Yay (It Ain’t Sew)
March 29, 2011
Riding high on the early-morning reverse jet lag energy, I’m (over)excited to be joining the Mitered Crosses Blanket sample. If you have ever sewn up a bunch of knitted squares into a blanket (and I know you have), you understand. I am a decent hand at sewing up. I know my way around mattress stitch, and I am not ashamed of my whip stitch, neither. It’s just so much more fun, for a knitter, to knit things together than to sew them together. There is a stitch-to-stitch, mechanical precision about it that is extremely satisfying. Everything works out right, and the tension and flexibility of the seams match the knitted pieces–because it’s all knitted.
It was not a stretch to finish the remaining 8 of the 10 mitered cross blocks while I was away for a week. It was delightful to have a truly portable knitting project in my purse for train rides in and out of Paris, on the buses of the western Parisian suburbs, and of course on two long plane rides.
(Yes, this is a square-in-progress, hanging on the Eiffel Tower. Yes the kids were kind of embarrassed.)
Take It Or Leave It Tip Department
I wove in all the ends on each square, except the last one.
Laziness? Procrastination? Yes and yes, and also another reason: when I am joining the squares and strips together, I undo the fastening-off and pick up a stitch in that last stitch.
(You could also just not fasten it off, and leave a marker in the last stitch. Me, I can’t keep track of markers, so I just fasten off loosely and undo it when I’m ready to knit into it.)
I also do this with the last stitch of each of the 4 miters, so that when I am picking up for the log cabin strips, I can undo the last stitch of the miter and knit into the live stitch instead of picking up in the knot. I don’t like knots. I don’t say it’s necessary to do this small thing, but it appeals to my sense of knitterly elegance to eliminate those little fastening-off bumps as I join the pieces.
Here’s the first strip I’ve joined. While I was knitting the half-blocks in plain garter onto the ends, I thought of other ways they could be done. They could be true half-blocks, exactly half of the cross shape, with exactly half of the log cabin strips. This would economize on yardage of the background color, which would be handy since I am still one ball short of Ol’ 269. They could also be true half-cross blocks knitted entirely in the background color, which would be a bit more fun to knit than plain garter, and visually interesting. But, fighting every inclination in my scofflaw soul, I kept to the pattern. It seems kind of basic that the sample in the photographs match the dang pattern, am I right? And I got a reward for good behavior, because I really like the way, by knitting straight rows of garter, Noro’s genius striping of pales shows itself. I really, really like it. (Now if only Mr. Noro would un-discontinue Silk Garden Shade 269. Please? Pleasepleaseplease?)
OK, now I must get some exercise. And by exercise I mean walking the city in search of a ball of Silk Garden 269.
Thanks to everyone who has bought the pattern and especially to the 69 valiant souls who have started knitting it. It is a thrill to see actual, real-life blankets blooming on Ravelry.com, in all their knitterly diversity. (I would be remiss as a fundraiser if I did not take this opportunity to display the Buy Now button: )
Signed Your Name On My Heart With an X-O
I leave you with a different kind of love letter to Japan, a Black Eyed Peas video that was filmed there a week before the earthquake/tsunami.
(I’ll take self-striping over auto-tuning any day, but it’s all good.)