Last year my parents fulfilled a long standing ambition and went on a big trip, travelling through Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. My lovely mum being, well, my lovely mum, she decided that the best present she could bring back for me would be knitting yarn. She knows me rather well, you see…
The yarn in question was slubby, possibly hand spun, probably kettle dyed. The big, pillowy skein was a slubby bulky/super bulky weight in a gorgeous cobalt blue. I thanked Mum effusively for finding room in her suitcase for it and promised I would find something to make for it.
But then…aaargh, what to make?! My burgeoning design career being mainly based around a magazine that publishes accessories patterns, I’m pretty much okay for hats, scarves and snoods. I toyed with the idea of a sloppy sort of vest knitted on huge needles, designed to wear over skinny jeans in an off-the-shoulder 80s way. But I wasn’t sure quite how it would work out, or whether I’d have enough yarn (there was no yardage on the label). The Big Blue bundle of yarn sat there for month after month, admonishing me for not appreciating it as a great gift.
In the end I took to browsing Ravelry’s pattern pages, searching under ‘bulky’ and ‘superbulky’ weight projects. It was there I came across this by Heidi and Anna Pickles, for a really sweet yarn basket/container. I realised that the Big Blue project didn’t have to be a garment and that doing this would mean I could enjoy the colour that had been staring down from one of my craft shelves for months in a different way.
I decided to double up the yarn since the ‘thin’ of the ‘thick and thin’ texture was really quite thin, and used some unmarked needles from my collection that I believe are 12mm. As per the pattern, I then worked in garter stitch until I’d all but run out of yarn, reserving the last bit to sew the two ends together and then along another edge to form the base of the basket.
I haven’t even blocked this, just prodded it into shape and stuffed it out with balls of yarn, but it happily stands up, holding a project’s worth of yarn. You might notice that the yarn I currently have stuffed in there is my old favourite, Rowan Felted Tweed. This is waiting partly to fulfill a birthday promise to my big sister (whose birthday, by the way, is in February- eep!) and also because I’m preparing to launch my Make Do and Mend pattern as an independently published pattern. This will be just about in time for Jubilee shenanigans, so I’m planning a little celebratory bonus, currently under development and requiring the aforementioned Felted Tweed. More news on that very soon, I promise!