Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Recycled knits

I started a cabled sweater this weekend, then promptly set it aside due to injury. (Anyone notice a theme here?) On Sunday I lost an argument with a folding ladder. I didn't fall this time. My right hand got flattened in a way hands weren't meant to be squeezed. Being experienced in these things, I stomped a little, yelled a lot, and grumped around the barnyard until the pain receded a bit. I helped my husband set up the ladder and fix the barn roof, then found an ice bag. After a couple of hours, I was sure the injury wouldn't require a trip to the emergency room, but knew I'd be seeing some interesting colors on that skin this week. By evening I'd confirmed that the swelling definitely affected dexterity, and the sweater project was better left in the basket for now.

No way would I tolerate another long knitting drought though. So I pulled out a more forgiving project, a doormat from recycled baling twine. That's one thing I have plenty of around here, and if I run short on baling twine retrieved from the bales I feed my own livestock, my neighbors are more than willing to share their surplus. This doormat pattern isn't an original idea of mine. Mention of it was made about a year or so ago on an email list made up of farm women with a common interest in sustainable agriculture. (I know I'm not the only one who immediately walked out to the barn and started tying lengths of scrap baling twine together after reading that post.) I rolled my barn yarn around an old hydrogen peroxide bottle to make it more manageable, and debated how to begin. After a bit of experimenting, I settled on US 11 tips on my Denise Interchangeables, cast on 50 stitches, and plain old garter stitch.

It's ugly, but if it catches the mud at the back door during mud season, I'll be happy.

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Blogger Theresa N. said...

I'd love to see pictures when you finish your door mat. Hope you feel better soon.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Linda B. said...

Ouch! Sorry that you got an owee. But, what a woman. Keep on knitting..that's the best therapy for anything that ails you!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Oh, ouch, Laura! Like Theresa, I'd love to see the pictures of the doormat. What a clever idea!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Cindi Myers said...

Ouch, Laura! I hope your hand is better soon.
Your post brought back so many memories -- growing up on a goat dairy, we always had baling twine and used it for everything.
Which reminds me -- I have a huge ball of the stuff in the basement. My dad gave it to me on a visit once. It was a family joke that Dad always gave me stuff whenever I visited, but always practical stuff -- a case of canned vegetables, a giant box of laundry soap -- and one time this huge ball of baling twine. Now that he's gone, it's precious to me.
I'd love to know how your matt turns out -- and see pictures!

11:41 AM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

I hope your hand gets to feeling better quickly.

I love the idea of a mat made out of bailing twine. Much as I love making fancy, frilly shawls and cushy socks, there's something very appealing about making something as down to earth as a mat. There's a throw rug I'd like to make. You may have inspired me to actually do it.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

I'm so sorry about your hand, Laura! I hope the technicolor goes away quickly.

It looks as though you dyed your baling twine a fun color too--or is that just the fabulous lighting?

4:23 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Thanks everyone - the hand's still creepy looking but improving.

Nancy - That's the color of the heavier twine on the straw bales. My big round hay bales have a lighter weight yellow twine, and lots of it.

Cindi - A goat dairy! What a great place to grow up! I love my goats, but just have a couple retired milkers and the lead nanny's wild child now. So no chevre. Sigh.

5:32 PM  
Blogger the BookWyrm said...

I hate baling twine. With a passion. Maybe knitting with it would help that? Or maybe it would make me transfer my hate of baling twine to a hate for knitting. Hmm. That's not an acceptable option. Guess I won't be knitting with twine. If you run out, let me know - I could ship you enough for ten mats, I suspect. :)


6:36 PM  
Blogger Knitterary said...

How very clever! I hope that mat works out for you. Take care of that hand. You need it for more than knitting!

Theresa S.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Ah, I'm used to the pale yellow baling twine which never made sense to me. It seems stupid to make the twine the same color as the hay/straw because when you break the bale the twine gets mixed in with the straw, and, if you're me, you get your feet tangled up in it and fall flat. I like the bright orange stuff much better. It would have saved me a lot of bruises in my riding days.

4:12 PM  
Blogger AuntieAnn said...

Ow, the idea of knitting with baling twine makes MY hand hurt.

7:58 PM  

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