New stuff, new stuff! (not for me)

Look at this great new stuff: Cotton Wrapping Twine by Wellington, cotton/polyester blend.

I got it at a local hardware store (Home Depot is not close enough to visit on a weekday). 170 yards – only $3.99. That’s a great price. AND, it already comes in a center-pull ball.

Huh?

What am I up to now?

One word: ArtBeat

ArtBeat is a great… program, celebration, fair, gathering, I don’t know what you’d call it! Local artists of all kinds and Somerville residents come together for a day of art in Davis Square, Somerville. It’s huge, crowded, loud, and if the weather is in our favor, a little sticky (otherwise, a little wet, which is no fun at all).

This year my Sunday knitting group petitioned for a table at the fair to teach people how to knit and spin. And the application was accepted! I hope to see you there on Saturday if you live in the area!

We have a lot of projects planned, and the one I contributed is making a drink coaster out of household cotton twine. It’s quick, and it’s something to take home and admire. Here she is!

Cute and easy! And, I’d be totally cool with making a set of 6, wrapping them with some nice ribbon and giving them as a housewarming gift. Here my drug of choice models the coaster:

Math is very important for this project because the Somerville Arts Council gave us a budget for supplies. On US 9 needles (which are the same diameter as chopsticks… coincidence? I think not!), a coaster that is 3 1/2″ X 3 1/2″ takes about 28 feet of yarn, so one twine ball makes about 18 coasters. Do you hear that, Martha? Should I buy more, or are 3 balls enough? I think we can get away with making 3″ X 3″ coasters, which was my original intention anyway, thus doling out the yarn more sparingly. Note to self: 3″ – cast on 11 sts.

How do I feel about teaching knitting using this material? Pretty good. Because it’s a cotton blend, it’s quite stretchy and surprisingly comfortable to work with! The stitches are sharp, easy to see, and there is no splitting. The only minus – the twine is a little overspun, so it coils up on itself. That’s it, I’m writing a letter to the mill, complaining that their cotton twine is substandard quality!
:)

There’s a simple basket pattern in Comforts of Home: Simple Knitted Accents which calls for using this type of string. It always caught my attention, and now that I’ve used this yarn, I would not hesitate to make it!

26 thoughts on “New stuff, new stuff! (not for me)

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  1. Christie

    Brilliant! I wish I lived in MA so I could come learn to knit! Very cute project…I guess you could also teach them to sew their 3′ square coasters into a basket, if they are so inclined!

  2. jody

    That basket has always been on my list too! Now you’ve got me wanting to make one.

    I love the coasters too. Easy to make, gauge isn’t terribly important, and quick. Perfect learn to knit project!

  3. Laura

    I have Wellington Cabe Cord–I wonder if I can use that. It looks like it’s too thin to knit on size 9s.

    What a great project. I’ll have to try it.

  4. laurie

    wow, great find! i wonder if you could also use it to make that fun summer tote from the summer issue of knitty. your know the one with beach tote with the monkey on it? cute!

  5. Colleen

    Nutty! How does it feel to knit? And, I wonder how this stuff would dye. I mean, I wouldn’t dye it but perhaps someone else will and tell blogland all about it.

  6. Laura

    Further proof that the right yarn for the job need not cost a fortune. I actually need coasters, so thanks for the idea! In At Knit’s End, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee hypothesizes that wire knitting began when a knitter was on vacation in a town with no knitting stores and five hardware stores. I guess this knitter missed the kitchen twine! :)

  7. Dani

    I tried knitting with that green dyed twine stuff and it came out interesting. I still have it and was planning on making a fruit basket of sorts! I might have to make my way over to Davis Square! I will look for you if we come over!

  8. Stephanie

    What a cool idea. I love the coasters for a beginning knitting project – quick and easy and instant gratification! I really like the basket – I may have to pursue that pattern (and you can’t beat the price of the materials).

  9. Lexica

    The problem with reading quickly is that you find yourself (you think) coming across sentences like “Because it’s cotton, it’s quite stretchy and surprisingly comfortable to work with!” Whaaaa? Oh, wait – cotton blend, therefore stretchy and comfortable to work with. That makes more sense.

    I think I need another cup of coffee before I pick up the needles this morning. :-)

  10. Kyra

    I made that basket with wrapping string too. I knitted it really tight and still had to stiffen it with some fabric stiffener. Liquid starch didn’t cut the mustard…

  11. Allison

    It sounds like you have a fun project for a great venue. And you’ve given me hope, since a quick and useful object like this might be perfect for finally convincing my sister to try knitting :) Good luck giving lessons!

  12. Jenn

    I LOVE IT! I must have that book and I’m so whipping out some coasters. Too bad the twine doesn’t come in fashion colors. Can you put that in your complaint letter. LOL

  13. sandra

    can you say quickie holiday gifts!?? woohoo! I love it..it would be nice in various colors too–I’ll go get the dye

  14. Emily

    Great find! I’ve tried knitting with regular twine, but it was not stretchy enough. I’ll have to find some of that cotton stuff.

  15. Carolyn B.

    I love this idea! One of our local yarn stores has some hand-dyed twine like this (they actually admitted it’s twine) … it’s actually gorgeous in melding shades of light and dark blue and green. Would be perfect for one of those French-style shopping bag. But they want a fortune for it. I think it was $30 — for twine! Albeit, hand-dyed twine. It felt more like a synthetic fiber, though, which puzzled me. Now I’m wondering if the twine you mention would take dye (don’t know about the polyester component).

    ANYWAY — I got a vicarious kick out of your twine twiddling. ;o)

  16. Vicki

    I knit the pieces to that basket a few years ago — with that same (wildly inexpensive) stuff from the hardware store! I’ve already posted at Cassie/Too Much Wool’s today about genetics and why I have unfinished projects, so that’ll give you a clue as to why it’s in pieces… I recall that it was a little rough on my hands, especially toward the end, but I’ve never minded knitting with cotton, and this wasn’t much of a departure. Love the coasters!

  17. Laurie

    I had started a tote bag, years ago, using neon colored, nylon cord that I bought at Wal-Mart. I think it was the camping or fishing section. This stuff didn’t give, at all, but was neat to see.

    Your projects look great! How about a market-type bag – like the ones used for the grocery store?

  18. nona

    You’ve hit upon a perfect, simple, inexpensive learn to knit project! Have fun teaching and arting at your festival this weekend.

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