chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I love hand-knitted sweaters, scarves and mittens. There’s just something so warm and comforting about bulky yarn. Maybe this feeling comes from the mittens my mother used to make for us when we were kids. Mom taught me how to knit mittens when I was young. I was never very good at it but it was very rewarding to take a skein of yarn and turn it into something that could be worn.

This brings me to my next challenge. From time to time (usually in January), I get the urge to knit. I seek out a pattern that seems fairly simple as my skills have not progressed much since I was a kid. My most recent efforts have been in the afghan direction. The picture above shows my latest afghan projects. The red yarn is chenille and it really did end up as an afghan. A very ugly one at that! As soon as it was finished, I tore it apart to destroy the evidence. I recently decided to use this yarn to make a scarf (pictured). It wasn’t too bad until I lost track of my pattern and created several holes across one row. This one will have to go as well!

I have six skeins of the brown yarn which is nicely variegated and bulky. I started afghan #1 with this yarn on straight knitting needles and it was way too cumbersome with 108 stitches across. I tore it apart. I restarted the pattern on some circular needles but they were too weird. I tore it apart. I started to think that there must be more to my problem than the materials and the pattern. I looked deep within my soul and decided that an afghan using six skeins of yarn and 108 stitches in one row is way too much of a commitment for me. Enter the scarf. A scarf is the perfect project for someone with commitment issues.

I found a basic scarf pattern from Martha Stewart and it was really quite manageable. I worked every evening this past week and voila: a scarf is born! I will call this project an afghan for my neck. As for the rest of the yarn, I saw an ad in the paper requesting donations of yarn for senior citizens. I think I’ll give them a call.

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