Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

Endurance. Fidelity. Intelligence. Garter Stitch.

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Dear Ann,
Balto is one of the most beloved statues in Central Park.
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Balto was the lead dog of the last of several teams of mushers and sled dogs who relayed diptheria antitoxin to save children in Nome, Alaska, in the winter of 1925.
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They made the journey with desperate speed and in appalling weather.
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The story of Balto is here. (I like the part about how “the serum was packed in a cylinder, wrapped in an insulating quilt, and then tied up in canvas for further protection.” It is always a good idea to have an insulating quilt–or blanket–on hand. Better get busy and make some more.)
Balto’s monument seemed like a good place to hang the Mitered Crosses Blanket for the first –and I must warn you that it is not likely to be the last–of its beauty shots.
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This is not the first FO of this pattern, however. The first finished Mitered Crosses Blanket is… a bag! It was made by Tomoko of Kobe, Japan. Isn’t that something? In Tomoko’s Ravelry notebook, she named it “Rescue! Rescue!”–making me wish I had thought of such a good name when I was naming the blanket. “Balto” would have been OK, too.
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Love,
Kay
P.S. What Would Balto Do? He’d hit the button to send cash to Mercy Corps for Japan relief:

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68 Comments

68 Comments

  1. It’s STUNNING.
    And Balto looks so proud!

  2. Stunning is a good word! Very motivating, too. I may have to save up for 269…thanks for such lovliness in such dark times.

  3. It looks great! I so want to cast mine on right. now. and I have the perfect Noro for it too

  4. POWERFUL!

  5. gosh, ya gotta love the drama of Noro! this blanket is quite beautiful. thanks for the design!
    now if only i could find such a great FO photo shoot location for my new NSFW quilt…

  6. Oh, it’s just bee-YOO-ti-full!

  7. Awesome and uplifting.

  8. Beautiful story, beautiful quilt!

  9. Noble! Beautiful! Every bit of it: Balto, that blanket, you wandering around Central Park waiting for the light.

  10. I love the way tomoko inverted the light and dark components – very effective!

  11. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

  12. Oh mercy, it’s gorgeous. I haven’t been able to find the natural shades of the Noro locally (I just love the contrast with the bright colors in your blanket!) or I would have started one already.
    Well done!

  13. Really it’s stunning and I can’t wait until mine is done!

  14. It is so beautiful! I have to start mine!

  15. dang it, like someone said yesterday I could resist until I saw it all together – now I’m obsessed – but I am going on a trip and this is like a quilt with yarn – a good project for the car and camping, no?

  16. It may be the early hour or my aging eyes, but do I see two small areas of I-cord edging done in different colors from the remaining I-cord? If so, it’s brilliant. For some reason, this pleases me no end. Your blanket is a knockout. If mine turns out half as nice, I’ll be overly pleased. What an inspiration.

  17. Oh, adore.

  18. And that mitred crosses purse??!!! Beauty!

  19. It looks fantastic, Kay! I love how the crosses in each row are offset. Very artsy.
    I saw that bag in the Ravelry projects and wished I could read Japanese so that I could know what the project notes said!

  20. A truly beautiful beauty shot. Thanks for using your powers for good.

  21. Staggering! Seriously, Kay, I think you’ve elevated the knitted blanket to whole new level.

  22. That is beautiful. I just started mine this morning.

  23. I love the colours of this blanket looks great.

  24. Perfect location for this wonderful blanket.I may have to shoot mine in the same place.These pictures should be enough for Noro to revive 269. Love this pattern so much, that although I am only half way though my blanket, I have already ordered more yarn for the next. Thanks again.

  25. The blanket is stunning. I have 10 skeins of a long-discontinued Kureyon colorway in my stash, and have been wondering if that would be enough for the crosses. I hadn’t thought of making the border portions of the squares larger to stretch the yarn I have for the project. I’m going stash-diving this weekend to find something for the borders—I’m thinking I have some Donegal Tweed or an Elspeth Lavold yarn in an oatmeal-y color that might work. What is better than using stash, knitting garter stitch, and helping those in need all at the same time? Especially when there are stories of heroic dogs involved.

  26. Wow!!!!

  27. Balto would be proud to be ‘posing’ with the lovely (and very helpful) blanket. And, I’m sure Olive approves of the model too ! Love the blanket and also the idea of making a bag using the pattern – thank you for giving us crazy knitters a way to help all those hurting in Japan and feed our obsession too !

  28. Thank you Kay. We so love Balto. Now you need to place a button that just sends money for those of us who have already bought the pattern.

  29. Balto never looked better. The blanket adds a color thing that he’s probably glad to have after all of these proud years. You know he’s supposed to bring good luck if you rub his nose or something like that.

  30. Just beautiful! Two heros – Kay & Balto!
    Our local VFW recently cleared what everyone in town thought was a grubby overgrown empty lot…only to discover that it was a very special pet cemetery for military & police dogs. There’s a fabulous monument honoring their service & American flags at the entrance so that everyone who drives by can see it. I hope it becomes as beloved as Balto in NYC.

  31. Gawgeous.
    You can tell how popular Balto is by how well his sides are polished by kids’ legs. ;->

  32. What a great photo shoot of a great blanket! Thanks, too, for sharing pics of Balto, a true American hero.

  33. I am struck by how the colors of the quilt are reflected in the surrounding landscape; red on the bridge, gold of the trees. The boldness of the cross design reflects the strength of Baldo. The photos are gorgeous, look forward to many more.

  34. There is another statue honoring Balto, Togo, and Leonard Seppälä, in Junosuando, Sweden, which I visited last summer. Junosuando is close to Pajala, home of the world’s largest mitten–a Lovikka mitten, of course. I believe this is where they were originally designed. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/11584508@N08/4634822845 (not my photo)

  35. Oh Kay, that is just stunning! Would you please share the colorways you used? I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more Noro!

  36. I have already purchased my pattern but feel this is what needs to be said THANK YOU

  37. Just saw this beauty on pintrest.com

  38. Oh I love the bag idea! I could sneak that in among the many wips and not feel toooooo guilty about beginning something new. I would also get my need to knit that cross pattern some help.

  39. I couldn’t really appreciate how beautiful it was going to be until seeing this photos. Brilliant!

  40. Beautiful! (The blanket, especially, but also Balto and his mission and y’all and your mission).

  41. I love Balto! And how GORGEOUS is that blanket! WOW! And, do tell. . . how many skeins of 269 did your version take? (I have amassed. . . 11. . . and I’m wondering. . .)

  42. How can I put this off now that I have seen it all together!!!?!!!?? Is there a discussion somewhere on alternate yarns? I need some ideas – dye my own cream silkgarden replacement?

  43. I love Balto. You can’t watch the animated movie without a box of kleenex. It gets me every time. You picked the perfect spot to photograph the blanket. You are a hero too.

  44. That is gorgeous!! Thanks for coming up with this pattern. I am officially in love with it! I’m working on mine now, but in solid colors (blues, browns, and off-white) for a friend. The pattern is perfect – mindless parts so you can work on it while something else is going on – but not just straight garter all the time so I don’t get bored. I see myself making many more of these in the future. Next time will be in Noro or a similar yarn with more color changes.

  45. Good dog, Balto! Good knitter-and-designer, Kay! Thank you so much.

  46. My daughter’s favorite dog, and my favorite blanket pattern. It is spectacular and perfect. I can’t wait to start mine!

  47. Unexpected uplifting moments: 1) Watching Paul Simon and Jimmy Fallon sing Cecelia and 2)Your blanket in Central Park. Jubilation! Thank you.

  48. oh, kay! your blanket is so alive! a herculean task. thrilled that you can share it with balto.

  49. Absolutely perfect. As a gesture of solidarity in November 2001 my family of three hopped in the car after Thanksgiving dinner and headed for NYC. The only site all three of us could agree on visiting was Balto. When we got there we had to wait our turn to take a picture. The folks ahead of us? A Japanese family.
    The blanket is beautiful; I am currently scanning my stash for possibilities.

  50. You know, I really wanted to get this pattern and support this cause, and I was having a case of the pity party…single mom, unemployed, struggling to make ends meet…but then I realized even with all that I don’t have, I sure have a lot more than many people in Japan do now. I have a roof over my head, a nice warm bed. So I bought the pattern. $5.00 is not too much to help, especially when added on to the money that other knitters are putting forth too. And I feel good about it.

  51. Incredibly beautiful!!

  52. Absolutely lovely! I’m so torn. When I bought the beige Noro for this pattern i couldn’t wait to cast on. Then I thought about making two Baby Dotty blankets with it instead. Now I see these pictures and I just can’t decide. You make it too hard woman!

  53. Beautiful project and you had to throw in Balto. *sniff* He would’ve hit the buy button and learn to knit!

  54. You knocked it out of Central Park with this one, Kay–brava!

  55. Love the blanket. Love Balto. Possibly the last 13 skeins of Noro 269 on the planet were delivered to my door yesterday. I guess I need to get cracking.

  56. Please write another book…..This blanket and Balto deserve it.

  57. Bravo, Balto. Perfect location for a photo shoot.

  58. So beautiful, and what a lovely and meaningful setting. My family and I were fortunate enough to visit NYC for the first time last year right before Christmas. I have seen and stood on the very spot. I hope to make a blanket as pretty as yours one day… and my odds just got better if all goes well… I just scored 20 skeins of #269! Fingers crossed there are no glitches… This was my favorite Noro color even before the Mitered Cross craze. I even have a wrap I was thinking of frogging… hopefully that won’t be necessary any more.
    Thanks again for a stunning pattern. I’m a fan. :)

  59. Lovely blanket! When we visited NYC the kids remembered the Balto story, and were thrilled to see the statue in person.

  60. What a striking quilt. Love the photos of it with Balto. You and Tomoko are awesome as well. I joined the Ravelry Help Japan group and will be donating to Mercy Corps. Thank you for your inspiration.

  61. Yay Balto!!! The quilt is beautiful and you are crazy! Love you – xoxo.

  62. LOVE the blanket, loved the help with today’s crossword puzzle. Apparently, you live to serve!

  63. Balto is a clue in the NYTimes crossword today!

  64. Dear Kay and Ann,
    I love your blog and all your books so very much. I have a problem, though. The type on your blog is SO VERY TEENY TINY that I have trouble reading it. I have to squint and scootch up close to my monitor every time I visit. Any chance you could have pity and get a bigger font?
    Love the mitered cross blanket – so beautiful! Well done.

  65. The blanket is magnificent, like Balto. I have a photo of an old beau sitting on Balto. Taken back in 1977 when we drove to NYC from Toronto for a week’s holiday. I have always loved the statue, but until today, didn’t know the story behind it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  66. sweet and lovely

  67. Oh, how lovely! And Central Park is looking its best, with forsythia, sunlight and the best blanket ever to grace its surfaces. The rocks have a story, too; they were left by retreating glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. I grew up climbing on the ones in Riverside Park.

  68. The blanket is so gorgeous; must get the pattern!
    And if anyone wants to see the real Balto (well, OK, he’s stuffed now), come to our fair city and see him here: http://www.cmnh.org/site/AtTheMuseum/OnExhibit/PermanentExhibits/Balto.aspx