I’m not saying I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but I will say that I’m chewing like I just invented how to chew. I’m chewing like a termite with a 4 x 8 slab of plywood.
This blanket, my contribution to the Fringe and Friends Log Cabin Knitalong, is delicious the way a gigantic birthday cake is delicious. I’m going to keep going until I can chew no more. It’s a race either to the finish or to the knitterly equivalent of massive indigestion, which is that thing where you take a giant project into a deep, dark closet and MOVE ON.
I gotta finish this blanket. World peace depends on it.
The End of Innocence
Here’s where things stand.
My blanket calls for three sizes of squares: cast ons of 20, 40, and 60 stitches. 5″, 10″, 15″.
This has been completely joyful for these first 98 squares. (And by square, I mean a 5″ square—that’s the basic unit of measure here.)
Left to go: one 5″ strip, one and a half 10″ strips, and one more 15″ strip. That’s 84 squares. I am more than halfway home.
Until now, I’ve been knitting sequences with abandon—at the beginning of a new square, I’d stop for maybe sixteen seconds and figure out what my new sequence would be. Each strip, as I’ve worked it, has its own rhythm of sequence textures, and they all came together without any futzing and obsessing.
Well, all that carefree whoopteedoo free-for-all joytastic experimentation ends now.
Getting Serious Now
My sequence log cabin blanket is at a crucial moment. I’m starting to aim. Starting to want a certain effect. Starting to notice my knit-purl sequence textures.
Now that I can see the varied textures side by side, I want to make sure that the squares don’t line up in a stack of similar textures. I don’t want five ribby squares to be next to each other. I don’t want the zigzaggers to appear in a row.
Which means that I am turning to the Mothership of All Sequences.
It’s time to spend time with the book that is the original inspiration for MDK Field Guide No. 5: Sequences. It’s Cecelia Campochiaro’s masterwork, Sequence Knitting: Simple Methods for Creating Complex Reversible Fabrics.
Her swatches are incredibly helpful in visualizing what will happen with each knit-purl pattern that she demonstrates. I have 84 squares left to make. I will be consulting with Cecelia’s book every day from here on out.
Of course, sequences can be affected by how many stitches I cast on for each square, so some of my sequences may not look the same as Cecelia’s. But her beautiful swatches definitely give me ideas and an understanding of the patterns at work in these simple combinations of knit and purl stitches.
The dimensionality of some of the sequences is so surprising.
Our Tahki Donegal Tweed continues to amuse with its fleckly depth of color. I’ve got eight shades going at this point: cream, tan, fawn, light gray, bright olive, light olive, midnight blue, and dark gray green. (These and four others are available in ye olde MDK Shoppe.)
Some of the sequences make such subtle patterns that I can’t even see them until I’ve worked three or four inches. I really love this one, especially at its 15″ size.
This hasn’t been blocked yet—the ribbed sections on either side will be flat and even once they’ve experienced the spa treatment that is my blocking process.
The accordion sequences are especially beautiful to me. They look the same on both sides, and create a gentle pleat that is just so lovely.
It’s still surprising to me, how many different textures result simply from altering the knit-purl sequence, the length of the row, and the choice whether to restart the sequence at the beginning of a row, or to keep a sequence running from the front to the back.
I’m beginning to think about how I’m going to seam up all these varied edges. But I’m not sweating it (yet). That’s going to be a whole nother giant birthday cake to dig into.