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

Square Stuff Monthly

Dear Ann,
A few days ago, Phyllis dropped by for a knit ‘n chat in my new digs. While we were knit ‘n chattin’, the doorbell rang and I opened the door to find a box containing the dishcloth cotton afghan Kelli Ann from Montreal had sewn up in incredibly zippy time. Phyllis, who had laid out the squares for this afghan in the first place, submitted to a photo shoot. A touching mother & child reunion–Phyllis and her dishcloth afghan.
Kelli Ann was not only speedy, but expert and entertaining in her sew-up efforts. When the squares first arrived chez Kelli Ann, her son–with the brutal efficiency of the very young– dumped out a few of the hermetically sealed Ziplocs containing Phyllis’s master plan for square placement. So Kelli Ann had to wing it on those strips.To hear her tell it, for a couple of weeks she was dragging squares and a giant cone of Peaches & Cream on all of her French and English errands in Montreal. At one point she managed to sew a square in wrongside out. But after all that hoo-ha (or as they say in Quebec, le hoo avec le ha), it is beautiful. Why is it these blankets look so different sewn up? In my opinion, this is the ideal baby blanket. Soft, washable, colorful, perky. I hope someone in Afghanistan feels the same way.
Merci so much Kelli Ann! And you were moving, too!
Boo-hoooooo! August 1 marks the end of our Official Square Collection Period (but the beginning of our Unofficial Square Collection Period). We received tons of gawgeous squares, from Afghanalongers new and old, some of whom contrived to light up more squares on our beloved Afghanalong Maps. Here they are, reflecting almost 6 months of worldwide knitting.
By country:

The new addition to this map is Italy. Now, if you want to get all technical about it, Benedetta lives in Massachusetts. But she hasn’t been there, like, forever or anything. She’s off to visit her homeland of Italy soon, and promises to send more squares from there. I figured, under the Kristine-is-from-Sweden-although-she-lives-in-London-and-mailed-her-squares-from-New-York Rule, Benedetta’s squares should be credited retroactively to Italy. (Note to anybody who cares: Kristine actually mailed squares from Sweden in July, so even strict-constructionists should be happy.)
And here’s the USA map:

By hook or by crook, we added 6 states this month: Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, and the elusive Hawaii. We barely had to invoke the Kristine-etc. Rule to get Hawaii in there (thanks Jennifer from Maui via Florida!). The other squares–get this–physically came from the credited states!
Some sadness, here at Afghanalong HQ, that we didn’t manage to get even one Dakota, or my home state of Nebraska. I could, of course, invoke the Kristine-etc. Rule to transfer credit for some of MY squares from New York to Nebraska, but I don’t wanna. New York brought me to the dance, and I’m leaving with him. Or whatever.
Who Won the Yarn?
According to the Teapot of Destiny, this month’s mini-bale of Rowan Handknit DK Cotton goes to Cheryl of Philadelphia. Cheryl, put down the cream cheese and pat yourself on the back. Think of something nice and cottony to knit up for yourself. Congrats!
Is it Me?
Maybe I’m the only one who thinks it’s kind of freaky that when we pulled up the mangey carpet in Carrie’s room, this was underneath:
Verily I say unto you, pulleth not up the nasty old carpet, lest ye be smote by the nasty old vinyl. (I cropped out the parts where disgusting clumps of carpet-pad fuzz are sticking to globs of ancient carpet adhesive–this is a family blog.)
Being me, I am halfway tempted to try to revive this Vintage Vinyl Log Cabin flooring and decorate the whole apartment around it. Halfway. It’s probably got PCBs in it. I think it has to go, or at least be covered in carpet for another generation.
Thanks to everybody who knitted or sent me a little note or card to cheer me in the effort to keep track of the squares. Those who sent chocolate–and you know who you are– bless you! Any squares we receive before September 12, we will put in a drawing for yarn at the New York City Sew-Up Bee.
Until next time, that’s the news on All Things Square.
Love, Kay



  1. Any idea how *many* squares have been contributed? Hundreds? Thousands?
    Ok, maybe not thousands…..

  2. The flooring in gawgeous in my opinion. I love vintage. But it may also contain asbestos so you might get a professional opinion cuz that is some nasty stuff.

  3. Yeah! The US is aglow. I am so upset that our travel plans do not coincide with the Afghanalong. I had dreams of adding Utah and Nebraska, along with Italy, but alas, our trip is not to take place until around September 15. I am glad that others were there to fill in the gaps. Thanks, Ann and Kay for a wonderful contest and chance to do some great charity knitting. This has been the knitalong to rival all others…

  4. Just wanted to add that the best course of action maybe be just to carpet over it instead of trying to remove it.

  5. P.S. I have some experience pulling up icky vinyl. Definitely hire someone – it is a ton of work!

  6. Kay,
    Are there any “themed” afghans that need extra squares? I was thinking about going through my stash to make another square or 2 and wondered if you needed or wanted squares of any particular ilk, weight, color, etc? I’m going to a national conference in Portland next week and maybe I can palm off a few squares to be mailed by someone in the Dakotas!

  7. No, you’re right. That is freaky. (Glancing quickly at the picture, it took me a minute to realize it wasn’t a shiny afghan.)
    This could be a warning from the knitting gods. Maybe you should find something circular to knit. (I have a circular-spiral-y baby blanket pattern, if you want it!) Or wavy. Or masses of short rows. But it seems time to escape the squares. Send some to Chicago, will ‘ya?

  8. Kaaaaaaaaay, I’m sitting here in the midst of Tropical Storm Alex (what’s with the nickname, btw, I mean do you have to be a hurricane to get the full Alexander?), and I’m marveling at Kelli Ann’s stitchery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey, it’s a bwankie!!!!!!!! Kelli Ann, your efforts are purely amazing–and so gracious of you to take on what surely was a Size Large project.
    So thrilled to see all those cotton squares meeting their destinies. Don’t you wish we could hop a plane to Kabul to see the baby who ends up with this confection?
    I echo Kay’s gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this project. It blows my mind every day.

  9. so,um, is it still o.k. to send in squares? i am ashamed of myself for being so lax (lame) in sending you my meager contribution – – even more so because i live in the beautiful red rock canyon country of southern utah – a glaring gray square of a state on your map.

  10. Just another reminder that your groovy flooring
    If you really don’t like it, it might be a great and easy surface to lay some of the new snap-together wood flooring on (like Pergo).

  11. Just a second there, Dr. Destructo, are you sure that’s not, gulp, linoleum? You are assured a lifetime supply of material for block printing if you rip that stuff up carefully. Waste not, want not, say I (and, I think, Benjamin Franklin).

  12. I was embarassed enough to see that there were no contributions from South Dakota, but then to be mentioned specifically! I’m dying of shame. Now really, I live in St. Louis (and don’t regret a minute of it) but my parents still live in South Dakota, and I haven’t been gone that long. I think it’ll still count. Just tell me where to go to find out what to do, and I’ll do it.
    In their defense, I should point out that there are NO yarn stores in South Dakota. (Knitter’s Magazine comes out of Sioux Falls, but there is no yarn store. How do they do it?) I don’t know about North Dakota. When all you have is Michaels and Wal-Mart, inspiration can be a bit hard to come by.

  13. Cristina–I have asked everybody who looks like they might know, with hope in my heart, whether this stuff is linoleum. I’m told it’s vinyl. I want it to be lineoleum, but it will not cooperate.
    Amber, Mary B, Merrill–Fear not! I have no intention of getting my kid’s bedroom onto the EPA’s National Priorities List. We’ll cover it over with AstroTurf if we have to.
    Beth–So sorry to make you feel embarrassed, for that was not the intention. Being from Nebraska, where there are, supposedly, more cows than people, I totally understand that where there are fewer people, there are even fewer knitters. And I know that the knitting store situation is dire up north. Will gladly, graciously accept squares from St. Louis and call them South Dakota!
    Libby–Ditto for Utah–no mortification necessary, and we certainly would welcome squares from there.
    Everybody–We will keep accepting squares until at least the sew-up parties in September and October, when we will do our last drawings, sew everything up, and take a hiatus from blanket-making. It’s really wonderful that after 6 months, people still WANT to send in squares.
    Thanks all! xox Kay

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