Afghan.]

[ETA: If you’re a knitter/crocheter and not on Ravelry, you can sign up if you want (it’s free). If you’re NOT a member, and not interested, then you’ll just have to wait for updates here.]

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6 thoughts on “Fiber Geekery: Patchwork Afghan (10% completed)

  1. Some years ago I knitted some strip afghans and dropped the end stitch on every row so I could use those loops to connect the strips. It was a nice easy finish and decorative too.

  2. Nice! I’ll have to try that next time. As it is, I should be able to pick up the stitches, or just weave them together with a tapestry needle, if the three-needle bind off proves too complicated.

  3. Funny thing is, with all the yarns I’ve gotten since starting this project, it’s going to be blue-heavy! I’m planning a sort of diagonal stripe with the oranges and reds, though, which should be a nice contrast to the blues in background and border.

    I’ve not quite started back up on this one, though. I did a few squares a night or two ago, but I’ve gotten in Two More Yarns since then, and I discovered yet another one I’ve sent for already.

    Seriously, I will be quitting with this whole “getting yarn” thing. Really. I promise. Soon.

  4. Pingback: Also: I am a knitting fool. « The Geek Side

  5. Pingback: Fiber Geekery: It’s all a work-in-progress « The Geek Side

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