Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

As a knitter and generally enthusiastic though amateur ambi-crafter, you’d think I spend rather a lot of my time creating things. That is true, of course, even if a lot of the time the main thing that is created is an almighty mess. I knew I wanted to use something I had made as the topic for this post, but I spent an awful lot of the week wondering what would be most appropriate.

Somehow, it didn’t really feel right to use one of my more standard projects as a subject: how far does making something count as creation when all you have done is followed somebody else’s instructions? There had to be some element of independent thought, some drive to make the thing your own, or in some way unusual. The more I thought about it, the more I realised only one thing would do.

This is my version of the Traveler’s Life Afghan, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, AKA the Yarn Harlot. It’s a pretty simple project, generally made entirely from remnants: you work in garter stitch, changing your yarn every row or two, mixing weights and colours as you go. Somehow, the clashing colours and incongruous fibres blend together into a harmonious fabric, into which even the smallest scraps can be integrated. All those half-balls, leftovers, and flawed early attempts at hand-spun which you thought were destined to sit in your stash pile for the rest of eternity get woven together into a huge, multi-coloured blanket, bursting with interesting textures and knitterly memories. Because every knitter has a different history of work, and a different stash of remnants, no two blankets will ever be alike. It is a chance to make something unique, to create a useful object out of what would otherwise have gone to waste, and to create order out of chaos.

(There are extra points for spotting my early hand-spun yarn in there. Hint: it’s really, really ugly.)

9 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

  1. Lovely photo; my favourite part is the way that the needles almost blend in as they have the same sort of colour variation! I’m thinking about adapting this idea to make cushion covers out of all my scraps…

  2. Sian: KnitPro needles are just fabulous in every way! The blanket has, unfortunately, already broken one of my cables: it just couldn’t stand up to all that weight! I really think this is the way forward for scraps, and cushion covers would be lovely.

    Sam: I’m going to start calling mine Art Yarn instead of Yarn Cock-Up: it’s more inspirational!

  3. I need to look this pattern up. Unfortunately my spinning has never got past the “Art Yarn” stage, so I have lots of lumpy bumpy wool as well as lots of other bits and pieces to use up. In total agreement with you about the Knit Pro needles too.

    • My spinning, at its very best, has been charitably described as “over-plied”: clearly I have a long way to go! It’s a brilliant idea for a pattern, though, as it really does help you make something lovely out of things which would otherwise be destined to languish in your cupboard forever. As Sian says higher up, it would probably be easy to adapt for cushions too. Get thee to Ravelry!

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