sock yarn blanket

March Modular Challenge

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As February draws to a close (I’m not even going to think about how quickly that whooshed by) we have been pondering what our next monthly challenge will be over in the Facebook group. As we are currently in the middle of a sock yarn mini swap, many of us are either rediscovering our long-term sock yarn blankets or have been inspired to start one.

So it seemed particularly appropriate for March to be our Modular Month. Specifically a month for us to set ourselves some challenges relating to a long term modular or scrap yarn project.

In line with our group style I’m not going to set out any hard and fast rules for participation but here are a few thoughts on how you could make the challenge work for you.

  1. Knit a square per day on your sock yarn blanket...and weave in the ends (the last bit is optional but your future self will thank you for it).

  2. See how many squares you can knit or crochet in 31 days. There are no prizes for this or knitting police checking up - but you do get to give your blanket a sizeable boost.

  3. Knit/crochet a stripe per day on a blanket/afghan/scarf.

  4. Work on a modular blanket or other project. Several group members are knitting the Vivid blanket pattern from Tin Can Knits which would be ideal for this.

  5. Unearth your long-term WIP out from where it is hibernating and just show it some love. You don’t need to set yourself a challenge other than to admire it and imagine how cool it will look when it is finished.

Sock yarn blanket patterns include, but are in no way limited to:

Sock Yarn blanket by Shelley Kang

 

Memory blanket by Georgie Hallam

Knitted patchwork recipe by Martine Ellis

However you chose to take part and whatever you chose to work on I do hope you have fun with this one. Please do share your progress on the Facebook group - I can’t wait to see how you get on. If you are sharing on Instagram please use the hashtag #modularmarch so we can all follow you.

 

In praise of the humble mitered square

Lets face it, after a few months (years) of knitting socks, you are going to have amassed a fairly hefty collective of leftover sock yarn. If I am knitting socks for me I normally expect to have about 30g of sock yarn left from a skein of 100g - sometimes a little less if the design features lots of yarn-eating cables.

And all those little 30g balls of yarn can soon add up.

For me, the tipping point came when I decided to reorganise my sock yarn stash and put all the leftovers together. When I realised that I had about 1.5kg of little sock yarn balls it was time to admit that a) I needed help and b) maybe I should make something with it all.

The next few weeks on the blog will therefore be devoted to ideas for using up that leftover sock yarn, starting with the epitome of thriftiness - the Sock Yarn Blanket.

If you have a few hours to spare just type in the words 'sock yarn blanket' into Google or Pinterest and prepare to be blown away by the creativity and colour you will find. One of the most popular patterns or recipes is a free pattern download: The Mitered Squares blanket by Shelley Kang. Endlessly adaptable and highly addictive, it's easy to see why there are so many versions of this on Ravelry and it's hard not to be drawn into their appeal. There is something very pleasing about how all the neat little decreases line up along the length of the blanket and bright hand-dyed yarn in garter stitch is always a real winner.

It is worth considering however that this is a large scale undertaking and because the squares are joined as you go, the project quickly becomes non-portable. Some clever knitters have got around this however by using the same principle to knit square panels of say 3x3 or 4x4 which can then be seamed together. Indeed, the very clever ScullyWully on Instagram took this principle and expanded it to create a series of monthly blocks - with the colours influenced by the seasons and the other projects she was working on at the time.

If large-scale commitment isn't your thing, you could always take this idea and adapt it to make cushion covers for example or smaller cot-sized baby blankets.

The only other caution I would issue, with my 'voice of experience' is to weave in the ends as you go - ask me how I know! With that caveat in place my only other advice is to go for it and have fun. If your enthusiasm wanes you can always curtail the project and make a cushion cover, or you can go the whole hog and make a king-sized bed masterpiece.