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

The Results Are In

Dear Ann,
Can you believe this photo? I think this is what is referred to in Annspeak as a Huge Whackin’ Pile of afghan squares. It’s amazing what a group of kindhearted people can do, given a little time and a healthy stash.
But let’s get right to the business at hand: the Yarn Drawing.
The nominees for this month’s Bag O’ Kid Classic are…..Elisabeth, Maggi, Michelle C, Carolyn M, Polly, Evelyn, Cristina, Larissa, Benedetta, Melissa, Cindy, Mary, and Teep.
[Pauses as adjusts imaginary cleavage on imaginary gown.]
And the Kid Classic goes to: Carolyn M!
[Cue Carolyn’s Theme Music, which I’m guessing is not one of those Cold Mountain shape-note dirges.]
It is particularly nice that Carolyn got the Kid C. because, with 7 squares submitted during this Reporting Period, she happens to be the current chip leader. (I think everybody should start talking like we’re on Celebrity Poker Showdown. As my son stuck his hand into the Teapot of Destiny, I exclaimed, “Here’s the flop!”)
Although it was only the first month of the Afghanalong for Afghans–and a short, partial month at that–the results were impressive. We already have 50 squares, which puts us well into our second full-size afghan. And we have almost enough bright cotton log cabin squares to make a very happy baby blanket.
The log cabin count includes a few that I made:
You know that thing I do, where I start in on something and just beat it into the ground? In February, it was afghan squares. Log cabinned every which way, in 16 colors of Peaches & Creme cotton and in Noro, Manos and Unidentified Green Wool I Have No Recollection of Purchasing. I am almost to the point where I might consider knitting an actual garment again. Or hey–how about leaving the house for a pleasant and healthful non-knitting activity?
Nah…that’s crazy talk.
Opening the envelopes has been a treat. Thanks to helpful notes, in many cases I have learned what yarns I am patting and what stitch patterns were used. There has been much oohing and aahing at my kitchen counter, and an unprecedented quantity of Windex applied to the glass top of the end table I used as the Afghan Square Portrait Studio.
And another thing: the scales have fallen from my eyes and I now have a deep, prayerful appreciation for the difficulty of knitting an 8-inch square. It’s only difficult, of course, if you want it to be 8 inches, and, uh, square. Some of my own 8 inch squares are larger than my other 8 inch squares, while some of them are smaller, and some of them are, quite frankly, squarer. To paraphrase one clever reader, if I were made to put my hand on the Good Book and testify whether I had knit 8 inch squares, I would have to say that it depends on what your definition of “eight” is. (Bill Clinton: we know you’re lurking, so send us your dang square.)
What’s next? In the month of March, Afghanalongers will be knitting for a bag of 10 50g balls of Rowan Felted Tweed in Shade 138, Willow. It is a light olive green flecked with cream, gray and pale blue. Rowan has a gazillion patterns for Felted Tweed, which is a merino/alpaca blend. And it goes a long way. 10 balls will make a pullover or cardi for a woman, with 2 or 3 balls left over to make a toddler-sized Billy vest. Or whatever. The drawing will be on April 1, and will include all squares that we receive between now and then. (Tip for US knitters: First-Class Mail gets here just as fast as Priority Mail. Apparently that’s as fast as the USPS can go.)
This handmade card by Cristina expresses my sentiments exactly. Thank you, dear knitters.
Love, Kay



  1. You didn’t get my squares? I sent them last week. Bummer.

  2. Oooh, me likes the green yarn.
    Sadly, my first afghan square in progress is cable-y and not wide enough. (I think it’s only 6 3/4!)
    Back to the drawing board, as it were.

  3. Dear Kay, You mean that I can submit the ones that are not quite square or bigger than 8 inches… ? March is going to be a bumper month :-), esp if I don’t have to try and shrink them to make it 8 inches… although I’m not sure easy care yarn shrinks and I think the shetland might just felt….. I was going to add, I log cabinned a few squares that weren’t large enough, they were a little wonky when I was done with it.
    oh, almost forgot… congrats to Caroyln M. Well done… the Kid Classic is a lovely yarn.

  4. What a large pile of squares! And Kay I totally love your log cabins. I may have to try one or two of those!

  5. Congratulations Carolyn.
    Love those bright log cabin squares.
    Can I send squares without being entered for a draw ? – my stash overflows !
    I thought I’d knit garter stitch squares,on the diagonal,as a sure fire [ha,ha] way of getting an 8” square[start with 3 sts – to avoid overly pointy corners-,increase 1 stitch at beginning of each row until sides measure 8”,then decrease 1 stitch at beginning of each row until 3 left.Easy,peasy.].Will these be too boring?

  6. Emma, those diagonal garter stitch squares aren’t quite so boring if you thow a cable in as you go. I did one to see if I could produce a truly 8 inch, truly square square. Perfection is not all it’s (cracked?) up to be. I’m sending it in along with my other squa–shapes today hoping seven is the lucky number and hoping I can stay away from square-making long enough to finish a Lopi Sigvaldi cardigan for my husband’s birthday at the end of the month. Congratulations, Carolyn! Purple is your color! Three cheers to Kay and Ann for a great and worthwhile project.
    Regards, Cristina

  7. It’s so true — achieving 8″ perfection is harder than you’d think. Even after blocking, my red 8″ square is smaller than my grey one, but I know it will all work out in the end. I count on the power of neighbouring squares to encourage mine to fit in.
    I’ve made a bunch of the diagonal garter stitch squares, but on some I switch yarn at the half-way point for an exciting!!! variation. If I had the discipline to make a whole bunch of the same kind, some sort of interesting quilt pattern could be formed, no doubt.

  8. Kay–Had to get up early to see Who Got Yarn. Right on, Carolyn M!
    Emma, begging off yarn! LOL.
    Debi–I definitely fall into the category of “relatives and employees of Mason-Dixon Knitting shouldn’t even THINK of entering this contest.” And Kay seems weirdly resistant to bribery, try as I might.
    Thanks for your squares, y’all. I’m curious to see how many we end up with. Of course, everyone who sends a square is required to attend the Pouring of the Mojitos ceremony that opens the sewing-up festivities. See you in Nashville/New York/London!

  9. OK, now I’m going to promise to get myself in order and knit you a few squares in March. I’m coming over to Chicago next week so I may try and get some done so that I can post them in the states and cheat both the price and the speed of delivery.
    The corner to corner squares sound like a good idea, I had one of those on my wedding blanket – looks lovely!

  10. All of my squares are 8″ with adorable right-angle corners when I ship ’em off. Any little variations, wavy edges, garter-stitch-sprawl, lack of size, excess of size, or other deviations from the standard that could possibly show up in the aforementioned squares when the package gets opened at MDK Afghanalong Headquarters are OBVIOUSLY a result of postal mishandling. Yep. Postal mishandling.

  11. wa-hoo!
    kudos to all of you.
    inspires me to knit you at least 1 square. i must confess it was the size of the square that was daunting me, too. i think i should follow a class on measurements/blocking/proportion/ etc etc.
    congrats on the beautiful stack!!

  12. eeks! i’m shocked, breathless, speechless (even a tiny bit shy and embarassed!)… but, especially thrilled to be the winning recipient! “squares” have been the healthiest of addictions for me, far-surpassing chocolate indulgences…..thankyous galore,… with hugs, carolyn!

  13. Teep–LOL. ‘Contents sold by weight not volume’ or ‘Contents may settle during shipment’ or some other variation of the Ritz Cracker box disclaimer is always prudent! Anyway, yours were amazingly correct in every respect. Is it true you learned to knit 2 weeks ago? How can that BE? I’ve been wondering and wondering. You must already be expert at something an awful lot LIKE knitting.
    I’m behind on posting the photographs of the lovelies we have received most recently. Jessica, yours are here today, along with a couple of others’. Fear not! The Felted Tweed is fab!
    Emma, I’m wondering whether you’re kidding, or you’re not, or you’re like me when someone is passing around dessert–‘oh, no I couldn’t possibly take another SKEIN of Rowan yarn, not a morsel!!!’. But needless to say you are not REQUIRED to enter the drawing to knit squares! I’m going to do the garter stitch bias squares myself. What a great idea. I especially like thinking about what we could do with a bunch of them. I’m DREAMING about afghans. I was in a museum shop today and had to buy a postcard of a Klee painting because it would make such a great afghan square layout (in Ann’s colorway of brown & gray, with gold and red here and there).
    Thanks everyone! Love, Kay

  14. Kay: Yep. I’m a newbie knitter. The knitting thing happened around Valentine’s Day. An email I wrote, dated 2-18-04, says “I spent the weekend learning to knit (cooler than I thought it was) and keeping the home fires burning.”
    Learning to knit was the first step in the master plan. The master plan, so’s you know, is “Design and produce a baby afghan for the impending birth of the new niece or nephew in September”.
    Anyway, I need to be able to knit, and that right well. The blanket I have in mind (Pattern? What pattern? I don’t need no steenking pattern!) is not going to be a stockinette snooze-fest. It’s not going to be in a forgiving or fuzzy yarn. It’s going to be complicated and full of sexy aran-style cables. It’s going to be in linen yarn, which, while worthy of adoration for many (machine-washable! wears like iron! improves with age! does not pill!) fine qualities, is neither forgiving nor fuzzy. Nobody ever said I lacked ambition…
    I could crochet before I learned to knit, though all I ever did with it was potholders and a fairly basic baby afghan once. I also have (says my mother) an overwhelming need for uniformity in any finished product and excellent hand-eye coordination. Both of those help a lot.

  15. Hey wait a minute…what do you mean people are sending 8 inch squares that are not quite 8 inches, or not quite square?
    Do you know how many of those puppies I frogged last week because they were the wrong size?!
    Heehee! I guess I am a “fussy knitter.”

  16. And Ann, of COURSE I wear Juicy Couture. I look so INTERESTING in midriff baring tops, for one thing!!! I just turn heads as I run for the bus in those!
    The only Juicy Couture I have seen, disturbingly, is on 7-year-olds at school.
    Not to get all righteously indignant (that’s so Not Me–ha!), but my 7 year old is not labeling herself ‘Juicy’ anytime soon. She’ll be juicy soon enough, dagnabbit!!!! She can be juicy on her own dime! hooty hoo, love, Kay


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