Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Blanket of Love

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It’s finally time for me to share a BIG project that a lot of people have been working on. Our dear Jess from knitting group is getting married today. 8 of us worked together to make her and John this blanket.

We used the excellent instructions for Staci’s free Log Cabin Scrap Blanket pattern. This worked for us since the squares are all knit separately and then seamed together. If you’re not familiar with Staci’s verypink.com site, take a look. When I need clear instructions and visuals for a technique, I check there first. Staci posted a video tutorial for this pattern that outlines every technique in the project, another reason this worked so well for our group. We all learned something that improved our knitting!20140130_212151As you might imagine, creating this blanket was a capital-P Process. First we settled on the pattern. Then we debated yarn. We wanted a washable yarn since blankets are difficult to hand wash, and we needed something that came in lots of colors. We chose Cascade 220 Superwash in a palette of 9 colors. We matched our balls of yarn to markers and then had fun coloring templates. Above is our final configuration of coloring sheets. We handed out squares and yarn and started knitting!IMG_2657The log cabin square is worked from the middle, so we used the center square as a gauge swatch. We each chose the needle size that got us closest to a 4.5” square. I believe needle sizes ranged from US 7 to 9. IMG_2658 We scurried all over the county trading balls of yarns like we were running drug deals. At times these exchanges were quite comic (especially when our families didn’t quite follow instructions about leaving and taking yarn!).

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We thought we knew how we wanted to lay out the squares (based on our coloring sheets), but we decided to look at the finished squares together before making the final decision and knitting the charcoal gray border. I’m glad we did, because we changed a few things. It helped the pattern to rotate half of the squares 90 degrees.IMG_3005 There was a lot of pondering…

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…and some creative photographic moves.IMG_3003

We’re almost done here. You can see that the squares aren’t EXACTLY the same size, but the beauty of seaming in garter stitch is that those differences melt away. Mattress stitch is magic.

We weren’t sure if the secret had been kept. We did most of our online planning on an email list that was different than the one for our entire knitting group, but there were a couple of small slip-ups. Jess only noticed one of them, and didn’t really assume that we were knitting for her. So, it really was a surprise. Last week, Jess was able to come to Knit Night (she normally works evenings but was off work the week before her wedding). We sprung a BIG box on her!IMG_3095 Barb made a card with a hand-quilted log cabin square on it, formatted exactly like the ones we made. Here it comes – it’s BIG!IMG_3107 I know someone is going to ask how big it is, and I didn’t have a chance to measure the finished piece (the seaming was also done in sections at a couple of houses, and I wasn’t there at the very end).IMG_3109 Eight of us stitched this blanket: Annette, Barb, Caitlin, Judy, Julie, Kris, Marta, and me. It was so fun to plan and work on and even more fun to give it away.

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Jess and John, we all wish you the very best day and a long, happy marriage. May you spend many cozy hours snuggled together under this blanket. We love you!

3 comments:

Bonny said...

What an awesome blanket! The planning, colors, arrangement of the squares, seaming, and the border all look perfect. Your amazing blanket really shows what a great group you must be and how much you care about Jess. Thanks for sharing!

Steven said...

Best wishes to Jess and John! This blanket is absolutely gorgeous -- anyone would be happy to receive such a thoughtful and heartfelt gift. I can't stop looking at it!

S t a c i said...

It's lovely! What a fantastic group project. Thank you for the links to my pattern!