Stash busting 6/15: Knitted Tam

Back once more to yarn!


This picture does nothing to show the subtly of the true color of this yarn…

I think I’m busting so much yarn because I’m currently working as a daily substitute. It’s easy to bring a knitting project for those time without students, but it’s much harder to bring along a dress that needs refashioning, or all my jewelry supplies…

But this buster is yet another pattern from One-Skein Wonders. It’s a seed stitch tam.005

I love the finished look of seed-stitch, but its sooo tedious! But worth it, as is proven by my perseverance. The yarn is a soft lovely mystery wool in blue with subtle forays into green. It was a present years and years ago when I had just started knitting, and the label has since been lost. Back then, I had only worked in acrylics and blends and found this yarn just too precious to actually use. But now, nearly 10 years later, it shines! Or rather softly is soft 🙂010

So that’s my stash, one skein lighter! (If I overlook the frightening amount of yarn I took in from a friend who was lightening her own stash…)


Stash Busting: Thing 2/15

A knife, yarn, sandpaper, and dowel rods: can you guess what these things were for?013

If you guessed “clutch purse”, then you must have ESPN or something. But that’s exactly what I made.020 Over the long weekend, I continued my plan of using existing materials instead of buying anything new. Just like with the cowl, I started in my yarn basket. I found at little bit of Alafosslopi Icelandic wool in two colors, but just a little of each. (I documented my use of the burgundy yarn here)007

I flipped through One-Skein Wonders (which is seriously one of my most used knitting books) and found the pattern for a “quick and classy cabled clutch”. Perfect! It was an easy knit, very quick, and the cables added just enough interest without being difficult. I love the finished result and it holds my keys, wallet, and cell phone perfectly. There’s even room for a lipstick, or perhaps some chocolates 😉016

But what of the knife and sandpaper? Well, the pattern called for handles, but I’m not buying new stuff, remember? So I took a dowel rod (don’t rightly remember why I had it…) and cut it to length, using an cheap old paring knife that was relegated to the junk drawer when fiance and I got a real knife set. It worked, but I may have dulled it down so much it’s now more of a letter opener. Oh well – we weren’t using at anyway. Then I simply sanded down the cut ends to smooth them and folded the lips of the purse around the dowels and stitched. The purse stays pretty well closed on its own, but I’m thinking of adding magnets or elastic to make it more secure.015

So that’s two projects down. I think for my next adventure in stash busting, I’ll look through my jewelry/beading supplies! Wish me luck 🙂

Stash Buster! thing 1/15

Hello everyone! Meet my little rhino friend, in his lovely new knitted cowl. 028

Hmm…perhaps it is a bit big for him.

I guess I’ll just have to wear it myself!

But I’m letting Mr. Rhino be my stash busting spirit animal. He’s so determined, and I am too. 027I’m am not allowing myself to buy new craft materials until I have used up at least fifteen things from my stash.

For today’s cowl, I found in the bottom of my yarn box a bit of Lion Brand Homespun, in what I think is Prairie. The label is long gone, as I used most of it to make a scarf for a friend literally years ago. There wasn’t a lot left, so I just cast on 15 stitches with size 10 needles and knit until I ran out. Turns out its the perfect length for a cowl, so I stitched the ends together and tada! First thing down!023

Splish-splash, Bath mat!

Despite March technically being the first month of spring, it’s still freezing here in PA. One of the coldest spots in my house is the tile floor right in front of my bathroom sink. I had a thin, worn out blue bathmat that wasn’t doing anything to keep the chill away. I also happened to have a stash of 3XL t-shirts left over from some event or other. I decided to do away with ol’ blue, and make myself a spankin’ new bathmat with the t-shirts!super-squisy awesome!If you want to knit up one of your own, read on!

Materials:Materials list

  1. Lots of t-shirts
    • I used 5 3XLs plus a small for the trim, but if I’d had more, I’d have used more and made my mat a bit bigger and neater
    • You want all your t-shirts to be of similar weight and stretch, or you’ll wind up with a really wonky mat
  2. Scissors and/or a rotary cutter
  3. size 13 knitting needles
    • gauge isn’t too important, so feel free to go up or down a few sizes as needed


  1. Cut your t-shirt all the way across just under the arms.Steps 1 and 2
  2. Make long horizontal cuts about every one inch down the shirt. Do NOT cut all the way across!
  3. Pick up the shirt and drape it around your arm so the uncut side rests on top. Cut diagonally up the uncut “spine,” as shown below:Making one long strip
  4. Repeat with each t-shirt.
  5. Once all your shirts are strips, join the ends with a knot or a few quick stitches and roll up into a ball for easy working.Knot or sew!
  6. Cast on about 30 stitches.
  7. Knit in garter stitch until your mat is as long as you want.Knit in garter stitch

Ta DA! Your new bathmat is super squishy and comfy and warm and absorbent. TA DA!!

Tips and suggestions:

  • If you run out of t-shirt yarn from the main part of the shirt, you can use the same cutting techniques on the sleeves, and then you can cut straight strips from what’s left between the sleeves.
  • Keep in mind that if your knots are bulky, or you have a lot of them (like, say, if you join a bunch of short strips), your bathmat will be thicker and wider.
    • I learned this the hard way. If you look at my mat, the right side is skinnier, because it’s made of the long pieces. When I switch to the short strips from the arms, it gets bulky and widens.See that narrow end on the right?
  • As you work, the t-shirt yarn will roll in on itself. Watch the way it folds and manipulate it to hide, or show, logos/print on the shirt

Baby’s A-Coming!

First off, not my baby! No babies for me! But a close friend of mine is due at the end of November! Now, she got a ton of cute things at her baby shower, but when little ones come along, I can’t help but romanticize about Anne Blythe, nee Shirley, who insisted on hand-sewing all of her first baby’s clothes. Now I know this a completely different era, but I love the idea of hand-made things as a sign of hands-on love, so I try to make at least one thing by hand for every expecting person I know! In this particular baby’s case, I made four things…

First up is a cozy little sweater!100_2497 I used Lion Brand homespun in peacock, and L.O.V.E. the result. I’ve used this pattern before; it’s from the book One-Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant. The other sweaters I’ve made using this pattern pattern have always turned out well, but I think this might be my new fav yarn for it! 100_2500The buttons are from a bag-o-buttons I bought at a flea market a few months back. One cool thing about this sweater is that it’s knit loosely enough that you don’t need to make button holes: the buttons just fit right through the stitches 🙂

Moving on, I crocheted an adorable set using patterns from a 2010 issue of Crochet Today.100_2512 The booties and the earflap hat are both from the magazine, and then I used the extra yarn to crochet a matching granny-square blanket.100_2513 Confession: I crocheted the whole hat, only to find it too big and ripped it all out. Guess I shouldn’t have skipped the gauge swatch…

100_2504I think all my creations turned out well, and I can’t wait for the little one to arrive and cozy up in them!