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Behind the Music: Blanket 1

Dear Ann,
I want to share some tips on laying out an homage-to-Kaffe Fassett blanket starting with 1053 4-inch squares in a sampling of every sock yarn that has been on the market since 1974 plus a little handspun. This isn’t done very often, so it may be of interest to others who have a couple-odd thousand squares sitting around.
Tip #1: Call in Amber. Amber brings muffins and endless patience for swapping squares in and out of a layout, in miserable December light. Helpful hint: Make sure you have the basic necessities for a home birth, as Amber is awaiting a Blessed Event in the very near future. Keep Amber hydrated, and she will work all day.
That’s my only tip, really. Amber.
We (“we” used loosely) got the central 20 blocks laid out and taped to cardstock for ease of sew-up, and also the inner border. The squares look even better taped close together than they did spread out on the bed, which bodes well for how they will look seamed up. All that’s left to do is to sort through the crazy diagonal squares seeking only the most crazy, most diagonal ones for the outer border. Snip-snap–blanket laid out. At this point it is unclear whether it will be recognizable as an Homage to Kaffe Fassett’s Gridlock blanket, but whatever it is, we like it.
The biggest revelation so far is that even if you have 1053 squares, if you are trying to establish a discernible pattern you will spend a fair amount of time hunting for the right ones. Even with over a thousand squares in your palette, when you are looking for the right pinky-red, most are too pinky or too red and you just have to get over yourself. (Hey, that’s a tip: Get over thyself.)
“I like it.”
“I hate it.”
“Not so much.”
“It looks like one of those spectrum packs from Purl!”
“So. Great.”
“Contrast! More contrast!”
“I thought I would like that but I don’t.”
“Can this block be the weird one?”
“OK, it’s done now. Right?”



  1. Looks like tons of fun! Nice work.

  2. That top, red patch with the blue center is giving me KF “Red Diamonds” intarsia flashback…in a good way. Yay for Amber in full sail!

  3. Yay! It looks beautiful! I can’t wait to help sew it up… I am certain to be inspired by the Kaffe Fassett-ness of it all.

  4. It’s going to be FABULOUS.

  5. I can’t wait to see it all sewn up!

  6. such patience! such eyes for colour! bravo, ladies– and all the best to the amberlet.

  7. Kay, you’ve done an admirable job of presenting different squares in each photo shoot. How like a soccer coach. . .no favoritism here!! (Still haven’t seen any I recognize, but I suspect one will show up in the truly weird diagonal sweepstakes.) You know, that really is a lot of squares. . . and, um, how did you knit 54 of them during the same era that contained the great quilt binding caper?

  8. A heroic undertaking. I’m impressed.

  9. I like seeing Amber’s baby. Hi Amber’s baby!
    I mean, I like the square messin’ too, but to see Amber all big and everything, well, that’s just fantastic.
    Kay, I know that having 1,054 squares at your disposal is like a dream come true. You could spend the next six months laying them out. Have fun!

  10. Glorious.
    For Elizabeth D – I thought I would be able to find my squares too, but there are so many yarns out there that even hand-dyed yarns manage to look like some of the other yarns and my stripey diagonals I can’t differentiate from some of the others. It’s just too many squares. Like the needle in the haystack!

  11. Can. Not. Wait. Looks like it’s going to be wonderful.

  12. why don’t you arrange one in a homage to a watercolor quilt style?
    I have always admired the book my family has, and wished that my quilting skills were umm more up to par. With so many squares lying around imagine what a blanket would look like it you had subtle plays of color so that far away it looked like a shape?
    Here are some images of watercolor quilts.

  13. Even when I just was the first picture I audibly gasped and said, “ooooooooo.” I might need to wander over and buy some tickets. Everything here is so white and cold…but the blanket is so colorful and warm!

  14. You are making me want to not send my kids to college so I can buy enough raffle tickets to guarantee I win. Maybe I can buy a copy of The Wall and teach them to sing Another Brick in the Wall instead?

  15. You are making me want to not send my kids to college so I can buy enough raffle tickets to guarantee I win. Maybe I can buy a copy of The Wall and teach them to sing Another Brick in the Wall instead?

  16. the layout picture looks fantastic – I can’t wait to see this!

  17. This is so exciting!

  18. Too bad I live on the opposite side of the country–I just love laying out squares and creating a blanket or quilt! I can hardly wait to see this finished–what a big task…but so rewarding….looks great so far!

  19. he he! The Blessed Event. You just made me think of my husband’s late grandmother. She would often ask women “so when’s the Blessed Event?”. Some of them were even gracious enough to thank her for assuming that they were young enough to be pregnant. LOL!!

  20. i am on pins and needles
    waiting for the next posting
    blankets and babies
    and sew and sew and sew

  21. ACK!! My squares are lost. The movers packed up the squares in Dallas and I can’t find them so I’m going to send the Houston squares (not very many) and some day I’ll find those Dallas squares and wonder what to do with them. So sorry so late.

  22. I am in awe of such artistry.
    Also astounded at amber’s agility ! Thank you Amber, and Amber’s baby, for helping Kay with the great blanket layout. A wonderful way to spend a day.

  23. Wait, wait – you’re making ONE blanket out of all of those squares?

  24. How exciting… can’t wait to see it!

  25. Oh goodness…. I’m desperately controlling the urge to start knitting one of these blankets RIGHT NOW…. NO —- must — finish — christmas — presents……
    (Beautiful ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  26. Dude – it does look fab in the pictures. I had so much fun, I forgot I was pregnant. Until I had to get up from the floor that time. Then I realized that I had forgotten I was pregnant. HA! And when I had pregnant lady insomnia, what did I wake dreaming of? The squares, the squares!


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