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the coziest memory: Kelly

The sock yarn scrap blanket goes by many names and those of us who are addicted to knitting these little squares can tell you it's not just a blanket, but a way of feeling connected to the wider knitting community. I've asked a handful of knitters (who also happen to be bloggers, podcasters, Etsy shopkeepers, and friends) to consider the Cozy Memories blanket.

Andi introduced herself to me very soon after I started the podcast. She has been so encouraging, and has even been kind enough to send me some of her wonderful yarns for my Cozy Memories blanket.

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Kelly (downhomepurl on Ravelry and Instagram) and I've been knitting since 2008. I'm self taught and learned to knit via YouTube and the [original] Stitch and Bitch book.
 
What inspired you to start the Cozy Memories/Sock Yarn Scrap Blanket?

I remember seeing Zephrbabe's Mitered Square Blanket on Ravelry and was just blown away at how gorgeous it was.
 
When did you first hear about the concept of the Cozy Memories Blanket?

I first heard it called the Cozy Memories Blanket on Molly's podcast A Homespun House.  Although my blanket didn't start out as a "Cozy Memories Blanket" it has sure evolved into one. 
 
How long have you been working on your blanket?

Since August 2012
 
What tools are you using to complete the blanket (size, needle brand, etc)?

I use 6 inch Knit Picks wood dpn's in size US 2.5 (3mm). I knit a 35 stitch square using the Shelly Kang pattern
 


How many squares have you knit?

Right now I have knit 551 squares. When I started my blanket I really had no plans as to how big I wanted it. I'm just going to keep knitting until I feel it's done. I'm guessing I'm about half way there.
 
Are there any colors you gravitate towards?

Blues!
 
Have you participated in any sock yarn swaps?

Yes, quite a few. Mini swaps are an absolutely great way to try out new yarns and dyers.
Most recently I've swapped with other knitters on Instagram. I also took part in one of the traveling sock yarn swaps hosted through the A Homespun House Podcast Group on Ravelry. However, most of my swapping has been through the MiniMall group on Ravelry. It's a wonderful group with a huge variety of swaps and de-stashes. 
 
Some of my favorite swaps have been the "swapless" inspiration swaps. In these type of swaps, you purchase a spot in the swap and post an inspiration picture (usually around a theme). The dyer for the swap will then dye up a one of a kind skein of yarn drawing inspiration from that picture and then minifies the skein. There are typically 18-20 spots open for these swaps so you'd end up getting 20 unique minis (check out the MiniMall group for a more detail explanation).

Have you discovered any new-to-you yarns this way?

Yes! Too many to mention but I think my favorite one would be Hedgehog Fibres

Would you say your blanket is made up mostly yarns you've knit up in other projects or yarn you've swapped with others? 

Swaps and purchased skeins. I just recently started knitting socks so when I started my blanket I had very little fingering weight yarn. I have about 20 full skeins that I've purchased specifically for my blanket and have knit several squares of each of these colors (and I also use these to swap). I have taken part in several swaps and my mini collection is huge.

Why do you think this idea of a Memory Blanket/Sock yarn blanket has caught on so well? 

Well, since it only takes a small amount of yarn per square it's a great way to use up as much of our precious yarn as possible. It reminds us of past projects, places we've visited, friends we've made while swapping yarn. It allows us to share our yarn and stories with other knitters. It really is a blanket full of cozy memories. 
 
Has this experience been important in your life?

In so many ways! It has brought me so much joy. It's given me a chance to try new yarn bases and different dyers. It has connected me with other knitters and allowed me to knit their memories and stories into my blanket.

What are some of your favorite yarns in the blanket (where are they from, colors, etc)

One of the main blue skeins I'm using throughout my blanket is from LadyBug Fiber Company in the Pool colorway. It is a stunning shade of aqua/turquoise. Another main skein is Gynx yarn in the Spirited Away colorway (red with splashes of yellows, greens, oranges, and purples). The color is just amazing. I recently added some squares left over from a project using Voolenvine Yarns MCN in the Marrakech Spice colorway (pinkish coral).

Some of my very favorite minis are Hedgehog Fibre in the Malice and Villain colorways, Three Irish Girls in the Hawkins Island colorway (green), and the Cosmic Colors Nebula swap minis from Bohemia Fibers.

Do you find knitting this blanket therapeutic? Has knitting ever helped you through and emotionally of physically challenging time in your life?

Absolutely! I have chronic daily headaches. Knitting these squares (and knitting in general) helps distract me from the pain. It's very peaceful and meditative.

Do you have any personal philosophies that inform your knitting?

Do what you love. I don't care that I'm spending so much time knitting hundreds of little squares. It's what I want to do. It's a project that I love and it makes me happy. I have loved every single stitch of this blanket. I already know that when I'm done with this blanket I'll start working on a second one. It's a project I never want to end.

if only i could crochet...

weekend favorites // comfy

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