For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Give A Man A Fish

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Dear Ann,
While it may be wise to teach a man to fish, so that he can eat for a lifetime (provided he’s not a vegetarian), would it kill you to give a guy a tuna sandwich once in a while?
That’s sort of what happened with my friend LB’s Noro Log Cabin.
You will recall that I ripped and re-knit 8 skeins that she had knitted into a bucket shape while intending to knit something more typically blanket-shaped and therefore flat. I did this because she had already ripped it and reknit it once herself. The yarn was getting plumb WORE OUT. I didn’t want her to get discouraged, and I did, very much, want to knit up some Noro Silk Garden, so I had a fabulous time and even added some personal touches along the way, i.e., yarn LB didn’t start out with.
Last week, I presented this 2/3-finished blankie to LB with my final strip all ready to bind off. I wanted to troubleshoot her tight bindoff method, so that she could mend her ways and enjoy the sweet satisfaction of finishing the blanket herself.
Guess what? You won’t believe it! She was binding off as loose as can be. No problem whatsoever. Suddenly, I felt like an episode of “Car Talk.” (“Can you imitate the noise the cah makes when you go over 30 miles an hour in the rain? Is it more of a B-flaaat or an A-shahp?”) I opened up an official investigation.
It turns out that the problem was that when LB went to pick up stitches for the next strip, she was picking them up from the back, scooping the stitch with her right needle, and kind of twisting the loop as she knit it up. I use both needles when I’m “picking up and knitting” stitches, and I pick up from the front of the stitch or ridge; it feels almost like regular knitting.
Anyhoo, when the problem had been solved and I attempted to give the blanket back to her, LB became, quite frankly, what I would call “tremulous”. She wanted the thing DONE, this chapter of her life OVER. She said many self-deprecating (and patently UNTRUE) things about her inability to face finishing the blanket, her deep fear of another screaming attack of The Buckets, etc. She wanted to start a new project, with a clean slate and a finished afghan on her cozy red sofa.
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Oh, all right. Twist my arm. I spent a couple of days gartering my fool head off, happy as a clam. Or in this case, a hermit crab. (LB lives in little ol’ Rhode Island, where we were visiting.)
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It’s finished with applied i-cord. And yes, I purposely matched the i-cord to those little squares on the edge. I was in The Zone.
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Love,
Kay

Tags:

100 Comments

100 Comments

  1. It’s beautiful! I’m going to go look at my NSG 84 and ponder the possibilities.

  2. It’s absolutely gorgeous

  3. Truly a beauty, that blanket!!! Can u tell me how many skeins you used & how many different colorways? And approx finished size? I have a bunch of silk garden that is begging to be used in a like manner!! Thanks!! Marcia

  4. even the photo looks soft. and that i-cord blows my tiny knitter’s mind. (nothing but dishcloths on the horizon; malheureusement.) thx for the funky organic clothesline shots over the hostas. xo

  5. That matching i-cord? You seriously rock! Gorgeous!

  6. When I got to the last photo, the one with the lovely border-match, I said, “Oh my GOSH” and the dog leaped up and ran over to see what new excitement had occurred when her back was turned for two seconds.
    That is One Beautiful Blanket! The colors, the detail, the gartery-goodness, and, oh my, the small block accents.
    Speaking of which, I love your MA accent! You could be the Knitter Next Door. Heck, I WISH you were the knitter next door! Next time you’re in RI, consider a little side-trip in a northwesterly direction, wouldja please? We’ve got sheep! We’ve got yarn! We’ve got llamas and alpacas! (I’m using the collective “we,” here. At my house, we’ve just got Action Dog.)

  7. Can you imagine how awesome it would be if Kay and Ann were to host a call-in radio show?! ‘Which yahn ah you using?’

  8. that blanket is beautiful. I love the small squares of color.

  9. I am incredulous over matching i-cord. You are the queen of the universe! What a beautiful afghan.

  10. Queen of the Universe, indeed! That blanket is a work of art. Thanks for sharing with us.

  11. awesome, blossom!
    what a good friend you are.

  12. WOW that turned out fantastic!! and the icord bind off matching the colors – I bow down to your greatness
    And was the chocolate ice cream good that I see on the white shirt holding the crab… :D

  13. Beautiful job on the blanket, Kay! I would like to try a blanket like that one day. I am curious to how you add in those little squares of color. It looks a little tricky.

  14. Fabulous !
    You are an artist.

  15. the matching i-cord has rendered me speechless. The blanket is beautiful and your friend is a lucky friend!

  16. How about a brief lesson in applied I-cord. It is really beautiful.

  17. Do you have to have a friend named LB to be a truly great knitter? You’re off visiting one and Wendy of Wendyknits wrote that she was going to be visiting her friend LB. I guess I’m doomed to plebeian afghans and sweaters because I have no friend named LB. Not even a plain old L. But your LB has served you well. Her blanket is outstanding! I, too, love that i-cord and the Kay touches. Thanks for sharing!

  18. i was watching grant bergman henried
    needed a break- here i am -still
    the blanket is ever so handsome
    you are so right tis the finshing touch
    good to see you all in little red
    the pictures are lovely havent
    lost your touch
    guess i will go see if shes sober yet

  19. Who is in the white/blue stripped polo? It must be kin of mine. Since it’s chocolate and all.

  20. You were SO in the zone – I LOVE the matching I cord border. In fact, the whole blanket is enticing.
    M in M

  21. Matching.ICord.Border.
    Simple Brilliance

  22. Oh! It’s lovely! I swear, garter stitch always looks so much better when you do it! I just love your blankets, and mine look god–awful when I do it! Love love this! Your friend is very lucky to have such arm-twisting ability!

  23. Oh WOW, Kay! Man, it’s gorgeous!!
    One gorgeous–Noro–garter–“winks” of color–matching I-cord border–FABULOUS afghan!
    Brava! Knit on!
    LoveDiane

  24. P.S.–And so flat, too!

  25. A good deed well done! As always, love your stuff, even if I’m not going to run out this minute and knit up enough garter stitch to take me to Japan and back.

  26. Like everyone else, I am in absolute awe of the matching applied icord. I am considering doing an icord bindoff on this never-ending baby blanket, but it will be all one color!

  27. gorgeous, amazing

  28. Gorgeous! Great job.

  29. The Zone is so Lucky to have You in it!

  30. Lucky LB speaks out again:
    I LOVE my beautiful blanket and snuggled in it tonight with my daughter and sister-in-law on a big red couch. It is the most amazingly gorgeous, cozy, and fuzzy blanket ever and I am so grateful to my goddess, Kay! Thank you forever and so truly! This knitter will learn to fish on another day! xoxo – LB

  31. Lucky LB speaks out again:
    I LOVE my beautiful blanket and snuggled in it tonight with my daughter and sister-in-law on a big red couch. It is the most amazingly gorgeous, cozy, and fuzzy blanket ever and I am so grateful to my goddess, Kay! Thank you forever and so truly! This knitter will learn to fish on another day! xoxo – LB

  32. In the zone, indeed! I am trying to gaze upon this loveliness and have more hope for my current log-cabining effort, but am tempted to turn it into a wee baby blanket. I should wait to re-evaluate once the home improvement sore muscles mend.

  33. What a great idea to finish with icord. You know, I agree sometimes you just want the blanket! (How are you with zippers and cardigans?)

  34. The matching i-cord is a genius touch, and colorway 84 has never looked better.

  35. I love RI, it’s one of the prettiest states as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know why I don’t live there! (part of me wants to live in NYC so I stay in CT). I hope you had a great trip. My folk live in Wickford and that is just about the prettiest town in RI, I hope you get a chance to check it out next time you visit.
    Tha blanket looks great, as expected. I haven’t ever tried an applied i-cord bind off and I may as well give it a shot when my own moderne is done.

  36. Well! The inspiration I am feeling from this afghan has me almost bouncing out of my chair! I just finished a Noro log cabin and thought I was finished with that need. Now you go and stir it all up again with the Silk Garden. Is there such a thing as too many log cabin blankets? Matching the iCord is just plain you. ;-) What a visual and artistic treat.

  37. Great story, lovely blanket and a wonderful friendship.

  38. What a high degree of insouciant knitterliness, that blanket — so beautiful. The shirt with the chocolate dribbles down the front (so quintessencially summer) made me smile, because I just finished sorting several similarly bedribbled shirts into the whites pile.

  39. What a beautiful, perfect finish to a gorgeous blanket.

  40. IN the Zone? You weren’t IN the Zone. You ARE THE ZONE!!
    Also, yes, please: Applied iCord tutorial!

  41. Ah, the comments took out parenthetical comment re: how I spelled iCord to look all trendy!
    All that iPhone iHome iPod iBook stuff makes my son crazy … and I couldn’t resist messing with EZ’s “idiot-cord,” too!

  42. The blanket is absolutely stunning!

  43. Dare I say it?–Flatify Satifies!
    (sorry, couldn’t help myself….)
    LoveDiane

  44. My favorite log cabin yet. It is tremendous & inspirational!!!

  45. Wow – that’s beautiful! And you make them so fast… quite takes my breath away.

  46. You fabulous gorgeous creature!
    It is truly a thing of beauty.

  47. Fantastic! Just fantastic Kay. LB is so lucky to have you as a friend and knitting sensei.
    Happy summer to you.

  48. I love it. Also would love an explanation on picking up stitches with two needles. Sound interesting, but my brain isn’t quite picturing it. (perhaps it is overwhelmed by seeing the sun for two days in a row–it has been so long).

  49. Nothin’ says “A Good Summer Day” quite like holding a hermit crab right from the ocean & your shirt has chocolate ice cream on it.
    Thanks to the wonderful pictures, my new niece is getting a Log Cabin right now!
    You do ROCK!

  50. Kay,you can be MY friend….you can knit me a blanket ANYTIME! That is beautiful,and I LOVE that I-Cord border….you have such talent!! Wendy

  51. I will have to work “a screaming attack of the Buckets” into my own conversations more. Love it!
    The blanket is gorgeous. It appears (from the happiness apparent on the white shirt) that you are having a good time in Rhode Island!

  52. Great looking blanket and all that icord just makes it extra-special. Had to laugh at the hermit crab pictures. Can just imagine you teaching him to knit with some appropriately sized knitting needles, crafting his next home a la mode Mason-Dixon.

  53. As they say, the devil is in the details, and that is a devilishly good blanket.

  54. It’s beautiful! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. It makes me want to knit one up myself. I bet she loves it.

  55. Wow, you’ve done a beautiful job. Love the matching applied i-cord. A touch of genius, as are the little blocks of color. You rock!

  56. Give a man a fire, and he will be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life. — Terry Pratchett

  57. That blanket is AWESOME. You have truly outdone yourself….

  58. That blanket is absolutely inspirational! Maybe someday I will commit to miles of garter stitch and make one.
    How many miles of garter stitch do you think is in that blanket anyway???

  59. You are a true friend. Gorgeous work, Kay.

  60. i’m tickled pink that you and yours are frolicking in greater rhode island….and doing what comes naturally!

  61. Whoa! That is beautiful!
    And I love the clams too!

  62. The utter flatness is outstanding. And the matching i-cord bindoff is da bomb!

  63. It’s breathtaking!

  64. It’s breathtaking!

  65. I’m thinking the word of the week should be tremulous :) Awesome post!
    By the way, myself and my husband as well, are commercial fisherman (woman) and I loved the reference!
    That may not be the proper english, I’m tired tonight, it’s tuna season!
    Cheers!

  66. I love the blanket I don’t know if I would be able to match the color edges. It is fabulous. Is the hermit crab a new pet? I have 20 in a 90 gal tank right now they are adorable if you bring it home please visit landhermitcrabs.com for some great info on them. Once again fantastic blanket.

  67. Beeeeuutiful blanket! Love it! The colors…ooh, ahh! I would love to make more of these garter stitch, log cabin things. Could you show us a picture or explain a little more about picking up stitches with 2 needles and which loop you pick up from (does that make sense?). If it feels like knitting, that might make it more fun. And that lake picture–so wish I was there!!

  68. Well ‘the machine’ (Tasmanian high praise) kicked into top gear and finished off an amazing piece of work. And nice words from LB on its immediately becoming a wonderful part of their home.
    I second the request for a tutorial on finishing with a bind off iCord – but not till after your holiday!

  69. Hey, by the way, Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee recently published a very helpful post on her blog, Yarn Harlot http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/ about picking up and knitting. Complete with photos and everything. It’s titled Pick-up Lines. She’s making a Moderne Log Cabin blanket and everything. If you, like me, have been mystified about the process, check it out. What would we do without you teachers? Be lost in the dark ages. Thanks to you all!!!

  70. Beeyootiful Blankie.

  71. It’s beautiful! And I wish I had a friend who could knit me out of trouble on some of my more frustrating projects. You’re a godsend.

  72. It’s a beautiful blanket! I wish I had a knitting friend who could knit me out of frustrating projects. You’re a godsend.

  73. i hate to sound redundant, but that blanket is so beautiful…simple, but not simplistic at all. and I love the squares! As always Kay, you are an inspiration!

  74. Just gorgeous, as a devoted I-chord bind off of the BSJ’s, that’s really neat on the blanket, and to do the matching colors, well, over the top gorgeous!
    Oh, you have given me so many new ideas! Thanks! (my to-do pile just groaned, but I’m happy!)

  75. Just gorgeous, as a devoted I-chord bind off of the BSJ’s, that’s really neat on the blanket, and to do the matching colors, well, over the top gorgeous!
    Oh, you have given me so many new ideas! Thanks! (my to-do pile just groaned, but I’m happy!)

  76. OMG it’s freakin’ GAW-jus!!! Yes, please, do a radio show!

  77. Wow. The blanket is gorgeous!
    I really need to make a log cabin (and not the scary thing I was doing with leftover / unloved skeins of sock yarn) blanket. They are such a nice bang for the buck!

  78. Absolutely gorgeous! I’ve done I-cord borders for my 3 mitered square afghans, but never thought to match the colors…..

  79. oh oh oh–so very beautiful! Your little squares make me very very happy….

  80. I am also voting for the Radio Show. I think it should have the primo spot on NPR and everything! I am also voting to be befriended and receive a gorgeous blanket!

  81. Ditto to everything said already. And may I also compliment you on the nice background you chose for the blanket! The comosition of blue and chartreuse hostas with a bit of Japanese maple thrown in is absolutely spot on!

  82. Agree with all comments (beautiful work + request for tutorials). Now: what can you tell about those hostas and the ficus allii? laceleaf maple? in the background…

  83. True friendship is an applied i-cord edging color matched to the blocks around the edge! Check the kids’ pockets before you let them in the car- those crabs are easy to smuggle home (and actually make pretty quiet pets). I provided hermit crabs and all accompanying accouterments for my daughter’s 2nd grade class at the beginning of the year and successfully managed to finish the last-day-of-school festivities and escape without the crabs! (I’m sure her teacher realized it the next day when he was cleaning out his classroom but…boo-yah I was home free!!!!) Oops- did I say that out loud? We had hermits for almost 2 years and by the time the last one died I was done. I’m already the head zookeeper for a dog, a cat, an angora rabbit, 4 full time kids and 3 part time (adult kids- 2 live close enough to drop in, usually with hungry boyfriends and 60lb dog in tow) and their many friends (one of which is a feisty chihuahua that my 8yo keeps trying to adopt). Hmmm- no wonder my house is never free of clutter and we’re always running low on chips and salsa.

  84. Beautiful job. Mr. Noro would be proud.

  85. well done!!

  86. That is one beautiful blanket.

  87. The blanket it so pretty. And the photos are terrific. The I-cord shows us the importance of the finishing touches, which is more than just weaving in the ends of yarn. Thank you!

  88. Kay, I just got back from Annecy,France and, at the market one morning, A lovely lady had on what looked like a handknit demin yarn sweater but here’s the kicker…all of the edges were done with woven denim bindings about 2″ wide. The sweater looked very comfy and well-worn. It was a perfect combination…the yarn body and the woven facings…both the same faded color. Mary in Cincinnati

  89. I agree. The time is now for a radio show about knitting. You and Ann should be the ones to do it. Someone call NPR!

  90. I’ve never been tempted by the notion of knitting a log cabin blanket before seeing this. Truly stunning.

  91. Could someone who reads this and has made a log cabin afghan please email me? I’m making my first and am having a problem…and I don’t know anyone to ask! Thanks in advance, if anyone has a moment!
    Tonya
    someonesomewherenc@yahoo.com

  92. Everything about this blanket story is so inspiring, but the border?! That’s so over the top. Awesome.

  93. Everyone else has done a pretty good job praising you and the blanket, and I agree… but I am more interested in seeing this beauty on LBs red couch, as I have an acute interest in and love for RED.

  94. Girly would like you to please send her a hermit crab of her very own. Apparently two dogs, two cats and a little brother are not entertaining enough.

  95. Wow! I love the finished blanket.

  96. This is gorgeous.

  97. Finished project?? What is up with that?? Lovely though and I may pick up my own blanket again in the nearer future.

  98. Oh, wow!

  99. it’s gorgeous. Does LB get to keep it?

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