Diary of a Frugal Knitter (continued)

October 2018

Decided to knit blanket with spare and unravelled wool. Recorded progress here and was asked “How wide is 600 stitches?” Hurriedly took out tape measure and rather upset to find blanket was 3 metres wide. How ridiculous.

November 2018

Knitted several rows while pondering problem of blanket that is too wide. Wondered if it could be used as bedcover. Calculated required length approximately 250 centimetres. Chance of completing – nil.

December 2018

Blanket continued to grow slowly. Still undecided how to remedy width problem. Shut blanket in cupboard during Christmas festivities.

January 2019

Opened cupboard while searching for something else and surprised to find blanket therein. Took out and resolved to deal with size problem. Had brainwave and decided to cut blanket in half and join two pieces together in more sensible way. Unsure how this would be achieved but knitted one row with middle section in stocking stitch to mark steek.

February 2019

Skipped off to Australia, all thoughts of knitting abandoned.

March 2019

Picked up knitting needles again. Happy that bulk of knitting kept knees warm on cold evenings, particularly after recent basking in Australian sunshine. Slightly perplexed to reach section of stocking stitch. Remembered decision to steek just in time. Slow progress because it’s so wide.

April 2019

Very little unravelled wool and half-used balls of yarn left. Decided to stop knitting.

Googled “join two pieces linen stitch knitting together”. No results found. Tried inventive re-wording to no avail. Ravelry and Pinterest unable to help. Tried sewing together with Kitchener stitch but couldn’t fathom how to do it with two colours and Knit 1 Slip 1 stitch configuration. Attempted several variations. Unsuccessfully.

Knitted two more rows as end stitches had become raggedy where sewn and unpicked. Also gave a bit of thinking time.

Decided Three Needle Bind Off may be easier having read “… great time saver because you bind off and seam together with no sewing…” Searched vainly for instructions for Three Needle Bind Off in linen stitch. Worried (slightly) that method would make obvious seam on back of blanket but past caring. Had stab at TNBO, with no slipped stitches. Tried matching knitted stitches with slipped stitches. Undid and knitted two more rows as end stitches looking raggedy again.

Finally worked out that TNBO had to be knitted in same way as previous 56 centimetres of knitting. Doh! Decided seam on back not as obvious as envisaged and hoped that join on front will loosen up with good press.

Had forethought to run line of long stitches down length of blanket to mark middle section not marked by stocking stitch. Very unusual to plan ahead like this (see above). Started snipping down middle. Realised that embroidery scissors not suitable for job even though they were near and handy. Found pair of large dressmaking scissors that made light work of cutting.

Briefly considered leaving ends to unravel on their own but thought it more prudent to tie them off and make knotted fringe as on outer edges. Tedious job that may take many evenings to complete.

The end is in sight. Should be completed by time weather turns cooler in autumn.

Diary of a Frugal Knitter

January 2018

Decided that house move necessitates major evaluation of clothes. All hand knitted jumpers scrutinised. Any of unsuitable colour, fit or style set to one side despite the time invested in knitting them.

In fit of frugality,  decided to unpick all seams, unravel jumpers and reuse wool to make new jumpers. Got carried away and also unravelled small knitted blanket, made with wool unravelled from crocheted blanket and consequently slightly too small to be of use.


March 2018


Moved large quantity of unravelled wool to new home. No frugal knitting undertaken.


April 2018

Decided to tackle unravelled wool. Realised that wastage when dismantling jumpers meant insufficient wool to make new ones. Briefly considered making sleeveless pullovers to overcome wool shortage. Swiftly remembered that I do not need sleeveless pullovers.


wool dyed with crab apples

Missing knitted blanket so resolved to make replacement with unravelled wool and half used balls of wool from various knitting projects and previous foray into natural dyeing. Assessed wool and determined that colours and quantities unlikely to produce aesthetically pleasing pattern. Concluded that random patterning more feasible.

Determined that this blanket will not be too small so cast on 600 stitches. After knitting for two evenings with no discernible length achieved wondered if 600 stitches was too ambitious.

Enthusiasm waning.


May 2018

Knitting abandoned for the summer. Length of blanket 4 centimetres. Approximately 96 cms short of target.


September 2018

Found bag containing very short knitted blanket while looking for yarn to knit jumper for grandson’s teddy bear. Knitted jumper for bear and a few rows of blanket. Wondered if it could be scarf instead. More rows completed at very steady pace.


October 2018

Attacking blanket/scarf with enthusiasm. Easy to get into rhythm as very simple but progress slow.

knitted rug using leftover wool

Have decided to make this very long-term project and concentrate on warmth of blanket and eco friendly reuse of yarn rather than colour co-ordination. Also realise that have sometimes turned needles at end of row resulting in sections of back to front knitting but have convinced myself this adds interest to patterning as no chance of undoing any knitting to make correction. Hoping that increase in length will result in warm knees while knitting. Any thoughts of wrapping blanket around whole body are very distant.

Current length 27cms. Approximately 73cms short of target.

Instructions for Knitted Blanket with Knotted Fringe

How to knit a fringed blanket

  • Using circular knitting needle, cast on stitches required for project. I’m using 4mm needle with (mainly) DK wool to make a dense blanket, similar to a weave. 300 stitches will make a width of approximately 150 centimetres.
  • Row 1 – Knit 1, Yarn Forward Slip 1. Repeat across row. Cut off yarn.
  • Row 2 – Do not turn needles but take new strand of yarn and continue knitting as if in the round. Yarn Forward Slip 1, Knit 1. Repeat across row. Cut off yarn.
  • Repeat
  • Every six rows or so, depending on how you want the rug to look, knot the loose yarn at the end of the row to make a fringe.
  • Cast off when your blanket reaches the required length. Trim loose ends to even length.


the stitched journal project

Eager as I was to join the Stitched Journal project, I desperately needed a focus. It’s all very well using it to learn new stiches, but I wanted something to make the project cohesive. I thought a diary theme would work well with each piece reflecting the month, so I found some grey wool to represent a wet and overcast February and sat down with my Book of Stitches. To be truthful, it was a little depressing knitting with grey wool as the rain lashed down on the window and my mind wandered.

It occurred to me, as the wool slipped through my fingers transformed from a straight length into a knitted square of fabric, that there are many parallels between knitting and our farmed landscape. Rows of knitting rise and fall like furrowed fields while bobbles and textured patterns reflect the shapes of hedgerows. But if farming stops then the straight lines of cropped land revert to a tangled mass of scrub in the same way that a dropped ball of wool rolls away and knots into a jumbled mess. I yanked the dreary knitting from the needles, put away my grey wool and decided that my Stitched Journal project would be A Stitched Journal of the Farm.

horizontal lines on the farm

Where better to start than with horizontal lines. Farmers like straight lines. We sow seeds in straight lines, tramlines of bare earth stretch the length of the fields, our buildings are clad in wooden boards, corrugated tin or box profile cladding and wire is pulled taught between solid upright posts. Take a look across the fields and you’ll see horizontal bands of brown earth and green wheat crops that are interspersed with trees and hedges as the sky reaches down to meet them on the horizon.

landscape sketch

I sketched some ideas, searched for wool that might be something like the right colour and sat down to knit.

So, here is my Stitched Journal item for February. An Agricultural Landscape in Garter Slip Stitch*, with an extra horizontal blue band to represent all the rain that we’ve had this month. A brighter blue than the sky has been most of the month, but the closest I had in my basket of yarn “to be used up”.

slip garter stitch knitting

Agricultural Landscape

It isn’t perfect, but that wasn’t the point of the exercise. I’ve learnt that two colours in a row doesn’t mean I have to knit with two colours at once as slipping every other stitch introduces colour and a bit of texture. Garter Slip Stitch produces a firm fabric with little stretch so it would be good for pocket flaps and cuffs or (if you’re so inclined) for purses and dishcloths.

With luck March will bring a little more inspiration, perhaps of a sewing kind. I have ideas in my head, but recreating them may be a little more difficult.

Linking with Lola Nova for The Stitched Journal Project. Click the link to see all the other projects.

* Garter Slip Stitch

Cast on an odd number of stitches

1st Row Colour A: Knit
2nd Row Colour A: Knit
3rd Row Colour B: K1, *sl 1 purlwise, K1; repeat from * to end
4th Row Colour B: K1, *yf, sl 1 purlwise, yb, K1; repeat from * to end
5th Row Colour C: Knit
6th Row Colour C: Knit
7th Row Colour A: K2, *sl 1 purlwise, K1; repeat from * to last stitch, K1
8th Row Colour A: K2 *yf, sl 1 purlwise, yb, K1; repeat from * to last stitch, K1