Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawlย is on through Sunday, September 25.

Please Pass the Garter Stitch

Dear Ann,
On the cusp of finishing Kiri, or one of the Kiris, I have a powerful yen for garter stitch. I also feel like it’s time to get moving toward finishing up the last loose ends of the Afghanalong for Afghans.
Carolyn is a reader in California we’ve never met. She sent in one of the very first squares for the Afghanalong. And she kept sending them. She sent so many that our first blanket was almost a 100% Carolyn blanket. Then she kept sending them.
At first, Carolyn was using up leftovers from all her other charity knitting (didja get that? “all her other charity knitting”? enough leftovers to make entire blankets out of?). Then she started sending these fantastic, bright, fine-gauge squares. She explained that her sister had passed onto her ‘a lot’ of 20-plus year old tapestry wool that she wasn’t ever going to use. The tapestry wool wasn’t as springy as knitting yarn (less twist, I think), but it knit up beautifully just the same.
I had no idea how much ‘a lot’ was, but the squares kept coming. To amuse herself, Carolyn gave them names, like ‘Oreo’ and ‘Ivy’ and ‘Lap Pool’. They were based, mostly and loosely, on the ‘log cabin’ theme. They were, in essence, brilliant color play.
So naturally I started to hoard them.
In the end, there were 19. Pictured above. I asked Carolyn if she would mind if we made one Superfantastic blanket out of them, and put it up on eBay to raise money for Afghans for Afghans. Carolyn, being Carolyn, said yes. Then she sent me:
A Righteous Pile of Tapestry Yarn.
So I’ve been a-thinkin’ and a-ponderin’ how to put the squares together. First I was going to just sew them together and log-cabin around them until the cows come home. But then I thought, gee, it’d be nice to share this work and maybe finish this thing in time for early autumn, when eBay shoppers start craving wool blankets. So I thought, if we did the strips Courthouse Steps style, then two people could work on the blanket simultaneously, one at each end.
Of course, these two people would have to be in the same room at the same time, to do that, and the strips would get long and get set aside in mid-strip, etc. So I wasn’t quite sure about that one, either.
Finally, the answer was in the Taro Blankie. Many hands could make light work, if we joined the squares with sashing and blocks, as in the Taro Blanket. (I have another Californian, Ann HB, to thank for showing me how to sash-and-block). This would have the added advantage of being the kind of project that many people could do, in the same room, while enjoying snacks and beverages. Each person could sash-and-block one square at a time. A nice, do-able evening’s project.
So here’s the plan: In September, after Labor Day, I’ll be having Open House every Monday evening. Anybody who’s in the neighborhood and wants to come over and knit a sash-and-block or two, and doesn’t already know where I live, email me. We’ll do it for a few weeks, until we run out of sashes, blocks and tapestry yarn. Bring a salty snack and/or a beverage to share.
Don’t worry, I’ll remind you when the time comes.
Now back to Kiri edging(s).
Love, Kay



  1. Hey, we might be in NY in September! I could join in! How cool… x x x

  2. Oh! Oh! What is that stitch??? The one in the first picture, on the left, second from the top, a black square with a blue center with a green stripe through it? And it’s at the bottom of the second picture? That looks soooo cool. I love it!
    I can guess which one is “Lap Pool” but I’m stuck in the others. Any chance of a legend?
    I wish I could come to Manhattan and help, but it’s too far from St. Louis. I will think enviously of you every Monday evening.
    Thanks for the wonderful blog. I’ve even made a buttonhole bag, but don’t know where to send in the picture. I love the sidebar too. If only I had something to do for the State Fair….

  3. Man, that is gorgeous! Carolyn is a genius and it will look fabulous with the sashing and corner blocks.

  4. Man, that is some kinna dee-lish-is! Wow.
    I’m totally up for the sash-and-blocking if there’s any left to be done after I get back from vacation in mid-Sept.
    I’ll bring fancy French or German snacks if you leave some stitchin for me!

  5. Totally and completely in. Fabulous squares.

  6. In! Did you doubt that? Except if I’m in Switzerland.

  7. Oh. My. Gourd. Those squares are fabulously gorgeous. I want them. Better yet, I want to make things just like them. All hail Carolyn!

  8. Those squares are beautiful! Hail, Carolyn, indeed!

  9. Ooh. I think I’m going to print out those photos and tack them up over my computer as a daydreaming aid. Wish I could come help.

  10. How stunning! Proof that you don’t need fancy shmancy yarn and a 5 page pattern to produce something incredible.
    Can’t wait to see this one finished.

  11. OK I hate to be nasty or anything, but I am rilly rilly good at eBay. I pride myself on my sniping ability. I’ll try to be all nice and everything, but that blanket is giving me fits. So fantastic. Must. Possess.
    I shall bring Pigs in Garter Stitch Blankets to the sewup.

  12. OMG! I want to come over! I SO want to come over and knit whit you guys! I’ll start saving up money for the airplane ticket.

  13. How gorgeous and inspiring! Now I know what to do with my leftovers, after I redo these last two bits of dim sum meow, that my own dear felines thought they’d test out for their pals, and promptly lost behind the fridge. Though I think, since I work in cotton mostly, that I will be making Pantone Washcloths.

  14. Kay,
    I would love to join in the fun! Is is okay that I don’t know how to sash and block? I am not a knitting pro like you guys, but I am a fast learner. Can I bribe you with yummy treats? (Baking is my specialty!)

  15. Kudos to Carolyn – those squares are beautiful!

  16. I wish I was in the neighborhood but alas…
    How many blankets were made in all for the knitalong? I’ve been dying to know.

  17. thank you, one and all, and mostly kay….i am truly not worthy of all this blogging attention in the kudos department…i’m really very shy! whatever happens to the “lives” of these squares will warm my heart in every possible way…..love!

  18. i’d say that i’m in, but you knew that already. right? aw, who’m i kidding – count me in! count me in!

  19. to jenn, etc., who want to learn of absolute wackiness in the naming of squares:
    top row: #5-“prairie”
    2nd row: #1-(mock cable)”ivy, but not league”
    #3-“california lap pool”
    #4-“sorbet avec oreos”
    4th row: #2-“patriotic polo”
    #5-“legal pad compressed”
    and some were named, prior to knitting….crazy?… but happy!

  20. Lovely squares! Really looking forward to seeing the finished blanket, and perhaps doing a spot of bidding…
    Wish I could join in the sashing and blocking (and find out how to do it) but alas, no more time off this year so it’ll have to be a virtual kind of joining in!

  21. hooray! carolyn, the sight of (and the names for) yr squares will make me smile all day! that is going to be one gorrrrgeous blanket. who will be lucky enough to have it grace their home?
    will be hanging around come Sept. to read about the sashing & the blocking.

  22. wow, that is the most beautiful afghan i have seen!!

  23. Oh I wish I was still in NY and could come and play too. Sadly the place where I work seem to expect me to show up every day, 5 days a week. It’s so so unfair ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. I would love to help you sew up these beautiful squares!! Keep me posted on the dates…


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