Afghan panel, hemp mat, slippers, shrug


I finally finished one panel of my afghan. I’ve been using the purple loom, and I’ve discovered that making an afghan is a true test in endurance. My hat goes off to all you afghan-makers out there! This is one big project. I’m using Red Heart Super Saver (because it’s cheap), and I do a zig-zag wrap using the whole loom. The panel I finished is divided into five “squares” of thirty-three rows apiece (plus one row where the old color stops and the new color start). I alternated colors (blue, brown/multicolor, cream, multicolor/brown, blue). The next panel will probably be different colors (brown, cream, multicolor, cream, brown), and the final panel will probably be the same as the first. B says it should be five panels wide, but I think it’ll be mid-summer before it gets finished if I add two more.

Once my purple loom was free, I tried to knit a rug/mat out of this hemp twine I bought a few weeks back from a groovy bead shop. It smells like patchouli! I used a figure-eight wrap and it ended up a perfect square. Not quite a rug, not a placemat. What is it? My wrist hurt after knitting this, and my KK pick was bent, and I’ll send out a warning. Pick a thinner hemp if you plan on doing this. I think it would make a great outdoor welcome mat if the gauge was a little thinner, and I had twice as much. The double-knit end result from the purple loom is really cool.

My shrug. Oh, the poor thing! I stopped after I finished the main section. All I have left is the arms, but I just… don’t… like… it… There, I said it. It’s too green and hairy. I’m letting this sit for the time being because I may come up with another use for it, or I may decide I really, really want a green and hairy shrug after all. We’ll see.

Over the weekend, I made yet another pair of slippers for myself. Yes, this is the third pair I’ve made for myself, the fifth pair total. However, this time, I used the toe-up pattern that’s in the “files” section of the Knifty Knitter’s yahoo group. I used the blue loom and it was really easy. I like the toe-up slipper because there’s no seam at all in the toe area. It’s fun. You start off by creating the toe (the blue loom uses pegs 1-12) and then decreasing and then increasing. (It’s all in the pattern). Then, here’s the fun part, you pull those original stitches over to pegs 13-24. The toe looks like a flat circle at this point. Then you start the foot, and as you add row after row, you can see the toe emerge. Rowena also does a version of a toe-up sock, and she has pictures on her blog.

The first time I tried this, I was using a flat stitch, and I just couldn’t pull the stitches across to the other side, because the stitch was too tight. This time I used the regular e-wrap stitch, and it worked really well. I used Bernat’s Denimstyle yarn, which was okay for this project but not great. It’s part cotton and really doesn’t have any elasticity to it. It’d be great for a sweater or a scarf. Another first for me–I used two colors. Red (batik) for the toe/heel, and white (canvas) for the foot/ankle/cuff. I think they’re cute and super soft, and they’re the perfect thing to wear to bed if your feet are cold.

Next project: A bag. Yes, once more I’m going to try to make a bag.

4 Replies to “Afghan panel, hemp mat, slippers, shrug”

  1. I have used that method for small purses on the blue loom – knit 1/4 of the pegs long enough to pull over to the other side then stick the sides onto the side pegs.  I should really try that slipper, since my feet are always cold and I can find only one each of three pairs of slippers.

    Do you find it annoying when you spend a lot of time on a project only to decide, halfway or all the way through that you just don’t like it?  I did that with my last project.  I try to remember that they’re all learning experiences but sometimes I just can’t get past the waste of yarn – if I can’t manage to put it all out.  Maybe you can turn the body of the shrug into a pillow for the kitty.

    What pattern are you using for the bag?

  2. I think I’ve frogged half of my projects! But you can just reuse the yarn for something else. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

    I’m using this pattern for my bag:

    I’d like to have an actually bottom on it, though, like the one you describe, so I’m getting ready to experiment yet again. I’m also planning on using three strands of yarn with this: one of Lion Wool Ease Jiffy, one of a Red Heart acrylic, and one of a cotton blend metallic-looking orange. We’ll see how it goes!

  3. I was just looking at that pattern tonight, looking for a pattern for a large tote-type bag.  That yarn combo should make it sturdy.  Good luck!

  4. Saaski–I’ll write this up in detail soon, but I wish I would have used the XL yellow loom now that I have a bottom on it. It’s cute but only big enough for one or two books, or maybe just a pair of shoes… Without the bottom, green may be big enough. It’s so hard to tell until, like you said before, you’re about 1/2 way through!

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