Apr 13, 2014

The Odd Ball

In some respects, I suppose I'm a bit of an odd ball.

The majority of knitters seem entranced with socks and shawls. I’m obsessed with afghans. Many knitters only make afghans during the cooler months. I knit them year round.  Most knitters love the challenge of testing their skills with the complex and intricate. I’m constantly seeking ways to take complicated things and make them simpler.

Which brings me to my current project. Yes, it’s another afghan. And yes, it features all my favorite qualities: Fast. Easy. Reversible. Strip construction. Completely from stash.

It’s still very much a work in progress, as you can see.

Knitting the stash into submission is an ongoing process, which explains why there's an entire category of posts dedicated to stashbusters. As work on that front progresses, however, other issues surface. The options grow more limited each time yarn leaves the stash, so finding desirable yarn in sufficient quantities and compatible colors, weights and fibers grows ever more challenging.

You’ve undoubtedly noticed one of my favorite afghan yarns is Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep: 80% cotton/20% wool). Because most of the full skeins have found their way into earlier projects, I’m now faced with a variety of odd balls and partial skeins that must give up their cozy homes in the stash cupboard and find new ones in knitted pieces.

The current afghan WIP has been designed around one specific odd ball: the teal. Trust me, the photo fails to capture this yarn's lovely color. It’s the perfect mix of blue and green with a touch of mallard.
It almost made it into the Breidan Lake project, but it shifted the color balance too radically. It almost made it into Twegen Berry, too, but there it tended to get lost in the mix. So, I’ve been working to develop a project that incorporates this yarn and showcases its rich color.

Realistically, it's difficult to predict the ultimate effect of a final knitted piece no matter how much we swatch and test and color match and measure and frog and reswatch. Sometimes the results far exceed our expectations. Sometimes they don't.

Nonetheless, I’m hopeful. Perhaps at last this odd ball yarn has found more than just a new home, it's found the right home.


  1. I am intrigued by your strip method of knitting an afghan. How do you piece the strips together or could you suggest a pattern that you like? I knit a large family size blanket in garter stitch and it is the most used blanket by the kiddos, so much so that they each want their own. I have some cotton fleece in my stash, but never occurred to me to use it for an afghan. I have even washed this yarn (and machine dried it with much success, although first with much apprehension). Thanks for sharing and putting some good ideas in my head. The colors you have so far are gorgeous. I have the same stashbusting going on with fabric....I can totally relate.

    1. Your family-sized blanket sounds wonderful, Laura.

      In response to your questions, I use a modified three-needle bind off to join the strips and so far, all the afghans featured on this blog were made using my own patterns and yarn from stash.

    2. Thank you Barbara, I will have to spend some time looking through your posts and researching that bind off. Thanks again!

    3. You're welcome, Laura. While I do use a modified three-needle bind off, two great sources for information on the basic technique are TechKnitter (online) and The Knitter's Handbook (by Nancy Wiseman).

  2. Enjoyed this post greatly, probably because I'm a bit of an odd ball, too!

  3. I'm a hat knitter, do I understand being an oddball. I love nothing more than casting on and casting off in one day! Afghan knitter I am not, haha.
    I love the colours you've chosen, teal has my heart :)

  4. I am all about stash busting these days. I can't even get excited about buying more yarn till I put some of what I have to good use. I am anxious to see how your project comes along.

  5. Lovely colors! I don't have the patience to knit an afgan myself, but I have one that was given to me one year for my birthday and I adore it :)

  6. I love afghans too!! But prefer to crochet them :)


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