Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

I Believe In Applied I-Cord (and Eli Manning)

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Dear Ann,
I do not know how I lived, and knit, this long without embracing applied i-cord. Applied i-cord has it going ON. It’s a RUSH.
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Applied I-Cord: How I Roll
To work an applied i-cord edging of 4 stitches, using 2 straight needles:
Cast on 4 stitches and place this needle in your right hand. Pick up one stitch in the edge to which you are applying the i-cord and place it on the left needle, *slip the 4 stitches onto the left needle, k3, knit the 4th stitch together with the picked-up stitch, pick up another stitch from the edge and place it on the left needle; repeat from * until the edging is complete.
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You can also apply i-cord to live stitches. Instead of picking up the stitches one by one, you could pick up and knit a bunch of stitches along the edge of the blanket, and apply the i-cord to these stitches, one at a time. If you are planning to work applied i-cord on the cast-on edge of a sleeve or sweater, use a provisional cast-on that you can unravel later to give you live stitches. Live stitches are smoother and more even than picked up stitches.
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The biggest challenge in working the edging on this blanket was picking up stitches in a visually consistent way. The gauge of the squares varied, and since the edge stitches often were the result of a K2tog, they could be devilishly tight little nubbins. But I’m a tough old bird. I kept at it, and I like it just fine. Sometimes I had to put my eyes so close to the stitch that I could feel the fuzz of the wool. (This was Mostly Unattractive.)
Important note to anyone (like you, Ann) who is planning on making a patchwork blanket of bias-knit garter-stitch squares: You will save yourself a ton of grief at the i-cord stage if you slip the first stitch of every row, and then work your increase or decrease to start the row. One knitter did that on her squares, and picking up the stitches on these squares was LIKE BUTTAH.
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So. Oliver’s American Blanket is ready to be raffled. The stalwart Michaela is running these raffles, and she is going to let us know the Day of Destiny. If you want a chance at owning what is quite possibly the longest continuous length of applied i-cord in North America, go to PayPal.com and send a payment to oliversfund@btinternet.com. Each ticket costs $2.00 US or 1 British pound. Your payment automatically enters you for the appropriate number of chances. All proceeds go to a fund for the purchase of a wheelchair for our 9-year-old friend Oliver, which you can read about on Emma & Co..
Meanwhile, I’m going to try to take some decent pictures of the thing. I’m quite fond of it. The 2 borders, especially. I may have to get up on a ladder to get a shot that shows the grand plan of the borders. It’s kinda like the gardens of Versailles, or a football field. You need to stand at the top of the stairs to get the full effect.
Love,
Kay
PS Since leaving Nebraska, where the people wear red on Saturdays just to go the the grocery store, I have fallen away from the Church of Football. I am innocent of all knowledge of the NFL, to the point that a taxi driver on the way to the Newark airport had to give my son the news that the Giants and the Jets play in the same stadium. But every year, I go to a fambly Super Bowl party in the Bronx, where we watch the commercials and a fairly boring, incredibly aggrandized game. But this year, I gathered from all the shouting, it was kind of exciting. As for me, I was mesmerized by those yellow (first down) and blue (line of scrimmage) lines infra-imposed on the field. How do they DO that? It’s so cool to be able to see instantly whether they made the first down! I’m dazzled. (If they’ve been doing this for a long time, there is no need to tell me this in a snotty way.)

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49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. Yes, long live the legacy of the grand dame of knitting, Elizabeth Zimmerman. Her applied I-cord, and I-cord bind off and regular I-cord (and irregular I-cord?) is a blessing to knitters everywhere! It gives such a nice, finished edge. I use it instead of the bottom ribbing for hats–it gives a snug fit and looks professional. Best of all, my daughters will wear hats with I-cord bind off but not with ribbing.

  2. I love the blanket! It’s fantastic! I’m hoping one of my raffle ticket wins it!
    I’m a big fan of applied i-cord, I finished off most of my ball-band wash clothes with it and they look so nice with a consistent edging.

  3. Delurking because that blanket is stunning, and now I need to go find the pattern I saw recently that does the whole applied i-cord thingy (which I have never previously attempted). I am inspired!

  4. I think I FINALLY see my squares!
    WOO HOO.. of course, I’ve searched and searched everytime there is a photo of the amazing blanket (which I can’t even see you wanting to part with at this point) so, maybe my eyes are tired of the disappointment of not seeing the familiar squares and they decided to CLAIM squares that looked close enough?
    The blanket is just breathtaking and I want it- I know it wants to come home with me. But, just in case.. I think I have a plan.. Ok, now do you guys want to send me about 500 squares so I can have my own blanket (in case I don’t win the blanket)???

  5. Thanks for the I-Cord tutorial! I just finished an earflap hat for my son, only the pattern calls for a crochet edging and I don’t know how to crochet. And your i-cord edging looks so wonderful! I’m gonna try that and see how it goes…

  6. I thought it must be the Super Bowl yesterday because it was also Super International Pyjama Day. They just had to go together.

  7. The blanket is amazing! What a lot of first-class work you put into it!
    And um…yes, that was an exciting game (tho’ I fear it labels me to say that – I’m basically a football ignoramous.)
    (((hugs)))

  8. I’m with you on the football, although I will say that the etrade commercial with the baby on the computer was hilarious! (the first commercial where he spits up after making a stock trade)

  9. I’ve been making those slippers from the purl blog and while knitting applied I- cord made a huge (for me) discovery: if you use dpns to knit the cord, you don’t have to put the stitches back on the left needle, just slide them and knit them on the same needle after you have picked up the stitch like you are making regular i- cord. It works! I promise!http://www.purlbee.com/ scroll down.
    Amy

  10. I’ve been making those slippers from the purl blog and while knitting applied I- cord made a huge (for me) discovery: if you use dpns to knit the cord, you don’t have to put the stitches back on the left needle, just slide them and knit them on the same needle after you have picked up the stitch like you are making regular i- cord. It works! I promise!http://www.purlbee.com/ scroll down.
    Amy

  11. I’m with you on those fancy-schmancy lines the TV coverage uses. So cool.
    Did you see the play where the guy with the ball fell just short of the line? Everyone on the field thought maybe he made it, and they got out the chains to measure. I just know the TV viewers all across the country were yelling at the TV, like me, “No, he was short!” And he was. Kind of cool to know, even before the refs.

  12. STUNNING, STUNNING, STUNNING. You have pulled it together in the most….ahem….STUNNING way.
    Me too! Football is now so much more exciting with those infra-imposed thingies on the field. Could it be that I’m now starting to actually UNDERSTAND the game? Nah. But those thingies are cool.

  13. I too am endlessly fond of those yellow and blue lines! So much so that when I actually attended a live NFL game I was unable to keep up with what was going on! I actually had to go out to the snack stands and check things out on the wonderful tee-vee’s so that I could figure out what was what. Ah, where would we be without the marvels of technology hehe! :)

  14. The blanket is just beautiful, Kay. So much work shows how much this little boy is loved. Now I’m going to give away this week’s grocery budget for the chance to win it! I wish…

  15. The blanket is stunning! You’ve put your heart and soul into it for weeks now! I am hoping that win it,of course!What a beauty it turned into! Ahh football, leaves me cold, I haven’t liked the game since my heart throb Joe Namath stopped playing, he still makes my heart flutter, I once spent 4 hours in Bachelor’s III (1970) with him, truly a sweetheart! I wish our Patriots ( I’m near Boston) had played better, but oh well as they say in baseball, wait till next year!

  16. There was a football game this weekend? Who played? Ah, Nebraska, where we have only two seasons (winter and road construction) and where football is a major religion. I’ve lived in Omaha just over 30 years and I still can’t get excited about football (although I do love the color red). I spent the weekend playing with dye on yarn swatches. My fingers are kind of purple and green in places. :) That blanket is more that lovely. Thanks for the tip on how to do applied I-cord. I’d heard of it but not figured out how to do it.

  17. LOL Kay — yup the lines have been there for awhile — they revolutionized my watching ’cause now I can visualize the target distance! ;-) The 17 weeks of the regular season are prime knitting time – though I couldn’t have kept needles in my hands to save my life last night. YEAH GIANTS!

  18. The line “thing” fascinates me, too! I am, however, I football diva. I have been on a fantasy football league for four years now and won this year. I also taught fantasy football to 8th graders in an elective course this fall (sneaky way of teaching interlocking spreadsheets.) The Giants are now my 2nd favorite team… after the Colts.
    Love the blanket and I am definitely going to try the i cord on a rebozo I am knitting.
    By the way, the girls on Ravelry are all thrilled because your book has appeared on Amazon. They are clamoring for details!!!

  19. Longest continuous length of APPLIED i-cord in North America, I think. We must not forget the boys who have gotten their hands on knitting nancys. My brother would send an entire Red Heart Pound of Love through that thing and insist that it NEVER be taken apart, because he had MADE it, that amazing rope. The pride of creation of that fabulous rope continued at least into high school, and I think now into his 30s.

  20. The blankets are BEAUTIFUL! So happy that it’s almost to the end for you!
    As for the Church of Football, I too left the Husker state (only about 18 months ago) and it is different there, more than anywhere else. The first time we moved there (in 1999) I was wearing my Orange Oklahoma State t-shirt on a GAME DAY! (Oh the horrors!) I couldn’t figure out why everyone was looking at me as I shopped in Hy-Vee! LOL.

  21. Your blanket is beautiful! I have never tried applied i-cord, but I’ll definitely be checking back here for guidance when the time comes.
    As for the game, I finished 2 WIPs while “watching” and really had no idea what was going on with the game. My husband had to tell me afterwards that it was a historic and exciting game. I can’t believe it went right over my head.

  22. That is one beautiful blanket. Thanks for the applied I-cord how to. I was going to go looking for that. I still can’t put it together in my head, so I’ll have to go try it out. A good reason to finish my mini miter blanket.

  23. waiting with bated breath
    to see the blanket
    unfold and spread
    in all its glory.
    the sneak peeks are marvelous::
    we are not worthy

  24. The superimposed lines are intriguing enough to keep even me interested during the most boring of games. One of the great mysteries of the Universe, those things. Seriously. How? How do they do it? Someone please share.
    Likewise, the hockey puck trails.

  25. Hey- after reading about I-cord and then edging hats instead of crochet… that gives me a great idea (and helps me out b/c the crochet edges of my hats look like crap!
    Thank you!

  26. my we are looking good
    lots of love and care
    i am in there -it is an honor
    to be with many fine knitters
    do not fall off the ladder

  27. The blanket is drop dead gorgeous.
    But I’m lucky about football….DH and I have a pre-nup agreement. No football (now, now, before people get annoyed, had he minded, we wouldn’t have married ;-).

  28. beautious, kay! what a labor of LOVE!!! you inspire us to do for others everyday!

  29. ann
    please go here to read about some chickens.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=512201&in_page_id=1770
    i think you might be on to something. Chicken sweaters are here to stay.

  30. The outer edge of sock yarn stripes is fantastic — more Missoni than Versailles IMO. Great tip for picking up stitches for the applied i-cord. Here’s another one (from EZ’s Glossary DVD0: if the applied i-cord is a different shade than the rest of the knitting and you have a color-blip issue, on the i-cord needle, K3, then YO, then K the last stitch together with the garment’s edge stitch,and pass the yo over so it can hide the tiny blip.
    Of course in the present instance, the more tiny blips, the better and wilder.

  31. Each time I see THE blanket, it’s more beautiful and compelling. I can see the love and good intentions knitted right in there!
    Thanks for the applied-I-cord tutorial.

  32. Oh yeah! I spent a good 20 minutes once questioning my brother-in-law about how they put those lines on the field, and I still don’t have it figured out!

  33. Hey, I am familiar with some of the NFL, but I never knew the Giants and the Jets played in the same stadium. How is that the football teams share, but the baseball teams don’t? Odd.
    The blankie is just wonderful! It came out so well. I hope the raffle is a resounding success.

  34. Hey, I am familiar with some of the NFL, but I never knew the Giants and the Jets played in the same stadium. How is that the football teams share, but the baseball teams don’t? Odd.
    The blankie is just wonderful! It came out so well. I hope the raffle is a resounding success.

  35. I have been fascinated by the lines for a while, so much so that I had to look it up. Now, while I am no expert and my have it all wrong in my head, I think it is something like the “layers” in photoshop. Each line or the big bannerish thing on the screen that reminds you that it is “2nd and 7 to go” or whatever is its own image put in layers on the image we see on the screen. So the players can walk all over the place, on top of the layers because I guess that image is the top layer. I think.
    I love the blanket, it is gorgeous.

  36. GO GIANTS! I am a big football fan and don’t know how they do those lines. I had a lot of fun watching this game, though. There were some awesome plays.
    Your blanket is awesome, too. I don’t know how you make all of those square and rectangular objects wthout going crazy. I need smaller sizes, stitch patterns and less seaming. Love the I-cord edging, though. It finishes things so nicely.

  37. Sorry, did you say something after “repeat from * until the edging is complete”?
    I became a little light-headed at that point.
    Heavens to Betsy, Kay – you are an inspiration!
    I look forward to the aerial view.

  38. I was pretty sad that the Patriots couldn’t get it quite together enough for a 19-0 season. It’s like they were too tired of being ‘perfect’ to remain perfect.
    I am not a big fan of commercials Superbowl or otherwise, so I mostly just knit my sock because it was mindless enough that I could pay attention to the game.

  39. Hehe, so, are you going to send in your essay on applied i-cord to “This I Believe”? The blanket is obviously amazing. Everyone who contributed is an angel and should be proud to be part of such a fabulous project and whoever wins that is really making out like a bandit. I guess I better get over there and donate.

  40. How did you do the corners of the blanket with the i-cord? Doing one myself, no pat, need help!!!!!!

  41. Re: “…or a football field. You need to stand at the top of the stairs to get the full effect.” I once went to a car show that featured custom VWs, that turned out to be held on a football field. I was walking around looking at the brightly colored little round cars, and suddenly had an idea — I ran up the stairs to the top, and yes, from there it looked exactly like the World’s Biggest Easter Basket. :)
    As for football itself, I’ve always had zero interest. When I was in high school and college, my friends and I would take advantage of Superbowl Sunday as the perfect day to go to an amusement park and ride everything as many times as you want with no lines for anything.
    PhilB

  42. Yeah, I’ve never been a football fan, either. I don’t get the point of a bunch of guys kicking or throwing a football around, then everybody tackling and piling on top of each other. But, now you tell me about these mysterious blue and yellow lines on the field. Why, even I would have watched TV for at least a few minutes of a football game to see those magical lines. Guess I’ll have to wait until next year to see what that’s all about.
    When I was a kid in the fifties (yeah, I’m old!), there was a children’s TV show on which the host taught you how to draw by drawing pictures on the screen. You sent off for this magical plastic film that you put on your TV screen, and you used crayons to trace the host’s drawings. When the show was over, you wiped the screen clean, removed it from the TV, rolled it up and put it away until the next show. I’ll bet those magical lines on the football field are just some guy drawing with erasable markers on the back of the Jumbo-Tron screen! That’s why only the TV viewers can see those lines. Yup, I’ve figured it out. Guess I don’t have to wait until the next football season after all.
    Mary G.

  43. A short profile of Stan Honey, the creator of the first down graphic:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/06/CMI3U0PLU.DTL

  44. I got the part where “if you don’t say anything it is like you are not there”….I am here…a lot. I have wanted to knit EVERYTHING from the book, currently doing the linen towels and cotton bathmat. Also inspired to knitup some randomness with those leftovers I have.

  45. I know some people hate it, but the slip stitch edge saved me a ton of sewing up time when I made my blankets of mitred squares.
    As for the yellow lines, don’t trust em too much, I’ve seen the chains be WAY off (much more distressing to the husband, but still).
    did anyone else think the commercials were mostly duds this year?

  46. This is just absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I love it!!!

  47. Oooo! I see one of my squares!!
    Local news station KPIX ran a story last week on the first-down graphic that fascinated even a football atheist like me: http://cbs5.com/goodquestion/first.down.marker.2.643174.html.
    Kay, the quilt is gorgeous and I commend you for knitting those miles of applied i-cord. I’ve put it on baby sweaters before and thought I’d die of boredom before I finished. They do seem to make almost anything look more finished, though. One question: can you show us the reverse/underside/inside of the quilt. Or did you line it? Details, please.

  48. The blanket is suuuch a wonder! (the eighth wonder, perhaps, of our modern world?)
    The I-cord is amazing, so amazing! I agree that applied I-cord has it going ON; it feels like it’s kind of “in my blood”, you know (and I’ve never even applied any before).
    Thanks,also, Kay for not only applying it, but for so graciously (and clearly) explaining how to apply it. You have taken the mystery out of applied I-cord for me.
    ….and maybe the Ninth Wonder: the power of having a vision, creating a goal, sticking to it, and seeing it through. And the Wonder of so many people helping out. I think of all of those leftover balls of yarn, now made into something tangible and beautiful!
    To all who donated time, squares, sewing, creativity, encouragement, etc. you amaze me; you’ve got it “going on”, too.
    LoveDiane

  49. Cheers to football ignorance!
    I snubbed the superbowl and went to Juno with my friend. Plenty of seats and lots of girl laughter, not a guy in the place. Would recommend it to anybody, skip the Superbowl… see a movie.