Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Mitered, Crossed, Done

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Dear Kay,
I’ve been itching to show you how my Mitered Crosses Blanket turned out.
When last seen, my 16 squares lay forgotten in a bathtub. I was leaving for the summer, thought I should give my squares their bath before I sewed them up, then promptly forgot all about them until I was about to head out the door.
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Nothing like taking a road trip with a bunch of damp wool. Like having a herd of sheep in the back seat.
I joined the squares in a full-out OCD fit of three-needle-bindoffing. This did not take half as long as I thought it would.
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I made the radical and crazy decision to work the bindoff on the FRONT side of the blanket, not the back side. I like the way this bindoff looks, and it seemed to me a sort of Design Feature that would echo the I-cord edging that I hoped someday might magically appear. I was dreading the edging, for some reason. Daunting.
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To be clear, here’s what I did: On one circular needle, I picked up along the edges of four squares. On a second circ, I picked up along the edges of four more squares. I lined up the two circs with the squares’ wrong sides facing, and with a third needle I bound off all stitches. Result: one long, uninterrupted seam.
One interesting moment when working this sort of bindoff is what happens once you’ve hooked eight squares together, then get the point that you need to work the perpendicular seam. I wanted all the lines to be as uninterrupted as possible, so at certain points I had to jump behind a line of bindoff in order not to break the flow.
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See?
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Or something. When you get down into something like this, you start to care about things that don’t actually matter all that much. But that’s why knitting is so great: we’re allowed to stew about crap like this.
The I-cord edging is so insanely satisfying. So square! Hides a world of sin in there.
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The yarns here are Noro Silk Garden. The crosses are two colorways, 203 and 308 (this has the hot pink in it for those who are hot-pink averse). Background is the sadly discontinued, creamy 269. I confess to using some Noro Kureyon 269 (the wooly cousin to Silk Garden) for the seams.
For those joining us late, this blanket pattern is raising funds for Japan earthquake relief. Here’s an update from Mercy Corps. It’s safe to say that life is not at all back to normal there, so it’s still a cool thing to a) buy this pattern for five bucks, b) make a blanket, and c) wave the blanket around a lot so that people will ask you about it then want one of their own, thereby potentially stirring up another five-buck pattern sale.
More than $17,000 has been sent to Mercy Corps so far. We’d like to break the million-dollar mark this week, so don’t be shy.

Thanks!
Love,
Ann
PS For you, Kay . . . additional photos of the whole shebang. Because how often does a person finish a blanket?
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PS Took a quick jaunt up to Chicago over the holiday weekend to see a batch of family. Here’s the little fella we met at the Museum of Science and Industry:

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Aw, so cute all of them together in the bathtub! Like a staged “cousins taking a bath” photo. We have a lot of those. None are recent, I hasten to add.
    I love the bindoff on the RS! I think you are RIGHT to worry about Bindoff Line Continuity.
    And I would like to whimper a little about whether it will be possible to get any more FO shots of the full blanket. The colors look lush. I want to see it ALL.
    And thanks to everyone for buying the pattern!
    xoxo Kay

  2. Beautiful! I might have to join like that too. I am finishing up square #35 right now. I’ll have my Queen sized blanket soon! (It’d better be queen sized. Finding all that Noro was NOT easy). And I think you meant that you used Kureyon #211 to match the SG #269. That’s what I had to do. And some Cash Iroha Color #1 too.

  3. This is fantastic! I have a bunch of little squares that WANT to be a blanket, but I couldn’t figure out how to join them. The crochet joining thingy continues to elude me, alas. I wondered about the three needle bind off, but was too chicken to try it (why? are the knitting police going to come scold me?). But now I will!

  4. I like your method of attaching the squares, though I will probably stick with my tried and true crochet the little buggers together. I have another 6 or so squares to do for my full size blanket.

  5. Gorgeous blanket! I’ve been making Silk Garden Entrelac scarfs, which are addicting due to the ever-so-satisfying pattern and beautiful yarn. (People look at the scarf and think it is really hard, but in fact it is perfect for public knitting.) After this scarf is finished, I’ll have to break out more Silk Garden and tackle the the Mitered Cross pattern I bought earlier this year. I wonder if they have any other neutral colorway to use?

  6. Wonderful finishing. Maybe I won’t be afraid to start mine now. I did manage to snag a bag of ivory Kureyon to go with my colourful odds and sods.

  7. Thanks for showing us how you did this. It looks great. The blanket looks great – a lot of greatness there.
    LOVE the chick – when I first saw the video, I thought it was dead, but was instantly comforted by the fact that you were not likely to post a video of a deceased hatchling.
    BTW, cute baby pictures of your dad. I wondered how old the his young nurse was.
    m in m

  8. Three-needle bindoff — anything that makes seaming more knitting like is genius in my book!

  9. Beautiful, as usual.

  10. Poor little guy. All that work struggling out of his shell and into his brand new life — only to realize that he’s just a chicken. What a letdown. No wonder he looked so demoralized.

  11. WHY didn’t I block the individual squares first? Mine looks nice nonetheless but I love how yours looks!

  12. Ooooh! how fun! I just finished weaving ends, i-cordulating, and blocking my blanket last night so it’s a special delight the way seeing it all stretched out and gorgeous on my living room floor for the first time coincides in such a timely manner with your post.
    Re the pattern: RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE RAVE !

  13. >>But that’s why knitting is so great: we’re allowed to stew about crap like this.
    There is nothing more to add. Merci de nous comprendre si bien.

  14. Your blanket is so beautiful. It is inspiring me. Must start mine soon.

  15. So much creamy meets colorful wonderfulness, Ann! Please can’t something be done to get Noro to revive 269?

  16. Beautiful blanket and I love the seaming on the right side. Very clever . . .

  17. Gorgeous! Just gorgeous!

  18. The chicken reminds me of Olive. Tuckered out with the struggle of living. Also matches a Kid Silk Haze shade that I adore: Chartreuse Chick.
    Thanksverymuch for the glorious big photos. I love the best the dark cross with the pink corner. This is so excellent.
    And for Martha in Princeton, I have found that whether you block before or after joining, the end result is the same. Just block, is all. At some point.

  19. I am trying to figure out the system to your orientation of the log cabins when joining them, and it is reminding me of the experimental section on the LSAT in 1981.

  20. So, so pretty. I really have to knit one of these one of these days. I mean, I BOUGHT the pattern and everything!

  21. Beautiful Job!!!

  22. My favorite line in a long long time: “That’s why knitting is so great: we’re allowed to stew about crap like this.” Thanks for the good laugh!

  23. Definitely worth a noice comment this blankie.
    ‘a noice comment’

  24. Beautiful blanket. I cord edging is great stuff, tidies everything up so well.
    And what a great video of the chick. Bet s/he’s sprouting feathers already.

  25. good lord, this is a post full of AWESOME! such a lovely blanket and a juggernaut of a pattern for a charity. whoa. you ladies are rockstars.

  26. The recipient of this blanket is a very lucky duck (or chick!) Ann, when you do your I-cord edging to you use two straight needles picking up one stitch at a time, or do you use a circular?

  27. What a beautiful creamy blanket! Aren’t chickies wonderful! Even better after they’re fluffy.

  28. The finished blanket is gorgeous! Love the 3-needle bindoff too.

  29. You say that as if there would be something undesirable about having wet sheep in the back seat of your car.

  30. It’s beyond beautiful – your blanket. It’s epic.

  31. thanks so much for pics of the blanket; it’s BEE-OO-TY-FUL!
    LoveDiane

  32. I’m with you there, Gale. I mean, what would be wrong with wet sheep in the back of your car? Beautiful blanket. I am 7 squares in to mine and think I need 49 altogether (using very strange yarn from stash and want a bigger blanket). Think it might take me a while. x x

  33. so timely! thanks for the extra pictures. I’m six squares into mine and your arrangement and seaming is what I’m trying for. yours is gorgeous.

  34. Damn it. I had just finished seaming mine up and was despairing over the gaps where the 4 squares cam together. After seeing your post, I spent last night ripping and re-knitting. Your way looks better.

  35. I have 22 squares done for my own blanket (3rd time I’ve made this pattern), and was contemplating whether to do the 3-needle bind-off on the right side for some variety this time–I’m so glad you did that and posted it, because I love the way it looks. 3 more squares to go, and I’ll test it and see how the size comes out. I’m trying to decide whether to make it 5×5 or 5×6 squares. This pattern is SO addictive!

  36. There you go inspiring me again. I breezed through making 20 blocks in a month, but that was back in May. Now, I think I need to dig up those blocks and start putting them together already!

  37. Gorgeous! That settles in, I am casting on for my own mitered-crosses-blanket this weekend. The 3-needle bind-off seams look very Parisian, Sonia Rykiel-ish. I am going to have to give it a try. Thank you for the stream-of-consciousness explanations and the great photography. I am with ay here, “Please can we have some more?”

  38. Lurve the afghan!!! The video of the chick is tooo funny. That’s what I look like when I try to get up to go to work now, now that summer is over that is. I lay there looking dead or dormant, pop my head up with a bit of energy and then, thunk back down on the pillow til the snooze alarm rouses me! LOL, thanks for the laugh!

  39. The baby chicks are still my favorite part of that museum, and I’m 36 years old. So cute!
    The blanket is beautiful. I bought the pattern, but have not yet mustered the time to knit it.

  40. Nice job. Could we buy your lovely finished blanket instead of the pattern? The July heat kicked my knitting mojo into the gutter and I don’t see it crawling back out anytime soon.
    And…What an interesting smell-o-vision you conjure up with the mention of a carful of wet sheep. You don’t happen to drive a jeep?

  41. Beautiful! – I can picture a bold color version with the 3 needle BO in contrasting yarn – hmmmm…

  42. Absolutely beautiful! I am inspired to finish mine!!!

  43. Love the blanket it looks so cozy!!

  44. Poor little baby chick – looking around for mommy hen or something to imprint on & follow around.