Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's A New Year!

You never know what the next five minutes will bring, let alone a whole year ahead, so why all the celebration and good wishes?  It's that age old desire to start fresh, have a clean slate, and sometimes we just need  a "do over".
So it's January 1, 2014 and once again we get a "do over".  Whether you choose to make brand new resolutions, new goals or seek out new opportunities do it with gusto and include a friend or two and just make it fun.  To enjoy what we do can make or break our resolve. 

That got me thinking about why fiber artists do what we do...frankly, most of us enjoy the creative outlet and the satisfaction a project gives us.  Some of us enjoy the process as much as the finished product, some treasure the end product more than the process.  Neither way of thinking is wrong, it's part of our personality. 

That brings me to my main question.  Is your yarn stash taking over your closet/your life?  Do you feel guilty seeing all that fiber in wait?   Stuff bogs me down.  Clutter makes me grumpy.  You have heard it said, "one man's trash is another man's treasure", so with that in mind I often take  inventory and find a home for those balls of yarn that I have grown weary of, or can't seem to find a project to my liking.

In 2008 our town was flooded and pretty much everything that was stored in our basement was lost.
That incident has changed my thinking.  At a time when so many had lost so much it was easy to give whatever "extras" we had, be it food, furniture or resources and energy.  I instantly lost any inclination to save things for later.  If someone else could use it, or enjoy it, "It" was out of my house.  And know what?  The freedom from stuff was a gift from that whole episode in my personal history.  No, I am not wishing a natural disaster  for anyone, but perhaps this will encourage you to take a new look at some of your old stuff and bless another with it. 

Back to the yarn stash ~ Our pattern called Use It Up might encourage you to dive into your closets, bags and drawers to find materials to knit a few of these scarves and purge the stuff you no longer want. 

It's our gift to you along with best wishes for a joyful New Year!

Use It Up Scarf  by Alisa Winsauer
Measurements:  approximately 44" by 3.5"
Materials:  4 different balls of Baby Twist by Alpaca with a Twist (DK weight):  Colors A and C will  be on one side, Colors B and D on the other side.
US size 6 (4mm) long circular needle (to provide enough room for all the stitches)
Gauge:  5.5 sts  = 1" in stockinette
Instructions:  In Color A, cast on 230 sts loosely - use either a larger needle or cable cast on, or both.

Row 1, 3 and 5:  Knit all stitches
Row 2 and 4:      Purl all stitches
Change to color B and repeat rows 1-5.
Change to color C and repeat rows 1-5
Change to color D and repeat rows 1-5
Repeat these 4 stripes of color stockinette 2 more times.
You should get 3 repeats of each color.  With the last color bind off loosely - use a size larger needle.
Work in tails and gently wash your scarf.  Lay the scarf "flat", you will want to shape the ridges so they remain crisp, and let the scarf dry.  Enjoy.
***Use it Up Scarf can be knitted with any yarn, but take into consideration the correct needle size and weight of yarn will determine the size of your finished project ~plan accordingly.
If substituting yarn: 440 yards***