My Nana grew up during the Great Depression. So she was a very frugal lady and used everything she could and didn’t waste anything.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
She and I were very close and she taught me many of the homesteading skills and heritage arts that I love. I believe my homesteading spirit definitely comes from her, as does the frugal side of me!
Last week I talked about how she and my Great-Grandmother used scraps of fabric from clothing they had sewn or fabric from worn-out clothing to put together these beautiful paper pieces for a quilt. It was a practical way to use up extra fabric to make something beautiful and useful.
This week I am going to share another way that we learned from Nana to make use of scraps…yarn scraps.
Back in the day, they use to make all their own socks. Store-bought was too expensive and not always readily available. So my Great-Grandmother and my Nana (grandmother) would knit socks for their families. That meant that there was quite a lot of sock yarn scraps leftover. Did they throw them out – no way! They used them to make a granny square afghan. Really, they probably made many afghans with the scraps over time, but I only know of one – the one my Nana kept on the back of her couch.
After Nana passed away I took a photo of the afghan that she had that she and my great-grandmother had made so that I could figure out the pattern and make my own. As you can see, they made granny squares using different colors of sock yarn, then went around each with black, and then hooked them together. It is a beautiful afghan and has a very vintage feel, which I love. I wish I had a photo of the whole thing to show you, but I only took the close up at the time so I could figure out how to make it myself.
It was easy to figure out, it only uses double crochet stitches, plus single crochet for the black border. I love how they changed out the colors, which made the patterns really stand out in special ways.
So, being a sock knitter, and having plenty of scraps of my own, I decided to follow in their footsteps and not waste the yarn by throwing it away. So I put all my leftover sock yarn scraps in a bag, and every few months the bag comes out and my daughters and I make a few more squares and then put it away, to bring out again a few months later. It is another long-term project, like the English Paper Piecing quilt. The girls and I look forward to the day the afghan is hanging on the back of our couch – just like Nana’s.