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

London Blanket

noseamblanketnotebook.jpg
Dear Ann,
Weekend before last, the family went to Florida for the weekend to attend a memorial service in honor of a beautiful friend who lived to the fullest almost every minute of her 85 years.
Florida explains the sunlight and greenery in some of the pictures. Others go to Florida to swim and bask and wear green & pink capri pants. Me, I’m not a sun person. I’m a knitting person.
We were about to go through security at La Guardia when I reached for my second bag. You know, the one with a weekend’s worth of knitting in it. (“Weekend’s worth” being an absurdly optimistic concept.) THERE WAS NO SECOND BAG. Ack! I ran back to the curbside check-in: No Bag. This meant that either the bag was locked in the car in the long-term parking garage, or a Knefarious Knitting Thief had swiped it while I was distracted at the curbside check-in. The unconnected parts of two sweaters, a ton of yarn, and some choice blue-stained bamboo needles–all potentially lost. I did a little pre-mourn, but took heart when I realized that if I ripped out a wonky log cabin strip on the Kaffe Intarsia Log Cabin (thank goodness I had separated the knitting into 2 bags!), I would have enough knitting for the plane ride. On arrival in Florida, I would call upon my survival skills to reconnoiter some yarn. Hubby, who was only partially successful at hiding his delight at the disappearance of 2 sweaters’ worth of clutter, assured me that yarn-finding would be a top priority, right up there with Lunch.
So we found a yarn store. In a strip mall on the west of Lake Worth, Florida, a nice little shop called Just ImagiKnit (aw!). They had no Rowan Denim to help me with the Kaffe Intarsia Log Cabin, so I had to figure out what to knit with what they had. I spied some Tahki Cotton Classic, which I had used for months and months of knitting on the Mitered Square Blanket of beloved queen-sized memory. I have been wanting to make an alt version, only smaller and cuter. I picked out some skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic, including a spritely ‘tweed’ (2 colors) and a ‘colors’ (3 or more colors) blend. I set to work.
nosewblanketsquare1.jpg
This project may seem like Deja Vu All Over Again. But it’s not. I loved knitting the first one, but I couldn’t bear to do the same, huge thing a second time. This one has a more limited palette. I am trying to come up with some new graphic effects with the squares. But my grand ambition for this blanket is: a NO-SEW patchwork blanket. This thrilling objective will be achieved through the deployment of 2 key strategies.
1. Knitting the squares onto each other by picking up stitches. This will form the 4-square blocks without sewing. It also means that the striped squares will be differently oriented, creating interesting challenges and opportunities for messing around.
2. Joining the blocks, be they 4-square or be they 2-square or even 1-square, by picking up stitches along the edges to be joined, and doing 3-needle bind-offs. The 3-needle bind-off will be another design opportunity.
What fun! What great portable knitting! As I was mentioning to Norma, I’m going to London. So I need some major portable airplane and train knitting for the next 2 weeks.
nosewblanketfirst2.jpg
Here’s one of the hopefully cool graphic thingies starting to emerge
nosewblanket3squareslayout.jpg
Here’s the state of play on my departure from New York.
Now I’m in London, so this post is posting all by itself, by the magic of Moveable Type. The goal: finished blanket by the time I get home. Just to keep me honest, the blanket will have the equivalent of 12 4-square blocks. And a border. Of course a border. Well, maybe not a border.
Love, Kay
P.S. The bag was in the car when we got home. So the unconnected sweater parts are still with us, and new yarn has been added to the clutter. Yay!

Tags:

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. OK, I’ve seen the squares-so-far. That’s 2.5 out of 12. It’s Wednesday night, so you’re 3 days in. I’m betting – what am I betting? Thinks. Better be good. OK. I’m betting 250g – 5 x 50g balls of denim, knitted by me, bleached by me, unraveled by me and sent to you for use in A Future Gorgeous Denim Project that you don’t finish this blanket by the time you touch down in NY again. (Hubbo, Carrie, Joseph – I’m relying on you all to a)distract from knitting if need be – this is your holiday too and so Wife / Mom should be doing Holiday Things With You and not Knitting. and b)just in case The Kayye defies expectations, a photo please as final proof).
    Are we on?????

  2. Again, totally gorgeous! On a knitting scale of one-to-awesome, it’s super great. I’ve always wanted to try a mitered square blanket like that, I have a predilection for pop graphics and such, but I’ve always been too chicken. Hopefully one of these days in a fit of Starbucks-induced caffene rage I’ll march into my LYS and get the proper accoutrements.

  3. Rad. But may I suggest that picking up all those stitches for a three-needle bind off sounds like a major pain, when crocheting them together would be much simpler, faster and funner?
    (it’s fun to say “funner” for sake of a parallel sentence, isn’t it?)

  4. Relief! that you found the bag. Would not want the yarn to be ORPHANED at the AIRPORT! It might be spied and destroyed, or sent to a non-loving home. Needles too. Who else could love the needles?
    Love the mitred squares….this is a more-than-olympic chanllenge though…!

  5. The most important question — how did you manage to get on the plane with your knitting? Especially in Florida? I have had baby nail clippers confiscated by the security guards at Tampa airport. They said “You can leave these here or pay for them to be sent by mail to your home.” I’ve never dared try knitting needles, even circular ones, for fear of the wrath of the burly security agents. tell me your secret so i no longer spend a flight wondering what to do with my hands.

  6. I’m liking the blanket. Good save on the vacation knitting and it looks gorgeous. Glad you found your “lost” bag too, BTW.

  7. i made my son a rambling rows afghan a couple months ago that used that very technique of picking up the stitches on the sides/tops/bottoms. it was great fun to knit and the lack of mattress stitching (sorry, I know you love that) made finishing the thing a celebration rather than a funeral. just watch out for pain in your hands – mine was wool – the cotton will be even heavier. take breaks. alcohol helps.
    This new design is just awesome. Have fun.

  8. Way to improvise! And with respect to “how much yarn do you bring along” and “have I packed too much yarn” I figure it is like any budgeting process…best guess x 1.5 (for a long weekend) x 2 (for a week), etc.
    Note to Meredith: Can’t speak to the Tampa security elite, but I have flown with my knitting everywhere and never had more than “is that knitting?” as a security clearance. I leave the scissors and snips out, and use one of those benign cutters that are now marketed. When I was worried about taking my knitting on a London flight back in 2002, my husband (husband!) helped me think through the issue by pointing out that if I took projects on circs, and the circs got confiscated (fyi the Denise set doesn’t even raise an eyebrow anywhere in my experience), I could just run a length of yarn through the stitches and buy more needles when we arrived at our destination. Good man (very).

  9. Beautiful blanket, I’m using tcc in a mitred square baby blanket and loving working with it. As for the airports, all I usually get these days is “who is the knitter, my wife/mom/sis is a knitter”. Why I cannot carry on those plastic scissors that come in a hotel sewing kit, but can carry on old steel, 14 inch pointy metal needles I’ll never understand, but have had many a flight attendant come sit and knit with me!

  10. Love all those colors together very cool! Glad your knitting was in the car I would have had a panic attack if I thought I’d lost my knitting.

  11. What? No blanket of fog? Not that you’ll notice things like the atmosphere anymore with all that knitting to do. I really like the way you’re messing with the stripes.
    Way to throw down Ye Olde Gauntlet, Belinda! I think you set out the ultimate prize, though and I’m putting my bet on Kayye. She’ll do ANYTHING for dippity hand-bleached Denim.

  12. I’m liking the new blanket. The no-sew plan: fab! But what really made me take notice is your definition of “weekend knitting” in that second bag. So glad it all turned out fortuitously.

  13. Christina, I know, a bit cruel do you think?? Kayye knitting furiously and being too busy to do things like, oh, drinking champagne / wine / beer, dinners out, sightseeing? I secretly think she’ll manage it, but shhh! don’t tell anyone else…
    And London today is beautiful, spring has sprung, it’s warm (ish), sunny, ahhhh. No fog in sight.

  14. wow. I feel like I’m talking to the Ghost of Kayye, the woman who haunts the Log Cabins of Norway. I’m glad you revealed the fate of the knitting bag. I was really worried about it. Those kinds of loose ends really bother me. Like the whereabouts of my iPod cable. I’d really like to stay abreast of the digital music library.
    I love your fortitude and resignation, however, You just plowed right on through the mourning period and went straight to acquisition. Brilliant!

  15. I wonder if you could make up squares that involved *no* stitching or joining at all, even between squares? I bet it’s possible.

  16. The back, woman, the back! You can’t just dangle the promise of no-sew blankie in front of a tia-to-be and then not show the WS. Show a little mercy, I’m in agony here.

  17. I totally dig the “no-sew” concept, especially including picking up the sides of finished pieces at the ends of rows. And I think that pick-up and 3-needle bind off is as easy (and more gratifying, perhaps) as crocheting pieces together.
    But I personally offer to introduce you to the joys of a crocheted border. Like i-cord, in a tenth of the time! Like your own signature curled-up-stockinette-so-it-looks-like-piping maneuver, in one tenth of the time! And that INCLUDES the learning curve time.
    I do not kid.
    But neither do I take my own advice. I’m off to go plan the possibility of your greek key border (or maybe corrugated ribbing…) for my own queen-size masterpiece. But I might crochet onto the edge of that.

  18. hmmm, this story reminds me of the knitting that got left behind when you went to china with diana!
    i am thinking that peter gets big props for helping find and/or get to that yarn store. did the strip mall have an otb?
    happy birthday, btw, doll!

  19. Wow! Unbelievably cool! :)

  20. Love it and can’t wait to see the finished version! I’m about 1/2 way done on a mitered square queen-size afghan. Really, really wish I would have chosen to go with the larger squares.
    Oh, and so glad to hear that theives did not steal the knitting bag.

  21. Did you see this:
    http://www.moleskinerie.com/2006/03/yarn_on_moleski.html ?
    They are using YOU as the final word on how to use a notebook!
    And they should! I love the concept blanket, it’s got me hankerin’ for one of my own (I’m thinking a mix of mitered squares and mitered squares out of my pile of blue leftovers…)

  22. hi there. i am tres inspired by your stripey mitered square afghan. i have been looking for a pattern and can’t find one! can you make a suggestion? or, if you’ve developed it, give me some guidance please? thanks ever-so…

  23. I just got your book (Books a Million in Northern Virginia) and its wonderful! Beautiful and inspiring and wonderful and you guys actually make me want to knit a rug! I never thought I’d say that but WOW!

  24. Okay, I can’t help myself, are those knit-quilt postage stamps in found objects?????? I love them, where are they from?

  25. The photo of your mitred squares encouraged me a great deal–after reading the earlier series of posts about mitred squares I was all fired up and tried doing some and they came out All Crooked! that is, not square at all but with long noses where the short rows are. I despaired and figured that it was a problem with mismatched stitch gauge/row gauge attributable to my novice knitting skills. But maybe I gave up too soon? the photo of your new blanket seems to show something similar going on. Will it all come out even with blocking?
    I love this blog! I discovered it this winter and read it like a novel till I was up to date. It got me knitting again and has really been a delight. Thank you so much–

  26. Love this blog! Just discovered it tonight and I think the format is excellent.
    Next time you’re in Floriday, check out my favorite LYS in West Palm Beach called Great Balls of Yarn. If you like ImaginiKnit, you’ll be coo-coo for GBOY. http://www.greatballsofyarn.com for anyone else looking for a south florida shop that’s worth the trip.