Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Orange (and Gray) is the New Blanket

I seamed like a fiend this past weekend and attached an applied I-cord border to tidy things up. The Shady Marmalade blanket is now complete!

To refresh your memories, this blanket is based on Verypink's Log Cabin Scrap Blanket. Her original pattern is more akin to a quilt-style log cabin blanket, in which all but the center square of each patch is made of rectangles. My variation started with two squares, which makes the whole patch a square. All 63 of them. The final blanket ended up being in the neighborhood of 43" x 56", so my squares were close to 6" x 6",

I seamed up the edges to make 9 strips of 7 squares each with short seams, and then used a long scrap of yarn to seam up the strips. Sometimes when doing seams, I go through two stitches per side, but on this one I went through every single one.

I rotated the squares so that the garter ridges in the orange centers of the light squares ran in one direction, and in the opposite direction for the darker squares. I also rotated where the solid side, my term for the edge with thirty stitches all the way across, was positioned. If you follow the squares diagonally in one direction, they are all the same. As you might ask, and indeed guess, I did sew one of my strips on upside down. The checkerboard pattern worked, but the flow of solid sides did not. I didn't realize it until I was ready to sew on the next (and final) strip. I almost let it go, but just couldn't. I un-seamed the whole strip, flipped it, and started over. It would have driven me up the wall. As it is, I found one tiny row on the edge of a square where I did two stitches of stockinette instead of garter like the entire rest of the blanket. I'm willing to let that one go. But I will point it out if you ever see this thing in person. I just can't help it.

I'm really pleased. It looks great on the orange couch and on our gray chair. And, it turns out, even looks quite fetching against red dogs. I asked Jeff to "model" it on the couch, and he had barely draped it across his lap when Kate hopped up to give it a try. Even Pona was a bit curious. It's going to be quite warm, I think, as the days cool down, especially with a dog warming our hips. We tested it out, and it's perfect for sitting side-by-side and staying cozy. And Jeff, not usually one to compliment wool fiber, says that this blanket isn't bothering him at all. So despite calling this the Shady Marmalade blanket, it turns out it's not too itchy-itchy ya ya da da.

So glad to get this project finished. Now I can concentrate on getting Jeff's Guido Sweater completed and get started on some new projects! In the meantime, here are a few more pictures that I couldn't quite squeeze in here.


Saturday, October 01, 2016

Seamingly Tedious

I'm still here. I seem to post less and less these days, and I've also had way less time to knit than I'd like. My two big projects have progressed somewhat, so I thought I'd check in.

The Shady Marmalade Blanket squares are all finished -- all 63 of them. And now the sewing begins. I've had quite a few rough starts, but I think I'm getting better at it. I'm trying to rotate the squares so that the garter ridges on the dark and light squares run perpendicularly to each other. And I'm trying to pattern them out so that the solid side of garter stitch alternates from side to side across the row. I found this creates diagonals of like-oriented squares across the blanket. I messed this up twice while getting the first two rows together, so I'm learning to be careful. I'm sewing up 7 squares in a strip with short seams, and then using a long piece of yarn to connect each strip. Seems (or seams) to be working so far. This is going to take a really long time, though. I worked much of the day and only got these 14 squares together. But now that I've figured out my rhythm, maybe I can go faster tomorrow.

Jeff's Guido Pullover is rolling along. I've got most of the front completed, and am just a few rows away from the neck shaping. Then it's on to the sleeves. I've used three of the four balls of the light colored yarn (Pumice) already, and I'm having serious doubts about the last ball making it through two sleeves. Fortunately, although the yarn is discontinued, this is one of the easier colors yet to be found. I'll know soon enough, I suppose.

Kate, featured in the photo above, has gotten the crafting bug herself, it seems. At work last week, I got a panicky text from Jeff and a photo of yarn strewn all around the house. Kate just couldn't resist digging her nose into a bag of yarn for this sweater and getting creative with the aforementioned remaining ball of Pumice. Miraculously, she didn't bite through it or get any of it tangled up. No real harm was done, but now Jeff will think fondly of Kate drool every time he wears it.

Not much else to write about. If I'm writing this, I'm not knitting, right? I did get a gift of yarn today to make a Fair Isle hat that I'm kind of excited about, but that will have to go on the back burner for the moment. I'm also happy that the weather has taken a slightly cooler turn of late. Maybe this will kick me in the tail to get back at knitting in full force.