Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring project: Knitted pots from recycled tin cans

It is spring! Although in Finland we might need to wait a bit more to actually feel it. Spring is usually late in Finland, but this year particularly very veeeeery late. So, while waiting for it, I decided to encourage its appearance at least at our home. 

And how? By adding extra green and colors in my kitchen and balcony always helps me feel like spring might be coming soon. So this is what I did - extra green and colors or in other words spring flowers (usually we buy narcissus but this year I got as a gift  very nice dark pink flowers, that make me smile a lot too) and grass. Yes grass! While waiting for spring with its flowering appearance people in Finland sow grass in pots in inside - quite traditional around Easter, mainly to celebrate Spring. I like that tradition, although it took me few years to adopt that habit, but now I am quite frequent. 

This spring, I decided to do something different - to plant my grass in recycled tin cans and knit nice covers for the pots. 

Transforming a tin can into a lovely knitted pot
I am huge fan of recycling (even fanatic I may say) and when I saw this idea on Etsy, I had to do it too. 
To my opinion tin cans are just perfect for almost any crafting, knitting, painting, baking....project. And this looked like an excellent way to practice five needles knitting, so basically my initial reaction was: 'Oh! what am I waiting for?'. 

So I got the tin cans, the yarn - Kelo by Novita - a very popular brand in Finland, number 7 bamboo needles by Hemtex, the patterns and there was I - knitting the tin cans some socks :).  

I would like to come back to the bamboo needles topic, because as a beginner hobby knitter I have heard quite a bit about bamboo needles and decided to try myself. Those that I bought, were cheap, I admit but they worked perfect for me. Smooth service, easy to handle, in general quite nice. As a complete beginner, I can recommend them. I kind of liked the nice 'warm' touch they have compared to metal knitting needles. But that could be just me. :)))) 

Knitted pots for tin cans

For both pots I cast on 28 stitches. One of the patterns was a simple exercise of cable knitting. The other one, I got from a blog called "Watch Knitting" by Fariba Zahed. As a beginner I do watch a lot of instructions and videos about knitting and her blog and Drops Desing's videos are one of the best. Definitely worth looking at them - it's knitting made easy for any one :).  So the pattern I used for the other one of the tin can socks is called: Hexagonal pattern and even though it might look difficult it's rather easy to make. 

Here are the instructions from Fariba's site, with an tiny addition - point 9, by me: 

Row 1)  2 knits, 2 purls,… up to the end

Row 2)  knit and purl as they appear,…up to the end

Row 3)  2 knits, 2 purls,…up to the end

Row 4)  2 knits, 2 purls, * then insert right needle between 6th and 7th stitches in the left needle from front side,while the yarn is behind the work, and turn yarn around the right needle and pull it out .Now knit the pulled yarn with the first stitch in the left needle and continue with one more knit, then 2 purls, 2 knits. here the first line is complete. Then purl 2 more stitches and repeat from *

NOTE: no matter of how many stitches you have and with which stitch you have started , the pulled yarn will cover (2knits+2purls+2knits )

Row 5,6,7 ) knit and purl as they appear,…up to the end

Row 8 ) (2 knits, 2 purls) twice, then repeat from *

Row 9) Start from row 1 again on every ninth row. This way the pulled yarn will advanced in in chess-board order.

You can watch the video in You Tube too.

 Hexagonal pattern on the left, cable knitting on the right 

Knitted pots close-up

Recycle, knit, grow..... 

This is really a great project to bring spring to your home, it takes around two weeks to see the grass coming out, but it definitely worth to wait. Of course, instead of grass you can plant herbs, some blossoming plans, or anything that requires a small pot. And the 'tin can socks' can be various colors or patterns. I happen to like white quite a lot. 

Good Luck! 

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