Thursday, August 21, 2008

Odds 'n' Ends, Bits 'n' Pieces

Remnants. What does one do with them?

I was raised by a mother who had internalized that Great Depression slogan: "Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without!" From the time I could reach a light switch, I knew that you turned it off as you left the room. Aluminum foil was washed and reused as were zip lock bags. What one child outgrew, the next one wore. That's just the way life was.

Things can get interesting when my Mom and the Engineer are in the same house. He walks through the rooms, turning on all of the lights as he goes, turning none of them off. She follows behind, turning them off. He grumbles about walking into walls in the dark, she mutters about waste. Dad and I try to pretend we don't notice what's going on. Sometimes it's hard not to snicker.

Now that I've been knitting a while, I'm starting to accumulate remnants -- half a skein here, a few yards there. Mostly the left overs aren't enough to actually do anything with, but, since I buy yarn I like for the most part, they're pretty.

I don't want to throw them out. There's a corollary to Murphy's Law that states: "The day after any item is disposed of, it is needed." Anyone who's paid any attention to the way the world works knows that Murphy rules. Defy Murphy and it will surely come back to bite you on the butt.

So here I have a couple of yards of worsted wool from the Manly Man Scarf, a length of cotton left from the Thank You Dishcloths, and several yards of 70% kashmir/30%silk from Ember's Gossamer Scarf. I can't see any of these bits being useful for anything, nor can they work together, they're too disparate. But I can't throw them away.

Maybe I'll have to make Art with them. Ooh, Art. (Note the capitalized first letter, that means it's important.)

The nice thing about Art is the artist is pretty much expected to await his/her muse to come calling before starting to do Art.

That gives me a pretty good excuse to save all my odds 'n' ends, don't you think?


Iron Needles said...

My remnants take on two forms. The dishcloth cotton tailends are for Grandbebe girl to play with. She loves them. The other have been balled and a wooden souvenir bowl bought in Jackson Hole by Wonderful Guy. I believe he was thinking for something else, but oh well!

AlisonH said...

Two words: Kaffe Fassett. I have a coat I knitted out of 86 different skeins and shades of wool and mohair. I didn't need much yarn from some of those; just enough to add their little bit to the mix.

I very much believe that the handpainted yarns industry grew from both his inspiration and people wanting to play with color a la Kaffe without having to do quite so much work to get there.

Wunx~ said...

Such good ideas and educational too. Thanks Ladies.

Anonymous said...

Yarn remnants are also useful as stuffing for knit or sewn toys.

I save all my yarn snippets in a mason jar and put them outside in the spring. Birds love them as nest-building materials!