Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

We’ll Keep on Knitting Til The End

Dear Ann,
My, you’re a hive of wholesome knitting activity now that your youngsters are in school. Me, I’m still hunkered down on the East End of Long Island, where, contrary to what you may believe, it’s not all sunny days, celebrities, supermodels, and paparazzi.
In fact, at the moment, it’s none of those things. It’s been raining for 5 days straight.
rain.jpg
It’s been so wet and cold that I made STEW for dinner the other night. Stew in August–that’s what it’s come down to. It’s been so very, very moist that I’ve been marching the kids around to heat them up, as a mildew-prevention measure.
The one bright spot in all of this, though, is a very bright spot indeed. A bright, mitered, green & orange spot with impeccable borders that nearly sucked the joy out of garter stitch for me.
For today I finished the green mitered blanket, which was started on a whim back in March.
greenmiterarmchair.jpg
I apologize for the poor lighting. I assure you that if the sun starts shining again, I will post a miter-stravaganza of pictorial goodness.
I will admit that there was suffering involved in this blanket. Not in knitting the 64 miters–that was pure stinkin’ bliss. But in the bordering of the blanket, there were moments of desperation. At one point I ran out of the silvery-sage color of Tahki Cotton Classic, and could not find it anywhere. This served as an excuse to stop all bordering efforts for at least 8 weeks. The good thing about a blanket, though, is that even when it’s not quite finished, it looks pretty hanging around the house.
greenmiterdaybed4.jpg
See what I mean?
greenmiteradirondack.jpg
It gave me the strength to carry on.
This afternoon, in the gloom and the steady drip-drip-drip, I sewed in the very last end. I jumped up and sang Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus (For the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth), followed immediately by Freddie Mercury’s We Are The Champions. I think you will agree that this was a moment deserving of both oratorio and a power ballad.
The pale, damp children were amused. For a minute.
We are the champions, my friends.
Love, Kay

Tags:

84 Comments

84 Comments

  1. Phew. Thank goodness you’re okay – I was convinced you had been eaten by Cara and Ann during their trip to see you! ;)
    The border is incredible. Totally worth the effort.

  2. Kay,
    What a Whim of a project. I want to just snuggle under!Your colors call out for calm and peaceful sit downs.
    These days I am the mother of 3 school-aged kiddos. The 3rd started this week – now it is 2 in Kinder and one in Junior High.
    Gift from God straight to my heart: -First day pick up – as I stood in front of the school – gazing on the sea of 1300 7th & 8th graders pouring into the parking lot, I didn’t recognize him and before I knew what was happening my boy gave me a big hug “MOM, I’m right HERE”.
    In front of the whole school.
    Puberty is going to be tough when it arrives!

  3. What a gorgeous blanket! Hope it keeps you warm.

  4. Wow. What a blanket. Gorgeous, just gorgeous!

  5. I declare that blanket an heirloom. One day the pale, damp children shall tuck up their offspring in it.

  6. I think you should belt out the Homer Simpson version–“I am the champion…”
    The border is worth every frayed nerve–it just completely brings everthing together. A stroke of genius (and you didn’t have to have a stroke doing it).

  7. Hhhmmmmmm, can I borrow that? It’s cold here today in San Diego. Great job…

  8. That is a beauty of a mitered blanket. I am inspired, especially by those squares that have no stripes but texture changes. MM-mm-good, just like the stew?

  9. that blanket is so amazing. it is certainly on my short-list to knit this winter. so, so beautiful! i am going to need it to get through my first maine winter on the island. ha.
    thanks for showing the blanket! i’ve been following along since the first square!

  10. I LOVE WHAT YOU DID WITH THE CORNERS!!! Totally love it. Eventually I will have some no-sew pictures for you. Some day.
    I want you to know that I have eaten a small carton of supermarket bought black berries every day since I’ve seen you. I’m trying to recreate the fabulous lunches you served us. It’s not working. And now I have a stomach ache.
    Please come home soon. I miss you. L, C

  11. The blanket is perfection! I love the colors, the borders, the soft goodness of it. Ahhh…

  12. That blanket is brilliant! Love the edges and the mix match of colors. :)

  13. Wow–the blanket really looks great. Are you going to start designing for Pottery Barn or something?
    And thanks for bringing back the good memories. When we were seven, my BFF Jenny and I raced the boys in the neighborgood to the top of the cliff at our creek, and we won. And we sang “We Are the Champions” at the top. Good times. Good times.

  14. That is one of the most beautiful blankets I’ve ever seen! I love everything about it. And I love the M-D blog, too.

  15. Holy smokes! Delurking to say, that blanket is gorgeous. I lurrrve the colors – I’m deeply envious of your color sense.

  16. Beautiful blanket!!! I love your color choices! And the border is totally worth it. So mod, so fresh.
    I need your advice, oh no-sew-blanket guru!
    After stalling out on a log cabin blankie for my boy (I just wasn’t feeling the love), I have decided to make an alphabet blocks blankie for his 2nd birthday. It’s in crayola colors, and I designed it as a 9×9 grid of randomly colored squares, with the alphabet letters distributed throughout (using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece). So I am trying to decide how to knit this sucker — the alphabet letters I’ll either do in straight intarsia (bleagh) or sort of an intarsia/stranded hybrid (OK but I’m worried about weird tension and colors showing thru). But my real question is, how to strategize putting it together? As far as I see it, I have a couple of options:
    1. Do it as one giant intarsia project:
    Pros: No seams
    Cons: Too many stitches across — not portable and too many potential tangles
    2. Do it in strips and sew the strips togehter
    Pros — portable, easy to handle
    Cons — yucky vertical seams on the back
    3. Do a strip, then do the next strip, picking up a stitch of the previous strip on the side as I go
    Pros — no seams
    Cons — would there be a wonky color change where I pick up the stitches? It also gets less portable as I go
    4. Some sort of insane log-cabin approach where I somehow pick up the stitches and turn the thing.
    I have no idea how to make this one work!
    Any advice greatly appreciated, o goddesses of not seaming!

  17. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Inspiring. Well worth every frayed nerve and torn hair.

  18. Niiiiiice! I’ve been “collecting” yarn for one of my own, gettin real itchy to start now. What inspires you colorwise? Before the yarn is “aquired” do you usually plan ahead?

  19. Don’t tell me about the rain and the cold. I’m too jealous. Those are my favorite days!! While here it is all 95 degrees with 95% humidity. My motto has been “I sweat therefore I am.” And then of course, watching my feet swell by the hour…so fun!

  20. WOW! WOW! WOWIE!

  21. “Impeccable borders” indeed. Go, Kay!

  22. It’s absolutely fabulous! Congratulations on a MAY-JAH accomplishment.

  23. Kay darling, your blanket is divine! And I also feel your pain — here in the middle of Long Island it is gray, rainy and chilly too. I made soup the other night for dinner.

  24. That is beautiful! Almost makes me want to do it. Maybe a collection of yarn is a good start :)

  25. It’s gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing it.

  26. That blanket? Rocks so hard I’m totally holding a lighter above my head.

  27. WOW , WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PIECE ,,, WHAT YARN DID YOU USE ? WAS IT THE TAHKI COTTON CLASSSIC ?

  28. Kay it is stunning. The colors are more muted, earthy Ann colors. Gorgeous.
    I wish it was rainy and dreary here. That’s one of the things I hate about California – boringly, sickeningly, clear, sunny and warm every single day from April to nearly October. I long for rainy cool weather. I envy you.

  29. Another stunning mitered afghan! Wow Kay…I just love it! Kudos to you!

  30. We have nice weather, but a few weeks ago it was so stinkin’ that we caved in and ordered up air conditioning, which is being installed at this very moment. We probably won’t turn it on for another 10 months or so… Blanket is looking gorgeous, must have detailed pics of all colour combos! I’m sure the kids were amused by the singing mom… We’ve got a few more days here before school starts and I’ll be trying to get Raffi’s greatest hits out of my head for a week after that, I’m sure. We are the champions, indeed.

  31. I can only repeat the expressions of awe above. It’s epically beautiful.

  32. That blanket is too beautiful. I’ve always been in the “I don’t do blankets camp”, but that is enought to convert me!

  33. Kinda off subject (sorry), but wanna ask a Q about Kay’s Rowenta iron. I read about it in the book (love it, btw) and now am lusting for one, since I started quilting as well as knitting. Can you recommend a model for this iron? There are so many and kinda pricey, so I’m looking for advice from someone who already has one before asking for one from Santa. Wanna know which one to get. Thanks and sorry again for being off-topic.

  34. Forgot to say also that I love the lighting in the first photo the best! It looks so inviting. And kudos on the border; it really sets off the whole blanket.

  35. Two hearty thumbs up on that border from Philadelphia where it’s cold enough to boil lobster ravioli for lunch (sorry you weren’t here to share it). Cristina and Cheryl

  36. Bravo!! Beautiful and well worth that unspeakable suffering.

  37. The blanket has inspired me to pick up my miter square project. I hit some block when I have only 2 more squares to finish! 18 (and seamed, I might add), no problem! 2 and I may try to sell my baby just to get them done. Poor kid, but the blanket will be pretty.

  38. So inexplicably beautful I could weep. You’ve set a new standard. I may even covet this more than the wonderous Taro blanket.

  39. It’s gorgeous. Here’s hoping it drys out enough that you don’t have to use it until winter!

  40. That blanket is awesome! I’d be singing if I managed to finish something that good too.

  41. That is one beautiful blanket. I want one. I’m glad to see you back. I was afraid you’d perhaps been eaten by bears in the Long Island wilderness.

  42. I love a good handknit that you can start loving before it’s totally finished! brilliant!

  43. Love love LOVE it! How many squares in toto? I’m up to 29 of the now-planned 36. Talk to me of blocking ~ did you block the 4-squares before the few seams? I do not have a border plan, so thanks for some ideas. And the last question: would it work in wool? I’ve got a lot of Cascade 220 . . . XXO

  44. blanket is beautiful… well done for finishing it, if I ran out of yarn whilst doing the border. I would had probably flung it out in a temper.
    so, it’s cold and wet where you are too.

  45. Oh, you are my inspiration. My blanket is currently in a time-out. Not for misbehaving, though. Just for a well-needed rest.

  46. The striping has a striking sophistication. Mystically (and Mist-ically) marvelous masterwork.
    Seriously, how do you DO that? Yeah, yeah, I read all the entries about it, I know all about the no-sew and the whim of yarn and the miters and … but… I mean… I guess what I’m trying to say is:
    DAG, YO! Thassa FINE blanket ya got there, lay-dee!

  47. “We Will Rock You” is a good choice for those moments of awesome awesomeness, too. Your blanket is a beauty–and you so totally rock.

  48. …and she’ll keep on mitering til the end….no time for losing ’cause Kay is the Champion…of the World. Well, guess that’s gonna be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I may as well get out the CD and crank up the stereo and share it with the rest of the neighborhood. :)

  49. I’d be more sympathetic to your border plight if I hadn’t been sucked into the Moderne Log Cabin blanket that looks so elegant in your book. All those knit stiches. So many knit stitches. One after another after another after another until I die…
    I am pleased with how it’s looking so far though. And I’m sure the pale, damp children were more amused than they let you see. Great job on your mitre collection there.

  50. “a thing of beauty”…..involving blood, sweat, and tears. YOU are our security blanket!

  51. Love, love, love the blanket! There’s something familiar about those chairs…
    ; )

  52. Your colour choices on that remain my strongest motivation to make oneof those. I just covet that all to blazes. You survived the tornado okay, I trust?

  53. your blanket is absolutely amazing! i’m glad you triumphed and completed it. you’ve given me such inspiration to start one really soon.

  54. Love the blanket. :) I hope it stops raining soon and you get some lovely sunshine. :)

  55. I’m totally awestruck. I think my musical reference might have been “I am Superman” by REM.
    PS, couldn’t agree more on the border–it is superfantastico.

  56. That is lovely!
    However! I must resist working on a mitered blanket… Must. Finish. A WIP. First!

  57. LOVE that blanket! Can’t wait to have the courage and time to attempt one of my own. The plus size of a blanket, in my opinion….easy to fit anyone!

  58. ok.
    WOW.
    that blanket looks so good that…i want one!!

  59. cool blankie!!

  60. wow, that looks SO COZY! the border really pulls it together!

  61. What a lovely sight! That blanket is so close to perfection it is almost scary! :-)

  62. The border is amazing. I’d love to see a few more close up shots of some of the non-conformist squares.

  63. The blanket turned out great!! It looks like you may be using it for the weekend – have you checked out the forcast — Tomorrow looks like the best day of the week – so farm the kids out and join us at the knitting circle – it’s the last one until the end of Sept.
    Do you have any idea how to knit rocks?? I have to knit some rocks to go with a dump truck for my one year old grand-nephew. AND I have to do up some of your bibs and spit up cloths for twins in about 18 days (both things coming up quickly)

  64. Now I understand the long silence. And well deserved. It’s magnificent!!!

  65. Absolutely beautiful blanket, very inspiring. I’m a fairly new knitter so I would need to follow a pattern to accomplish this piece. I was wondering if you will do this pattern in a future book, or whether you will put it up for sale on your blog? I think the colours are divine.

  66. Fabbo, dahlink! Looks even better than it did in pieces on our spare bed. Now I know you’ve written down exactly what you did for every square, haven’t you, in order to be able to re-create the pattern for The Rest of The World? And we’re just back from a grand tour of the North – torrential rain, normal rain and drizzle, so you’re in good company weather-wise. x x x x

  67. Amazing. I love everything about the blanket. Just wonderful. Hearty applause.

  68. Just got back from a stroll to the Post Office—Gee’s Bend stamps are in!

  69. So inspiring – I just got my copy of MDK last week and knit my very first mitered square this weekend whilst staying at a cabin at Chickasaw (TN) State Park with Sweetie and the grandson. I got the yarn from a co-worker who helped clean out an elderly lady’s house for the family. My first square is a “classic” one so now I’ll have to figure out how to incorporate some of your “special” blocks into mine – I’m thinking couch throw rather than full-blown blanket!

  70. I love your blanket. I am doing a version using up all my old sock left-overs. And yes, it will take a lifetime (unless I throw in the towel and make it a baby blanket or a throw)

  71. Dear Kay,
    You’ve infected, er, I mean *inspired* me with the gorgeousness. I have completed the first square of my own log cabin, and I. am. loving. it. So much fun!!!
    Sincerely,
    An Addicted Diva

  72. What can I say? Kay, you are a genius in design — an artist. The blanket is impeccable. I am in awe!

  73. Kay, it’s so cool. I love the way you’ve messed with the color and design of the squares. Truly magnificient! I love how you said knitting the squares was pure stinkin’ bliss. Too good.

  74. Wonderful! Love the way the soft colours look in the grey, rainy light. Some photostylists would wait ages for such conditions in order to take great photos like yours. Lucky you – you had them on tap (ha, ha).

  75. Goodness me. If that’s a whim I’d love to see what you can do when you really plan it ! It’s beautiful Kay. I especially like the border – so much so that I think I’m going to steal it :0)

  76. OMG I’m in love with your afghan! Hide it quick. No wait. you like like 6,000 miles from me so I guess it’s safe. Oh but if I lived nearby… well.
    It’s beautful in every way. Congrats on finishing it.

  77. Wow, and I just noticed “Scream” in found objects–brilliant!!

  78. Re: the found Scream, someone is going to be eating a lot of m&m’s. See here: http://us.mms.com/us/news/promotions/dark/

  79. Another lurker delurking, lured out of the shadows by the glory of the blanket! It’s inspirational! So I have a question, actually–a little while ago when I reading your earlier postings on mitred squares, I tried knitting some and they came out…well, a little peculiar. The corner that you knit last (the decreasing size zone) stuck out like a sort of snout, so that the resulting object was more like a mitred kite-shape. Does this happen to you? Does blocking solve it? Should I just carry on? or is it a problem with my tension? Questions, questions… Anyway, thank you for providing such inspirational reading and knitting!

  80. Exquisite choice of colors and patterns – a feast for the eyes in all stages. Whose a champion?

  81. Knit rocks? (Rocks as a noun, not a verb…) Try this. Wrap little knitted squares around rocks and hand felt. Make a little slit, remove rock (or leave it in, if you want) sew up slit. Oh, they would be so cute!

  82. P.S. Forgot to mention, in excitement over felted rocks…
    Blanket is a work of art. Stunning.

  83. It might not be much to you but I think you should know how often I’m thinking about your skill in knitting. I have a picture in my head of that mitered blanket. I’ve carried it since it first was posted. I refer to it as the Gold Standard. I work to attain that level of skill. My quilts are fine. My sewing is practiced since I was 12. My knitting sucks. Even my best looks like a mistake compared to that blanket. I read books and then go practice something new. Decreasing on ‘this angle’ as opposed to that way. Oh, it makes a difference, I see. Rip it out. Start it again. Remember what I read. Try it again. Always seeing that blanket. It’s been a worthy goal to work towards. I do hope the pale damp children like snuggling under it. ;)

  84. Absolutely. Gorgeous. I love this blanket! The colors are sublime.