Lowe’s or Home Depot may not appear to be the best place to find knitting materials, but this Daily Knitter editor set out to buy wallpaper paste and returned with a month’s worth of knitting projects. And six weeks later the guest bathroom walls are still bare.
Fiber can be found in the strangest places and hardware stores are no exception. Waiting at the checkout lane with paste in hand, I noticed a large bin full of cotton wrapping twine. I admit it was the 75% off sign that initially caught my attention, but once I picked up a ball the inspiration hit me. This inexpensive fiber would be perfect for knitting earthly looking home items. Visions of coasters, oven mitts, place mats, and baskets danced in my head. I pulled out the waist of my sweatshirt, stacked fifteen balls of the twine up to my neck, and lumbered over to the shopping carts. What had I missed in the rest of the store?
When I rolled my cart down the wire aisle, I immediately thought of napkin rings and bracelets. Though there wasn’t much selection in terms of color, I did choose a simple silver-tone .4mm wire. It wasn’t the easiest material I ever knit with, but the beaded bracelet I completed is a conversation piece at each and every party I have attended while wearing it.
I must have appeared lost when the friendly worker approached me and suggested that I needed help. “Do you sell rope?" I asked. “Almost a whole aisle of the stuff," he replied, and quickly marched towards the back of the store. I obediently followed and there found garden jute twine in both a natural and a pretty green color. The checkerboard welcome mat that I had envisioned at my front door turned out perfectly. It is virtually indestructible and I simply wash it off with a hose.
What’s the moral of this story? Don’t limit your fiber hunting to the local yarn shop. And at least try not to look totally bewildered when you arrive home from the hardware store and your husband asks you, “Where is the wallpaper paste?" I hoped my bashful smile would appease him when I realized it was probably still sitting in the bottom of that twine bin.