What Goes On In Our Basement
August 16, 2007
Get a load of this: country financial twangster Merle Hazard, featured in yesterday’s entry, has done gone hit the dang big time. That New York Times has discoverated him, honey! See? You can say you knew him back when.
Meanwhile, Elsewhere in Our Basement
While SOMEbody was recording country songs over in the superdank portion of our basement, I was patiently standing over in the slightly-less-dank portion, at the ping pong table, doing that thing I love to do which was not ping pong:
Your finishitis really is contagious. Once I finished making that silk shrug, and reveled in the doneness of the thing, I cast about for another unfinished-yet-once-compelling project which I could finish.
It didn’t take long to dig out the bag of tweedy mitered squares I started last spring, which I had put aside when we had to put our heads down to work on that book project.
So great: the reunion with all that tweedy yarn was like CHRISTMAS, people.
And to find 41 of 64 squares already completed, well hell, that was like seeing your husband dressed like a dang country singer in the New York Times.
I totally forgot what my plan for this blanket was, but I knew I’d drawn up a chart somewhere. Not my finest work, that chart.
But once I laid out my squares, I started to recall that I’d been going for a set of 16 big squares with inset squares of varied size.
I used your low-sew method of making miters, which you describe so elaborately not to say obsessively right here. (Strong work you did there–anybody who’s contemplating this sort of project needs not only to clip ‘n’ save Kay’s tutorial, you gotta LAMINATE the thing.)
You make one square, then pick up stitches along the edge for number 2, then do the same for numbers 3 and 4. This eliminates a buttload of seaming. But it does mean that a totally carefree, random blanket can be a little trickier. And it locks in your squares, making last-minute color swaps impossible. This doesn’t bother me in this blanket, because my pattern is defined.
While blocking, you discover stuff you had no idea was happening when you were knitting:
Like, an 8″ x 7″ square instead of a 7″ x 7″ square. Euw. We’re calling this one The Artistic Flourish.
I discovered that I really like a sort of blocking I haven’t done very often: washing the squares, then pinning them down while totally wet. I’m more of a steamer when it comes to blocking. I’m here to tell you that this method really lets you adjust the squares with abandon. I know that it’s not possible to block something into a totally different size, but making all these squares 7″ x 7″ will making sewing them together a lot easier. Plus, they’re just so very SMOOTH now.
I have seven more squares to make, then the seaming begins. I am going to use a stopwatch to see how long this takes. People always worry about the extreme labor required in making up a blanket; by the time I’m done, we’ll know exactly how much time that is. I have a suspicion that it’s not as dreadful as we fear. It’s like party dread, or dentist dread.