[Updated February 2, 2010]
The best thing about knitting a garter-stitch blanket on the bias with leftover stash yarn and recycled fiber I'll never use for anything else is that this pile:
turns into this:
I'm such a cheapskate at heart. We got it all in here: recycled cotton and wool sweaters, craptastic eyelash yarn, satin ribbons, cotton in overly-bright colors, some Caron Simply Soft that simply would not go away, a wool sweater I sliced in a spiral to spin with but never used, etc. etc.
The best thing is that you already own the yarn for this project.
Name: Sediment Scraps Blanket
Designer: Katie Rose Pryal of the Knitty Professors
Yarn: Any combination of yarns that will make a bulky-to-super-bulky weight fiber, usually 5ish strands of a worstedish weight yarn. Ideally recycled, reclaimed, or cut from a felted sweater (like the light green stuff in the picture at the beginning of this post). Fiber content is not critical. I used a mish-mash. It takes a lot though--my finished blanket weighs about 5 pounds.
Finished size: About 4 feet by about 6 feet. (I call this "couch blanket" size.)
Needles: Size 11 circulars, the longer the better. I used my Denises lengthened to about 4 feet.
kfb = knit into the front and back of stitch. This increases by one stitch.
k2tog = knit two stitches together as one. This decreases by one stitch.
Cast on 1 st.
Row 1: Kfb.
Row 2: Kfb, k1.
Row 3: Kfb, k to end of row.
Repeat row three over and over and over. You will start making a big garter-stitch triangle. Work until one of the (non-working) sides measures between 48 and 50 inches wide.
**About adding yarn: I started with five balls of yarn. Then, I started knitting. When one ball ran out, I knotted a another ball on. That's why the color changes are more gradual. The knots got sucked into the thick garter stitch and I didn't worry about weaving in ends.**
Now you will start working length-wise only.
Row 4: Kfb, k to end of row.
Row 5: K2tog, k to end of row.
Repeat rows 4 and 5 until the length starts to look good to you--or until you fear that you will run out of yarn.
Now you will work the end section.
Row 6: K2tog, k to end of row.
Row 7: k2tog, k to end of row.
Work rows 6 and 7 until you have "closed" the rectangle. Knit the last 2 live sts together, bind off, weave in end.
REUSE, PEOPLE. It's a moral imperative.