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

Square Mail (Not Air Mail)

Dear Ann,
HELP! THEY ARE BLOCKING OUT THE SUN! Well, actually it’s just an overcast sky, but there are indeed stacks of squares casting shadows in my apartment.
It’s a cheerful kind of clutter. I’m not complaining.
A few arrived over the long weekend.
Quite a few.
These squares come from the busy hands and good hearts of: Susan G, Mariel, Susan L, Susan M, Lacey, Norma, Larissa, Christine, Beth, Julie, Ellanie, Suzanne, Anji, Debra L, Aurora, Lora B, Nancy B, Ricki, Gale, Anastasia, and Lauren B. (For those just joining us, the squares are for the American blanket. )
I won’t lie to ya, Ann. These squares are not 100% free of minor defects such as curvature of the corners, phat gauge, or poor correlation between perceived and real size. But these few and piddling irregularities are as nothing compared to the overall 4-inchiness we are getting, the walk through The Fascinating History of Sock Yarn, the straight edges bespeaking old-school blocking, in a word: the Squareness. It moves me deeply.
This project is like a powerful magnet, sucking sock yarn from deep within the Rubbermaid bins, ancient shopping bags, and closets of North America and US military outposts around the world. Who knew there was such a rich stockpot of sock yarn, simmering on so many back burners, waiting to be called forth? It’s beautiful. You’re all beautiful. Socks are beautiful. (I need a moment.)
Designer’s Notebook
Before I get too far along arranging the squares, I have a confession to make. The layout I have in my head, and the reason I have knit 45 dull and drab squares myself (so far, and don’t be impressed, because my OCD for knitting square things kicks the behind of anybody else’s OCD, any day of the week–it’s a gift), is not my original idea.
It’s School of Kaffe, with a zig zag border. I like to think Kaffe would approve of the border. I am nuts about the Gridlock Blanket in Kaffe Knits Again. I am not so nuts about the intarsia. Ergo, a patchwork version. I’m sure it will look much different from Kaffe’s original, and that’s a big part of the fun of doing it. But the layout of alternating checkerboard and square-in-square patches is a great starting point, a good “rule” to follow, and to break. And I am definitely going to try to get a red square like Kaffe did. That touch just makes it for me, the red square in the sea of darkness, big as you please.
One more note for my square-knitting peeps: if you are sending squares in this week, you do NOT need to use Priority Mail to meet the deadline. First-class works just as well (and you can spend the 4 bucks you save on raffle tickets for the blankets). Stick a stamp or two on the envelope and they will get here in plenty of time for the big sew up. (I’ve gotten a few single or twin squares by Priority Mail, and the ghost of my Grandma Mabel has been just screeching at me about it. She is also mad about the 41 cents to mail a letter, but we can’t do anything about that, Grandma.)
Thanks, everybody! I haven’t counted them yet but I’m feeling good about the likelihood of having the 304 squares needed for the sketch in the notebook, and maybe even a Bonus Baby blanket to raffle.



  1. I just mailed 7 — 3 from one ball of yarn, and the others are singletons, all very different. And skimming through your photos, I don’t see any of the yarns I used!! Now I want to go steal a square’s worth from all of my sock yarns, because even socks for me (aka Bigfoot) leave enough left over for one of these little guys. . . I’m hoping I wouldn’t find that I could make a whole 304-square blanket that way. . .

  2. When is the sewing? WHERE is the sewing? Do you need hands to sew?

  3. Thanks so much for the update, count on six more coming your way, I hope to post them this evening. πŸ™‚

  4. This is terrific. I sent my 13 this morning (all done from this past Wednesday to Sunday morning), but I confess that I didn’t have time to block them as my condo is not conducive to speedy successful blocking. I only used first class, but I’m thrifty that way.

  5. So much square loveliness! I’m sure you have folks nearby to help seam up, but if you find you need an extra pair of hands (via the U.S. Postal Service), I’d be happy to help.

  6. Everytime G-Love pushes me in the middle of the night to stop the insipid snoring, I wake up for a minute and think of you and all those squares.
    My thoughts are not pure, alas.
    You will have these squares sewn up in the blink of an eye and I’m still squirming over my miters. Before this babe arrives. I promise.
    I will bring food, charming good wit and a baby that DOESN’T STOP MOVING to the sew-up (if there is one) but I can’t promise any actual sewing.

  7. 9 more are on the way from me. I said I’d Priority them, but if first class will do, that’s what I’ll use!

  8. Oh…blocking the squares…oops! I was in such a fever to get them in the mail I never thought about blocking…ah well, once they are sewn in with the others…which is my way of saying my 3 are winging their way to you by USPS @ $0.58!! I’m just an hour away on NJTransit

  9. My 3 are in the mail. I’m an hour away by NJTransit so please give a shout if you need help stitching up this blanket. I’d JUMP at the chance to help!!

  10. My 3 are on their way. I’m an hour away by NJTransit so please just give a yell and I’ll be on the train! I’d love to help stitch this baby up!!

  11. My final 15 (i.e. the ones that made it off the cutting floor)are on their way from Berkeley today. I swear they were ironed to submission and properly cornered when they left,and I’ll let the US Post office take the blame if they reach you with rounded corners.

  12. COULD it be that my 2 squares have made it to you? After all, I did send them from a ‘military outpost’ located in South Korea.. πŸ˜€ And that could be considered ‘a military outpost around the world.’
    Hey, folks don’t laugh at my mere two squares.. I’ve had an injured tendon in my thumb.. so, even knitting them was not ‘doctor approved’- but, I did it anyway because I was SO EXCITED that I was finally able to actually ABLE TO KNIT after weeks of not being able to knit. And, I wanted to participate too.
    The squares are beautiful!

  13. Mine went out first class, and while there are two or three that look like mine, perhaps they haven’t really gotten to you yet, b/c I think I’d see the PINK ones for sure, and I don’t!
    I do wish I lived nearer to help sew…
    You are so amazing to do this. I’m overwhelmed with just the sight of these…

  14. I don’t see my three squares in there, but wowzers! that is a lot of squares! That blanket is gonna be radical (yeah, I have a teenager, how can you tell?)

  15. Kay, if I ever move to NYC, could I hang out at your house? It looks so lovely and inspiring!! And then I’d be closer to the fashion and fabric districts… ooo!

  16. So many, many squares! Your blanket will be amazing Kay, many thanks for doing this. Over here at the UK Blanket HQ we have nearly finished Number 1. Much less ordered than yours, more scatty (like me). You have inspired me for Number 2 though. If anyone wants to send any squares to the UK after the November deadline, please feel free – I’m slow at sewing up and think I’ll still be doing it during The Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day!

  17. I am completely overwhelmed by the beauty of all those squares. So many, made with love and support for our sweet chick.
    Thank you all, so very much.

  18. Eight in the mail yesterday and two more today! (Three are RED!) Blocking? ummmm… No – mine will be among the ones with “roundish” corners.
    The finished project will be beautiful!

  19. For some reason I can’t get into knitting little squares right now, but I can’t wait to buy some raffle tickets! This is going to be so beautiful.

  20. I’m totally in for the sew up bee if there is one–and I have plenty of space in Jersey City if room is needed for one (and knitting water). Either way, I have never knitted a sock so don’t have sock yarn, but would love to help.

  21. Blocking? There was blocking on this test?
    Ok, I thought I heard that blocking of the wonky was not important so I followed instructions. My squares, though made of quality yarn (rocking the STR bay-bee!) could certainly used a block or four.

  22. The blanket’s going to be incredible following his pattern. And how appropriate, as there will be a couple more headed your way in one of the new KF sock yarns, that is, as soon as I rip the last several rows on this last one that sent me a full inch over the 4 inch mark. It’s easy to get carried away knitting this stuff up.

  23. All those squares are so beautiful. I just want to dive into them.

  24. All those squares are so beautiful. I just want to dive into them.

  25. Oh, that sketch is GEEEEEEN-YUS!!!! You are going to make a most gorgeous work of art. I’m so proud already, and it hasn’t even been born yet!!!

  26. I love the squares… I also love trying to peek out your windows at the city outside! So different from my view.

  27. I was thinking that too about the gridlock!!!!! Some of those squares within a square would make gorgeous vests all by themselves! I’m on a Kaffe binge and I don’t care!

  28. So cool to see my squares hanging out with their square peeps. They look much happier there than blocking (yes, I blocked mine) on the kitchen counter. Good luck with the sewing up! It’s going to look fabulous, I’m sure.

  29. I sent my three last Wednesday. I thought you would have got them by now, but hopefully they’ll be there soon!

  30. Shenanigans – I didn’t realize you were aiming for THREE HUNDRED AND FOUR SQUARES. And for 120 of them to be drabs… and then some for the border. Love your lofty goals. I’ve got three more for ya already, two drab, and about to cast on another drab.
    Also, also, I am totally keen on helping develop a beautiful small blanket with what might well be a strange mish-mosh of “extra” squares. You know I love that make-mish-mosh-good action.

  31. It is so exciting to see my squares among the masses. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I have to confess that after the first I did not do a lick of measuring. And I have never blocked garter stitch. So I hope they are not too wonky.


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