In my SITM Contest #2 post I mentioned my favorite way to get rid of all of those leftover balls of yarn that we all have accumulated over the years when we finish a project.
I have two Rubbermaid 18 gallon storage bins that I keep empty for travel that are perfect for sorting the balls. I make one for solids and the other for variegated. This is where it gets fun. Do not sort down any further.
I like to make a very lacy and open work with this on size 8 (US) circular needles. I pick a number of stitches that is divisible by three (pattern stitch) plus 15 on each side for a strong border. I like to use a garter stitch border because it is a great contrast to the lace-like look of the body.
How do I start? I reach into the variegated bin (because I like the look of it in the border) and cast on the number of needed stitches. I also like to use a long-tail cast on too, but you can certainly use what ever cast on method is your favorite. I work the border in at least ten rows. I keep using the selected ball until it is almost gone and then I reach into the solids and select another ball and connect and keep going. NO PEEKING! The fun part about making this is the total element of surprise with each selection. I will concede that if you choose a two or three ply yarn after you have been using a four ply or thicker that you might want to peek and get another ball of matching ply so that the two are worked as one to "match" the last ply. This is the only time that I peek.
The pattern is a four row repeat.
Rows 1 and 3 - Purl all stitches (except borders)
Row 2 - Knit 1, Slip 1 as if to Knit, Knit 2, Pass Slipped Stitch Over the 2 knitted stitches and repeat until the last two and Knit 2 (work borders)
Row 4 - Knit 2, Slip 1 as if to Knit, Knit 2, Pass Slipped Stitch Over the 2 knitted stitches and repeat until the last stitch, Knit 1 (work borders)
You will end up with an afghan that tells an amazing story. I made one for a very dear friend that was recovering from breast cancer. She would not tell me her favorite color and I so wanted to make her something that she could use during her recovery. As I worked, each ball reminded me of the project that was created from it and I had great joy in making something with so many memories of my own wrapped up into a gift for someone else to make new memories with. No, it is not glamorous nor is it something that a designer would be apt to want to put his or her name on, but it is a quite unique way to use those leftovers for something very special.
I'll poke around on my digital camera files and see if I have a picture to post and perhaps you will see what I mean. I will also find the Hot Damn Afghan picture and post them together.