Donate them to a preschool so kids can learn fine motor skills of threading. My daughter teachers kindergarten and you'd be surprised at how many incoming students can't hold pencils or use scissors. No concept of matching, sequencing, counting, patterning. Anything that's manipulative is important.
How fancy do you want to get? TinCanKnits has produced a great book called "Road Trip" which has a lovely offset cable pattern called Bonfire. It is made with heavy weight yarn. Maybe your library has this book. Ravelry carries TinCanKnit patterns. Also, check PurlSoho patterns on Ravelry.
Test drive needles at your lys. I do magic loop and surprise, surprise, found l like Addi cables better than ChiaoGoo red twist. For regular knitting, ChiaoGoo red twist cables.
Try Deborahave Norville yarns, at JoAnn's. I find them better by far than Pound of Love or any other pound yarn. And with coupons the price is right.
You could try a larger needle or a looser bind-off such as k2tog, put the stitch on the R needle back on the L needle and k2tog, repeat. When I do this I k both stitches tog tbl
To sleep, stop watching TV and any screen time a good hour before you want to retire. Cover all "glow" indicators with duct tape. That means clocks, TV's, anything that indicates something is on. Use biofeedback to learn to relax. Some people talk to themselves as they calmly relax their feet, legs, tummy, arms, head. Learn to breathe properly and listen to calming sounds such as the ocean. It takes practice to learn to relax. And don't eat anything after 9:00 pm. No rich or spicy foods in particular. We must each ourselves to turn off our brains and learn to go to that calm place. Think of lying in a bed of ultra soft yarn and feeling loved by all this wonderful soft soothing wool.
Do check yarnsub.com. This site does list substitutes with some being 99% similar, and now for the other shoe to drop, finding similar yarn at an affordable price may prove problematic. I say go for stitch gauge and swatch, swatch, swatch.
Gillian, glad I could think of a simple solution so early in the morning and that was before coffee or tea. Do show us what you have designed when you are finished. I was also thinking of a log cabin blanket design or even Mondrian. Talk about thinking outside the box.
It really is the Velveeta that helps make mac n cheese so creamy
The demonstrator mentioned dental floss. Do NOT use this as a life line as dental floss, in many instances, is coated with wax which can leave residue on your yarn and floss is also abrasive which means it can tear the yarn.
Which brand of Aran weight is recommended? Now go to yarnsub.com, type in the yarn suggested and see what alternatives pop up. Since you are state side, check JoAnn's. I use the Deborah Norville everyday worsted weight line and find it runs slightly heavier than standard worsted weights. I use a US9 needle. What size needle does your pattern recommend and what is the name of the pattern?
O.K., how about a block colored granny square vest? Two squares and straps over the shoulders to hold it in place. Keep it simple. This is a "create-your-own" style pattern. Or just make red, white and blue granny squares with solid colored shoulder straps.
Yes, Jiggs has the tutorial I was about to recommend. Cheryl Brunette has excellent tutorials as does Staci from verypink.com
Denise needles have their own version which are interchangeable and though I have used the Addis I stick with magic loop. Saves me from purchasing more needles. But do go to your lys and test drive to learn how to cast and then knit with them.
Sounds like you want a paint smock. Use old, old cut and sewn shirts, cut the sleeves short and stuff the child into it and button up the back. This is washable and you can make many of them, especially if you go to thrift stores and purchase shirts. We did this for all the preschoolers and certainly saved the children's clothing from paint spatter.