Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Accessories for Afghans 

When you share your office with another dedicated knitter and blog afficiendo, strange things can happen. Like on Thursday, I was sitting at my desk, creating a spreadsheet or some nonsense. Suddenly, Elaine, who had taken the day off, comes in, followed by Rabbitch. They were bearing a skein of gorgeous STR just for me. Surreal, but you don't see me complaining.

I've been listening to Stash and Burn a lot lately and was also taken by Liz of XRK's Single Skein September idea. Both of these sources, along with the cataloging of my stash in Ravelry, have brought me back to a place of trying to be conscientious about using the copious amounts of yarn in my possession.

At the same time that I was thinking about my own abundance of materials, I received a reminder about the most recent campaign from afghans for Afghans. My mission for the next few weeks became clear: use up some of those pesky single skeins to create some warm woolies for Afghan children.

I'm proud to say that I knit three new items and sent along a total of five for this campaign.

Fisherman's Rib Hat

Fisherman's Watchcap from Knitting with Balls
Cherry Tree Hill Possum Worsted in Black
Probably size 8 needles

I started this hat last December and finished it probably not too long after that initial post. It was originally intended to be for Cobra, but the yarn's fuzziness didn't fit his exacting standards. It does, however, create a soft and warm hat, so I hope its new recipient enjoys it. As I recall, knitting the Fisherman's Rib is a bit time consuming but really does create a warm, layered fabric.

Maltese Fisherman's Hat

Maltese Fisherman's Hat from EZ's Knitter's Almanac
Naturwolle Multicolor, Aquarell Colorway
Size 10 needles

This was a fun pattern with a cute result - I do think my improvised tassle really ups the adorableness cache. The first time I tried out this pattern, I was getting holes in the short trow section, so I changed them to a wrap and turn. Much better. The yarn is nice and thick and the colors blend beautifully. Since I was using a smaller yarn than was called for the in the pattern, mine turned out a bit small. I hope this is small enough for a child's head, not infant sized as it looked for a while.

Mitered Mittens

Mitered Mittens from EZ's Knitter's Almanac
Cherry Tree Hill Possum Worsted in Natural and Woolarina Worsted, Kool Aid dyed
Size 8 Needles

These annoyed me, mostly because I had to cast on three times before I got them right. Discounting that, the pattern is certainly a small slice of cleverness. I used the i-cord cast on, which is a bit tricky to do neatly but has a nice result. I also did the afterthought thumb trick, which is a little scary but turn out alright. The thumb placement wasn't great for my hands but hopefully it will work better for a child.

The Woolarina yarn is a bit of a relic - it's from the first Craft Bastards back in 2003! I think this is from the pre-Paula era and it's also dyed with Kool-Aid! It's not the softest yarn around, but the coziness of the Possum yarn cancels that out. I striped the two yarns because I thought I didn't have enough of either for a full pair, but I probably would have been fine. Oh well. At least the colors look nice together.

Dashing

Dashing from Knitty
My own Kool-Aid dyed yarn
size 8 needles

I wasn't sure how this duo-toned yarn would look knit up, but I have to say I'm quite pleased. The two tones add a nice depth and interest to the project, which I enjoy. It also helps make the color more gender-neutral (in my eyes, I don't know about color associations in Afghanistan). The yarn was also surprisingly soft (and smelled a bit of cherry flavoring).

I see this pattern becoming more popular in blogland, and I can understand why. It's simple, fun and create a very practical and appealing finished object. Also, I only had a small scrap of yarn left after finishing each one, which I love.

Also included in my package to a4A was a hat Melissa made and had me send along. While my personal contribution wasn't huge, I'm glad to say that my work along with that of my fellow knitters resulted in 81 cartons of items being sent to Afghanistan! Huzzah!

My happiness about this is slightly diminished when I look at the stubborn oddballs that I was hoping to use up, but are still haunting my stash.

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