Hand-Spun, Hand-Knit, & ReadyMade

16 Feb

If you’re not already familiar with ReadyMade magazine, it’s a great print and online publication featuring DIY projects, recipes, and resources. Most of what they feature in their crafts department is geared toward the novice crafter, but the designs are often simply brilliant.

This was absolutely the case with the baby afghan featured on the cover of the October/November issue. It’s a totally simple project – you knit strips in garter stitch in different colors and then sew them together. No fancy knitting, basic assembly, and everything depends on the colors you use and how you place them. This is my kind of project!

I wanted to make this project in a larger size for my living room. I had a bunch of practice yarn from the Qinghai spinners in bulky and super bulky weights in pinks, purples, and oranges. I dyed up coral, red, and wine, and started making batts.

Once the batts were spun up, I had a huge bag of yarn. I brought it along when I travelled to see family over the holidays, and came home with a finished afghan.

I had hoped that this would be a grab-and-go modular project, but it really didn’t work out that way after the first strip.

Since color placement is so important for this design, the color order for each strip builds on the one before. I found I constantly had to check the length of each individual color section against the part of the afghan I’d already assembled.

To bump up the color contrasts even further, I stitched the strips together with contrast yarn using big stitches.

The upside of the constant checking of color and segment length was that I needed to sit in one place and knit. Oh darn. My knitting life is so  hard.

Most of the knitting on this project was done while sitting by a roaring fire, often accompanied by a hot toddy, so it’s full of happy cozy memories.

I’m thrilled with how it looks in the living room, and it’s wonderfully heavy and warm.

The painting of the helicopter bird and his friends is by Portland, Oregon artist Brent Wear. His fantastic and fanciful paintings can be found here.