crochet as decluttering


About three years ago, I got the Knit that Shit idea, which was intended to focus on both stash reduction and WIP reduction (erm, okay, make that UFO reduction). There have been some successfully finished objects, and some permanent unravellings too, but overall progress has been made. 

One of the items to be finished was a Kaffe Fassett Red Diamonds jacket:

This is one of my favourite Fassett colour patterns, and I had a lot of fun picking through the stash, finding colours that would work. But: in three years, I never made it past what is shown in the photo. Although the knitting is quicker than someone who's not into intarsia might think, I found every time I had to add new colours I wound up pausing for a very long time, getting lost in all of the possibilities and worrying I would have patches which were too dark or too light. I also worried that I wouldn't get a lot of wear out of the finished item. For my own personal tastes, I'd be more likely to get wear out of either a very large, swingy coat in this sort of patterned fabric (such as Fassett himself makes in different colourways and patterns), or else as a shawl. The boxy jacket I'd started wasn't the best fit with my wardrobe.

Add to that the general decluttering drive I've been on and... I decided to throw out the half-piece I had done (sniff) and use another favourite Fassett idea — random stripes — to use up the project yarn in a hurry. I had a lot of different odd balls of reddish and blueish colours set aside. So I did a row of foundation single crochet until I thought I had a nice width for a blanket, then started working rows.

The results thus far are in the large top photo. The idea to use granite stitch came from Erika Knight's Simple Crochet book. The stripe height is determined simply by how large each ball of yarn is — a 100g/200m skein makes about fifteen rows. The only rule I'm sticking to is that the reddish and blueish yarns alternate.

Granite stitch is often compared to knitted fabric. I don't quite agree — the density is still about the same as for single crochet — but it is far more flexible and drapey than regular single crochet, and not as gappy as, say, granny shells or double crochet in general. It looks the same on both sides, and makes a great blanket fabric. Just as well, because the granny square afghan I made less than two years ago is already showing signs of serious wear (and has been mended once). So much for acrylic yarn lasting longer.