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the coziest memory: my sister's knitter

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 a little about yourself!

Hello! My name is Andi, also known as My Sister’s Knitter around the Web. I knit and live in Arizona. I learned to knit over 20 years ago, but it didn’t click for some reason. Then about 15 years ago, I picked up a video on teaching kids to knit from the library and it all came together. Once I got the hang of knitting a friend and I signed up for a class at out LYS on how to knit socks. The love affair with knitting followed soon immediately after. 

What inspired you to start a Cozy Memories blanket?

This recent blanket I am working on was not my first experience with a scrappy blanket. In 2010 my little knitting group got together and agreed that we would all work on a Cozy Memories blanket.  That loving feeling didn’t last and I never made it past 25 squares. Then this last year the blanket came back with a vengeance and began appearing on podcasts, blogs, Instagram and Flickr- this ignited the flame to begin again. Once seeing all the beautiful blanket projects and tripping over my sock yarn scrap bin on too many times, I had to cast on. 

How long have you been working on your blanket?

I started on my current love in August of 2014.

What tools are you using?

My blanket uses the pattern from iMake, The Knitted Patchwork Recipe. Primarily I am knitting with my Knitter’s Pride Karbonz size 3 mm DPNs.  Stitch markers vary depending on my mood. Some days I want a basic ring and others a flower stitch marker. 

About how many squares have you knit so far?

At last count 165 squares. Undecided about how big the blanket is going to be, but hopefully huge!

What colors do you gravitate towards?

In the beginning I think I gravitated towards my favorite colors: pinks and grays. Now as the blanket grows and contains socks scraps from so many sock projects in varying colors I now seem to lean more towards the highly variegated shades of all colors. 

Have you participated in any sock yarn swaps?

I have recently begun swapping. Originally, I knew I had enough of my own scraps to make a blanket or two, and then thought how great it would be to ask for friends and members of the My Sister’s Knitter’s Ravelry group for donations as a way to include their projects and memories of their friendship in my blanket. If I noticed they were starting their own blankets I offered up my scraps. The thought of swapping sounded even more fun because I wanted to share some of my favorite yarns with others as well. I have also been known to stalk admire people’s blankets in progress and offer up some scraps as a way of showing my appreciation for their blanket without swapping.  In another case I have a friend who didn’t have much in the way of scraps and wanted to knit a blanket, so I sent her loads to start her on her way. 

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

Heck yes! I have to say probably the best part of swapping is the chance to try new to me yarns or yarns that I have been ogling but haven’t had the chance to work with. My wish list and favorites list has increased threefold. 

Have you kept in touch with any of the knitters you've swapped with?

Another perk of swapping has been the connections and friendships I have made. I had put a call out on my blog asking if anyone would be interested in swapping scraps with me. Two new to me people in particular agreed to swap and now I not only exchanged scraps, but have begun following their other projects and sharing our loves for all things yarn via Ravelry PMs!

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

Without a doubt my blanket is made up squares primarily from swapping and donations.  I would say 95% of it is love from others. 

What are some of your favorite yarns from your blanket? 

From my own personal stash I have favorite dyers like Wooly Wonka Fibers in every color imaginable some that I have knit with and some that the dyer donated for my blanket. Spinning Fates is top on my list for favorite self-striping yarns; her colorway Mike and Sully (Monsters Inc.) in blue and green makes me smile every time I look at the square.  Gnome Acres in colorways Hermione Granger (pinks/whites) and Ginny Weasley (Ginger and off white) are highly coveted for one because I love the Harry Potter books and another the pretty colors. These are only a very few because I could easily tell you why each and every yarn is a favorite. 

Please tell us a story behind on of your favorite squares!

Ah, that is a tough one. Usually when working on a square that one is my current favorite. Also, the perk of receiving sock yarn scraps is that it makes you think of the person who shared it with you.  I have scrap yarn that was donated from friends that are yarn dyers who gifted me their brand.  Then on the other hand I have a beautiful square from my friend Jesse that was a result of her experimentation in dyeing and knowing that makes it special.  

Why do you think the Cozy Memories blanket has caught on so well?

The increased amount of sock knitting addicts and the amount of beautifully hand dyed sock yarns that are available has certainly led to this latest craze. Being able to see other’s progress through video podcasts and fantastically staged photos has for sure nabbed me personally. As mentioned I had cast on one many years ago, but had no desire to continue. Being inspired by other people’s blankets I think has helped us all keep the love going and wanting to knit more on our own, swap and share therefore keeping the momentum of this craze going. 

Has the experience of knitting this blanket been important in your life?

Yes! As I mentioned the connections I have made with knitters through the exchange has been brilliant.  I started the blanket during a time in my life when my career was shaky and my health so-so. Being able to knit during times of stress, happiness and trying times has made this blanket more than knitting. In a way it has served as a sort of security blanket that is not only about the finished blanket, but rather the process of its creation. 

Do you have any personal philosophies that inform your knitting?

Maybe in reference to knitting one these blankets try not to worry so much about matching colors or the fact that it can be a long term project. Just go with it and it will be more fun that way. 

review: spun right round 80/20 sock yarn

spun fiber company: ethical, sustainable, and local yarn