Use it up

Last month while stuck indoors during one of our winter storms, I cleaned out my stash of yarn, needles, patterns, and pieces.  The knitting muse struck.  It was time to use some things up.


My inspiration piece was the lower back of a sweater that my grandma had started knitting in some prior decade, but never finished.  I had several balls of the main color yarn, but none of the accent colors.  I cut her piece in half vertically (after using the sewing machine to zig-zag on each side of the cutting line).  This made two lower sleeve pieces.


Then I started knitting the body.  The needles were Size 15.  I used 3 or 4 yarns at a time, and worked in a k2-p2 checkerboard pattern.  That made the sweater extra-bulky.  When it was time to connect the sleeves and form the shoulders and neck, I adapted to this crochet pattern.

Crochet sweater lionbrandThe crochet pattern is a free download from here, once you’ve registered (for free) with

I used a crochet shell stitch in Grandma’s main color, to bind the center front edges and make the sleeve seams.  The plastic buttons were my only purchase for the project.  They came in multi-colored sets of six for under $2.IMG_6375w-cropped--marked

The sweater is heavy enough to be a light coat.  It will be just right for some of our upcoming Spring days.


The sweater still needs to be steamed and blocked, particularly the waistline and edging.  There are a few loose ends to tuck in.


My grandma was my life’s example of using what you have.  I can hear her laughing now, at how I “finished” her sweater.  I think she would approve.

Much of this project was knitted and crocheted on Sunday nights, while I watched this season of Downton Abbey.  My grandma would have been the age of Downton babies, Sybil and George.  And now a glimpse of what their grandma, the Countess of Grantham does in the off-season:

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