Anyone else have a bunch of odds and ends you don’t know quite what to do with? Or is that just me? 😉 I mentioned in this post about wanting to make some scrappy Around the Square washcloths. I’ve used several different ways to make scrappy projects, but, I decided to make my own Scrappy Self-Striping yarn (also known as a Magic Ball ) using the Russian Join Method.
I started by rounding up a bunch of my cotton worsted weight odds and ends. I’m using cotton worsted weight, but you can use any weight you want….just make sure the fiber content is pretty similar (you know, don’t go mixing 100% acrylic with 100% wool, you’re going to get something a little funky when you wash the item….).
Decide how often you want the stripes to change. I took a commercial self-striping and measured to see how long until the color changes. The skein I had was 300 inches to the color change. I measured out lengths of yarn (in blues/greens) 300 inches and started joining them together. You can also do something a little more random if you prefer. It’s your yarn….do what you want! 😉
Since I was joining cotton yarn, I was a little afraid the joins might come apart. I added a tiny dot of a clear fabric glue on the ends of the join and let them dry a couple of hours before winding into a ball (here’s a good post about winding center pull balls). I’m not sure the glue was necessary, but I wanted to be sure. I’ve never had any trouble with wool or wool blends coming apart. EVER.
There you have it….no more excuses for yarn scraps! 😉
If you knit or crochet and you’ve never heard of the Russian Join, you are going to be blown away! This technique was life-changing for my knitting and crocheting! Just notice that you’re close to the end of the yarn you’re currently using and need to add a new skein? Get ready, here’s a great way to add that yarn!
Thread one end of your yarn (either the yarn that’s running out OR the new yarn) onto your darning needle. Run the needle up into the center of the yarn for several inches. Pull the needle through forming a loop in the yarn…..
Remove the needle. Thread the needle onto your other piece of yarn. Run the needle into the loop you just made in your first yarn, then into the center of your new yarn forming a second loop into your original loop (I used 2 different colors to illustrate this. The turquoise yarn is your first loop, the gray is your second loop).
Now you have 2 loops connected together…..
To tighten up the loops, pull the short ends of each yarn to snug the join. Trim the short ends close to the main yarn and there you have it your Russian Join!
Now you’re ready to knit or crochet on!
I started ANOTHER project. This adorable Star Blanket for my Grand-Nephew Miles. I’m a bad Grand-Aunt…..I never completed a baby blanket for Miles before he was born. And. It’s not because I didn’t start a blanket. I actually started 3 different blankets. This Baby Granny Stripes started out really cute, but I just lost my mo-jo on it and it got pushed aside…..
Then, there was a different version of the Star Blanket. Who knows why I didn’t finish it….
Apparently, I never even bothered setting up a project page for the third blanket I started…..and I can’t remember what the blanket was……I just know I started something I never finished! 😉
Now that miles is almost 2 years old (in June), I’m hoping to get a blanket done for him! First, I gave myself a deadline of June 1st to get this done before his birthday. Being that I’m a realist (and I know how INCREDIBLY busy I get at my work in May), I’ve got a back-up birthday gift for Miles in case I don’t meet the June 1st deadline. It’ll still make a good Christmas present! 😉
It’s DONE! YAY!!! AND. Before the baby has arrived! I didn’t make the April 1st deadline I assigned the project (this post ), but that’s okay. I should try to be more realistic when I assign deadlines. I always assume I can crochet whatever amount I figure I need to crochet per day to meet the deadline. What I forget to factor in is all the other things in my day (work, cleaning, cooking, feeding animals, sleep, to name a few…..) that limit that crochet time. Some days I feel lucky to get one row in! So, I’m not going to beat myself up for missing a date on the calendar!
How are your projects coming along? Are you a deadline setter?
I’m way beyond the boring part on this blanket….you know, that point when the newness of the project has DEFINITELY worn off and it’s all you can do to not start an new project (oh wait! I did start that Brioche Cowl).
When setting up the project page, I set April 1st as the deadline (since the baby is supposed to be born sometime in April). Well, that’s this coming Sunday! Yikes! Can I make it? I’m at 29 inches right now (I’m shooting for 36 inches). With 5 days to go, I would need to average 1.4 inches to get that last 7 inches. Theoretically, I think I can accomplish that! We shall see…..
How are you doing on your projects? Meeting any deadlines?
Making good progress on the Simple Ripple Baby Blanket. I was really hoping to find a self-striping yarn in the colors I’m using. Yeah….that didn’t happen! If you’re like me, weaving in ALL THOSE ENDS at the end of your project…..well, it just doesn’t make me happy!
I figured out a way to crochet in the ends as I go (wish I could figure out a way to do this with colorwork in knitting!). I’m going to show you the method I use as it works pretty good for me.
After you’ve added your new color of yarn, you’re going to place your crochet hook into the back loop of your previous (color) row and pull the tail of your new color through.
Continue along with this process until the tail is used up.
It will look something like this (sorry for the fuzzy photo!).
Now, just go back and crochet as you would with your new color. Since you’re crocheting through both loops, your stitches will cover that “woven in” tail. You can also do this if your crocheting in the front or back loops only, just crochet your tail into the loops that will be covered with your stitches. 😉
When you get to the end of the tail, pull it up a little and snip it off. When you release the pressure, the end will hide itself right into your (new color) stitches.
That’s it! Your end is now woven in and you can continue on with your crocheting! When you’re done with your project, you have ONE end to weave in! What could be better than that?!?!
First, let me start by saying…..I didn’t get NEARLY enough knitting/crochet time during the Ravellenics as I had hoped (Sorry Team VHOC , I hope I didn’t let you down!) I really only finished ONE project….my Chocolate and Pink Socks. Of course that finish was HUGE for me personally! See the Crochet ripple in the photo above? That’s my Temperature Blanket 2017. I had HOPED to finish this project. I did however add another 11 rows to this blanket, bringing it’s length to 60″. I actually thought about just finishing it off at that length and calling it good (remind me of this when I keep droning on about not getting this done!), but I want it to be 72″ in length (which is another 24-ish rows), so I’ll keep working on it. 😉
I also got quite a bit of length put onto my Harvest Cardigan. I’m to a point where I have no more neck increases and the buttonhole is in. Now, it’s just rows (and rows and rows and rows) of knit and purl until the length is reached. I CAN do this!
Even though I didn’t get everything completed, I certainly enjoyed watching the world come together to support the athletes in their pursuit of medals for their countries. Just like the Olympics, sometimes just doing your very best under the circumstances you’re given still makes you a winner! 🙂
What kind of progress did you make during the Ravellenics?