Scrap Yarn Projects

Howdy, friends! I’m glad to have you back for another edition of the Knitting Daddy Blog. If you’re a first-time visitor, I hope you’ll be back for more, and enjoy reading some of the posts in the archives. This week, I’ll be talking about a couple of projects I’m currently working on with scrap yarn. Especially if you’ve got bits of sock yarn hanging around, you might enjoy them, too. Before jumping into that discussion, though, let’s take a look at the other things that have been going on in my knitting world this week.

Scrap Yarn Blanket

Scrap yarn blanket, in progress.

Website Meta Update (Patterns and Sponsors)

This week, I made a few updates to the website that I wanted to point out to you. I added two new pages that are accessible from the menu bar at the top of every page on the site. The first is the Patterns page. Especially since folks who aren’t necessarily familiar with Ravelry have been asking me about my preemie hat pattern, it’s a lot easier to say “go to KnittingDaddy.com and look for the ‘patterns’ link near the top” than it is to try to explain how to find it on Ravelry. Hopefully, I’ll be adding more patters to that page in the future. The second update the Sponsors page. Let me be clear about this. The Knitting Daddy blog and Knitting Daddy Designs is just one guy behind a computer with a  bunch of knitting needles and yarn. I don’t have any official sponsors. However, I do participate in several affiliate programs and use affiliate links on the blog whenever I remember to do so. Be aware that when you click a link to somewhere that allows you to buy something, there’s a possibility that I’ll be getting a commission from your sale. I don’t get paid to write specific content, so when you read an opinion here, trust that it’s my real opinion and that I’m not shilling for anyone. Anyway, if you’re looking to buy from Craftsy, Cooperative Press, or Amazon, I’d appreciate it if you went to those sites from a link on my blog first.

Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat Update

Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat

The Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat

I really wasn’t planning on talking about the Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat pattern again this week, but it’s been an exciting week for the pattern. I’ve been struggling a bit with how to be transparent and accountable with respect to the proceeds of the pattern sales making their way to Family Support of Central Carolina (FSNCC). I decided the best way to do that is to open a thread in the Knitting Daddy Designs Ravelry group where I can post updates every month, when I get my invoice from Ravelry and when I make the accompanying donation to FSNCC. I also created a Google Sheet with details and a summary about all the money related to this pattern. All proceeds from the pattern sales are going to FSNCC, and while the sales are modest, I’m also covering the Ravelry and PayPal fees out of my own pocket, too. So that means every dollar you spend on this pattern makes it to FSNCC. I’d love for the pattern to become so successful that I can no longer afford to cover the Ravelry and PayPal fees, but for now, I’m happy to cover them. Please feel free to inspect the data anytime you’re curious about how sales and donations are going.

The other super-exciting news about my pattern is that it received a wonderful review on the latest Twinset Designs podcast episode (Episode 57). I didn’t know that Jan and Ellen were going to be talking about it before the podcast went out. Before I got a chance to listen to it, I got a heads-up on Instagram about it being mentioned. When I listened, I was honored that Jan and Ellen gave it more than a mention — it got a full-on review. They had so many nice things to say about it, and I truly appreciate them recommending it to their listeners. I’m especially touched that they took a moment to mention the wonderful work FSNCC does providing support, education, and caring connections to those who have a child with special needs or those born prematurely. I’m not going to lie, fanboy that I am, I might have had a bit of a “squee!” moment when I heard their review. Thank you so much, Twinset!

Finally, a note on the pattern’s versatility. While the pattern is specifically written for preemie hats, you can easily modify it for newborn or even child sizes by simply using larger yarn and needles, without changing anything else about the pattern. I’ve seen people knitting it up in DK yarn instead of sock yarn, e.g., and it looks great. Check out the “projects” tab for inspiration.

This Week In Podcasts

It’s been a good week in podcasts, and I am completely caught up with my knitting podcasts! I’m still behind on CraftLit, but I’ve got some driving queued up over the next week that should afford me a few hours to devote to catching up there. This week, I’ve listened to episodes of Creative Yarn Entrepreneur (caught up on all back-episodes!), Curious Handmade, Down Cellar Studio, iMakeKnitting Pipeline, Knitmore Girls, NH Knits, Teaching Your Brain To Knit (caught up on all back-episodes!), Twinset Designs, and Yarn Thing with Marly Bird.

In Curious Handmade 73 (Welcome To Shawl Month), Helen talks about shawls. This was a great tie-in with the release of an update to her wildly popular Pebble Beach Shawlette pattern, which now has two new, larger, sizes. Helen also talks about her inspirations when designing shawls.

In Down Cellar Studio Episode 67 (Festivals Abound), Jen talks about festivals. She was recently at Maryland Sheep and Wool (I wish I was there, too) and shared some great stories about attending festivals. Also, when talking about her current knitting, she wondered about using the citric acid soak wash to set the dye in a pair of socks she’s currently knitting. That prompted me to snap a picture of the pair of my socks that pretty much convinced me to always do the citric acid soak wash on my socks from now on. It’s an easy process, and non-destructive. I recommend you do it every time. Better safe than sorry, and all that.

Fading Socks

The fading is most obvious in the dark color, but you can see it in the green and blue, too. The part that’s the most faded is the bottom of the foot, which obviously gets the most wear. But the leg doesn’t seem as vibrant as it did when I first knitted these socks, either.

In iMake Episode 77 (70 Years of Freedom), Martine talks about the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Guernsey after 5 long years of occupation by the German forces. It was a fascinating discussion, and I’m glad I caught it.

In Knitting Pipeline Episode 208 (Bronwyn and Sarah are Here!), Paula is joined by her friends Bronwyn and Sarah, which always makes for an enjoyable episode. Paula mentions that things are getting underway for the Maine retreat. They also talk about the Pebble Beach KAL that is happening in the KP group. I’ve entered the Pebble Beach I knitted for my mom last year, and am enjoying keeping up with all of the other objects folks are knitting (or have knit) for the KAL.

In Knitmore Girls Episode 332 (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Jasmin is getting her finishing mojo on (which is messing with her plans for Stash Dash) and Gigi is on a preemie hat roll. They also announce another winner in the #OperationSockDrawer contest. One of my favorite parts of the episode was their “Mother Knows Best” segment where they offered the advice to talk to strangers at festivals. We’re all at a festival because we love yarn, so we already have something in common. It’s not very natural for me to strike up a conversation with strangers, so it was a good reminder for me to look to make new friends at events like that.

In NH Knits Episode 19 (NH Sheep & Wool meet-up details), Claire talks about the meet-up planned at NH Sheep & Wool.

In Twinset Designs Episode 57 (Heaven Knows!), I’ve already gushed about the love Ellen and Jan had for my hat pattern. They talked about other stuff, too! Maryland Sheep and Wool came up again. TwinSet Summer Camp is shaping up. There were baby lambs. I was especially interested in the discussion about Outlast fiber, which is designed to have cooling characteristics when you need to be cool and warming characteristics when you need to be warm. I totally want to knit with it.

I caught two episodes of Yarn Thing with Marly Bird, one with Jessie at Home and one with Kirsten Kapur. As always with Yarn Thing, they were both informative and interesting interviews.

This Week On My Needles

Mostly, my needles this week have been working on the scrap yarn projects I’ll talk about it a little bit. But I’ve also made some progress on my Bacon Bootstrap Socks. I think I’m just a few days away from the toe decrease on the first sock, and I’m really excited about getting these on my feet.

Bacon Bootstrap Sock

I’m getting close to the toe on this sock. I’m excited.

Ravelry Project Page: Bacon Bootstrap Socks
Pattern: Bootstrap Socks by Lara Neel (it’s in the awesome Sock Architecture book)
Yarn Used: Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock Yarn in the Bacon colorway

Scrap Yarn Projects

I have been messing with my scrap sock yarn quite a bit lately. I think I just got in the mood for it while designing the Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat. I’ve got several partial skeins of sock yarn, and I’ve been just feeling like working on using some of them up. So for the past week or so, I’ve been doing a bit of knitting on two projects that are perfectly suited for scraps of sock yarn: the Beekeeper’s Quilt and the Knitted Patchwork Recipe.

I first heard about the Beekeeper’s Quilt a while ago and was very intrigued. It’s been on Ravelry for a bit, and a lot of knitters have heard about it before. It’s a blanket that is constructed with lots and lots of little hexagon-shaped stuffed pouches, called “hexipuffs.” I’m stuffing mine with fiberfill because I have a lot of that from my toy making. Knitting hexipuffis is kind of addicting. Apparently, a lot of knitters are able to complete a hexipuff in less than an hour. It takes me about an hour and a half. Two episodes of “The West Wing” on Netflix, to be precise. The hexipuff is knitted in the round, stuffed, and closed up at the top. After you knit a bunch of them (like hundreds), you can assemble them to create a blanket. You can also assemble it as you go if you like, but I like the idea of collecting oodles of hexipuffs and laying them out, swapping them around, and deciding exactly which ones you want next to each other.

Unstuffed Hexipuffs

These hexipuffs are awaiting their stuffing.

Hexipuffs!

A few stuffed hexipuffs, just hanging out on my laptop.

So far, I haven’t repeated any yarn with my hexipuff knitting, but I expect I’ll probably knit duplicate hexipuffs as I go on. Right now, I have 7 hexipuffs, and they really are fun to just squish. I’ve heard stories of folks who have set off to make a quilt, only to get into the knitting and reduce the size of their item down to a throw, then finally to a seat cushion. I’m in no rush to finish mine, and I’ve got the idea of doing it as a quilt. It’s the kind of project that I can easily pick up and put down at any time. I figure it’ll be years before I have all my hexipuff knitting completed, and I’m perfectly cool with that.

All My Hexipuffs

They’re not tied together yet, but this shows an idea of how the hexipuffs will fit together to make a blanket. Also, they are being attacked by dragonflies.

Ravelry Project Page: the beekeeper’s quilt
Pattern: the beekeeper’s quilt by tiny owl knits
Yarn Used: various scraps of sock yarn

The Knitted Patchwork Recipe is a recipe for making a mitered square blanket. I heard about this recently from Claire on the NH Knits podcast. This is another blanket pattern, with instructions on how to make mitered squares and attach them to each other to make a blanket. You can knit the squares individually and seam them all together at the end, or attach them as you go. I’m attaching them as I go, which is fun because I really don’t do a lot of planning on what square is going on next. I just take it as it comes. Attaching as I go also has the benefit of letting me see the blanket grow, which is encouraging.

What To Add Next?

I put this picture on Instagram, welcoming suggestions to which yarn I should add next. I followed the wise advice of the Internet for adding them.

Like the Beekeeper’s Quilt, I’m in no rush to finish this and I won’t be surprised if it also takes years to complete. A little bit here, a little bit there. I can easily add a square in less than an hour, and it makes for perfect knitting in the “in-between” times. I suspect that as the blanket grows, the project will become less portable, but it’s just the size of a small placemat at this point, so that’s not a problem yet.

Almost A Placemat

Right now, the Scrappy Sock Yarn Blanket is almost the size of a placemat.

Ravelry Project Page: Scrappy Sock Yarn Blanket
Pattern: Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis
Yarn Used: various scraps of sock yarn

Knitting both hexipuffs and mitered squares for the Beekeeper’s Quilt is somewhat addicting, and it’s very, very pleasurable knitting. It’s a perfect palette-cleanser for when you’re between projects, or if you want a break from your other knitting. One of the other great things about these projects is that they provide excellent opportunities for you to trade yarn with your friends! This is how I think I’m going to be able to have a wider variety of yarn in my projects. I’m not quite organized enough to sign up for any of the formal swaps I’ve seen on Ravelry, but I did recently informally swap a half-dozen balls with my friend Laura. As soon as my package from her arrived, I started knitting up squares and hexipuffs. It was really cool, and now it’ll be nice to be reminded of my friend as well as projects I’ve created when I look at these blankets.

Yarn Swap Yarn!

This is the yarn I received from my friend Laura in our little yarn swap. I turned it into mitered squares and hexipuffs.

Are you knitting any scrap yarn projects? Leave a comment on the blog, or in the Knitting Daddy Designs Ravelry group and share your experiences with scrap yarn projects. I’d love to see pictures of your blankets or other items. And if you’re not doing any scrap yarn knitting, go ahead and join us. It’s lots of fun.

Until next time, keep on knitting for the ones you love!

-greg

11 thoughts on “Scrap Yarn Projects

  1. Hi Greg! Not sure if we ever discussed swapping socks for hexipuffs or mitered blocks, but I do have an abundance of leftovers (I knit a lot of socks, as you know) and it would be fun to swap with you, if you have any leftovers … well, left over 🙂

    • Hi, Theresa! I would love to swap with you. Right now, I actually don’t have too much left over, but I might have enough for a swap. Lemme see what I can find in my stash and get back to you. Maybe I’ll bring some to Geeksboro on Monday.

  2. I was just contemplating knitting the preemie hat in a DK weight yarn and wondering if there was a way to figure out what the finished size will be (any Math formulas?) or if I’d just need to experiment. I have a new grand daughter born 3 weeks early, she’s such a tiny little thing. Happily only spent 3 days in NICU. If her head circumference is 12 3/4″ do I want to knit a hat with a smaller diameter than that so it will stay on? The small amount of sock yarn scraps I have aren’t very soft but I do have some nice DK. What are your thoughts?

    • Hi, Wendy! You can definitely use DK. Maybe increase your needle to a US 4, too. As far as sizing, you probably need to experiment a little. You do want the circumference of the hat to be a little smaller than the circumference of the head so it will stretch and fit, like you suspected. Not too much smaller, or it will be too tight. In your example, maybe 12 1/4″ would be good. When in doubt, for baby stuff, I go larger because I know if I make it too big, the baby will grow into it and be able to wear it longer. If you want to do the math, you need to make a swatch and measure how many stitches per inch you are knitting. Multiply that number by the desired circumference (12 1/4, e.g.). That number will be how many stitches to cast on. Look at the pattern for the size that uses the number closest to that for which size to knit.

      I’m pragmatic about it — I’ll err on knitting larger and if it’s too large, I’ll put it in the drawer to give in a few months while I knit a version in a smaller size.

      Congratulations on your granddaughter!

  3. I love visiting my yarn again! 🙂

    Have you ever read the book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? It’s a great book, one of my favorites, and it was the first place I ever heard of the occupation of Guernsey during the war. Check it out if you get a chance – the audiobook is great, too.

    • Hi, Margaret — thanks for the kind words about the scrap projects. I find my frequency with knitting squares and hexipuffs ebbs and flows. In the week prior to this post, I was knitting a square or hexipuff almost every day, sometimes more than one, e.g. But in the past week, I haven’t knitted any. I like them when I feel like I need a break from my other knitting, or if I’m itching to get the feeling of accomplishment for finishing something — they create tiny wins. I rarely knit one in isolation, though. If I knit one, it’s usually the start of a spurt, then I’ll take a break from knitting them again.

  4. Ooh, a chair cushion! That’s a great idea for a hexipuff project that won’t feel like it will drag on forever. 🙂 I also need to make placemats for the cats, but I think I should just sew those so they’re easier to throw in the washer. (I get so tired of finding bits of dried out cat food on the floor.)

    I am curious to know exactly how big your particular hexipuffs are coming out (measured against a ruler, edges and diameter). I know everyone knits to different gauges, so they come out slightly different sizes. Would you be opposed to hexipuffs that are knit from DK or sport weight yarns, or are you planning keeping to just fingering weight sock yarns? 🙂

    • Hi, Debbie — I think that’s how a lot of the chair cushions come to be. Knitters simply decrease the intended size of their project until their expectation matches what they’ve produced. 😉 I thought about stoping my mitered square blanket when it was a coaster, e.g. So far, I’m not concerned about it dragging on. But if I ever do, it’s nice to know that I can probably stop at any time and declare the object to be something that matches whatever size it is.

      I’ll try to get a ruler on my hexipuffs soon. As far as different weights, I don’t really care. Right now, I’ve only been doing fingering weight, but I’m not married to that. As long as I’ve got fingering weight to add, I’ll stick to it. But if a DK or sport weight fits fine, then it fits fine. I’m really, really, really trying to keep a no-pressure mindset for these projects. No deadline. No real yarn requirements. The only thing I’m sticking to so far is not repeating the yarn in the mitered square blanket. I fully intend to knit multiple hexipuffs from the same yarn, though. And, eventually, I’ll probably repeat in the mitered square blanket, too.

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