June 3, 2018

New Horizons (and Gauges)

The Colossal Stash-Busting Blanket

It's alive! Since knitting is one of those aspects of my life I try to, more or less successfully, keep stress-free, it means I only blog about it if I feel like it. I have been alive and knitting with varying intensity, just not blogging!

One new area of knitting I've ventured into lately is larger gauges and needles. It used to be that needle sizes beyond 4 or 5 mm made me uncomfortable, and about 75% of my stash is fingering weight or finer. Knitting at a larger gauge is actually physically more demanding, but I'm starting to get used to it. Instead of buying a bunch of heavier weight yarn I'm knitting with two or more strands of finer yarn held together, which, as it turns out, is a wonderful way to use up your stash. As a result, I'm now obsessed with using up years-old bits of stash, and I take great pleasure in labelling pieces of stash as "all used up" on Ravelry. I think that, so far this year, I've actually knitted more yarn than I've bought. Which does not necessarily mean that my stash is still anywhere near reasonably-sized.

Pictured above is my Colossal Stash-Busting Blanket, being knit with 6 mm needles and three or four strands of yarn held together. I'm only about 50% done, but it already weighs 1.2 kg and has eaten up about 5 km of yarn. The project is based on Stephen West's free Garter Squish pattern, which I've modified for a slightly smaller gauge, about 15 stitches of garter stitch in 10 cm (because 10 mm needles would have been too big a leap). I cast on 220 stitches to compensate for the gauge change, but I think it's turning a bit wider than it needs to. I'm planning to knit until it's about 2 meters long. Halfway in it's already so big that placement is a consideration while knitting. If I hadn't been knitting it during one of the warmest Mays in Finnish history, it would have been great at keeping me warm. Mostly I keep it next to myself while knitting on the couch, and it takes up the space equal to a small person. It's definitely not the go-to project for when you need something pleasantly portable!

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