So I've got this thing for finding ways to use up all my scraps of leftover yarns. Hell, they don't even have to be mine, they can be yours -- I take anything, I'm the kitchen sink of stash giveaways. Or maybe the garbage disposal.
Here's my Scraptastic #1 pullover I made with leftover skeins of yarn, it was a blast.
The thing about this pullover, though, was that it needed quite a bit of each yarn to make it through each section. I even ran out a few times and had to come up with creative combos to hide it. (That's when I realized how many scraps I really had, that I could replace with a completely different yarn in an identical shade.)
But after this sweater I realized I had a problem. Most of my scraps were getting very short. Some were not even more than a few feet!
My scrapbusting obsession became a pretty awesome Pinterest board, and I discovered this:
An oversized pullover with ribbed drop shoulders -- and key, seemingly random stops and starts of color. I dragged my 15 pound scrap basket to the living room, grabbed a random yarn end and cast-on some largish number of stitches on big needles.
This time I wasn't going to care about 1) yarn weight and 2) yarn length. When a yarn was done I'd just start with a new one. ETA because I've gotten some good questions: Sometimes I paired yarns or tripled them even. Sometimes I knit with one strand of laceweight and then one strand of extra chunky. By using US11 needles the gauge was loose enough to accommodate these differences.
What I was going to care about was matching the stripes. This meant STEEKS. You see, if you do a body in the round, when you stop for the armholes you won't be able to work on the whole body at the same time. If you have enough yarn, this isn't a problem, you just do one side and then mirror the stripes on the other.
But I couldn't predict how much yarn I needed. I needed to make sure everything was done at once. This meant that I was going to make a big old sack.
The "steeks" are just 5-7 extra stitches you knit in that is so that you have something to cut through later. Here are the extra steek stitches starting at the armhole -- after cutting they become the sleeve seams.
I slip-stitch crocheted both sides of the cutting area to secure the stitches...
... dug out the scissors...
...and then I slipped it on. Awesome, it worked!
So, how was I going to match the sleeves? Check this out.
I knit both sleeves at the same time in the round, with two steeks across from each other. When you cut, you have two of the exact same sleeve stripe pattern!
At this point you might notice some pretty big differences between my inspiration and how this was coming out. First, it's in stockinette, not reverse stockinette. That was just a mistake, I totally forgot! :-p Second, you'll see that my sleeves are quite skinny.
Well -- they didn't start that way. I went for huge, just like the picture, but man, it just did not look good. See the left sleeve and compare where I decided to cut off the excess on the right sleeve:
Heh heh. I think you'll agree it's an improvement.
This was one of the most fun sweaters I've ever made. I looked forward to coming home and digging into my basket! You can see how some yarns don't even last half a row... there is so much going on and the surface area is just so big to show it off.
See my Scraptastic 2 on Ravlery
I also wanted to tell all of you that I've really started posting a lot on Instagram, if you'd like to follow me there, I'd love to see what you are up to, crafting-wise and life-wise!