Enough squares now

This is the last block I’ve got yarn for – then it’s on to another project. I haven’t got a blocking board so blocking things square is tricky, but I realised a blue blanket I have is divided into squares, so I blocked a couple of blocks (including the new one) to see how it went. Nice and easy!

(That is actually square.) Got seventeen blocks now – another seven and that’s a queen-sized blanket!

Take a deep breath, and pull

Having looked highly critically at the blocks for the blanket that I’d knitted so far, it became painfully clear that back when I was first knitting them I totally failed to take into account little things like gauge/tension. Or the fact that when you have massive cables in a thing, the thing may get pulled towards the middle. Some of the blocks are radically different sizes from each other, both heightwise and widthwise, and there’s only so much you can fix with blocking.

The other thing was that I clearly forgot quite what I was doing and changed how many rows and stitches of garter stitch I used as a border each time. However, I think I can get away with that – what’s one stitch more or less between friends?

However this one:

And this one:

have had to be frogged. The first one because those enormous cables basically made the block a figure-8 shape (should have cast on extra stitches if I wanted it square) and the second one because it was about an inch wider than the widest of any of the others and there’s a limit to what can be shrunk. I’d rather start again! Sadly though it turns out that bobbles are impossible to frog. I have no idea why, but I ended up with aran spaghetti. Bin!

A glow of righteousness!

Is it cheating on your ‘no new projects’ resolution if the project that you’re dutifully finishing actually consists solely of short new projects? Anyway, it works for me. Twenty days of diligently knitting on my sampler aran afghan and I have the following:

and about two inches of a sixth block. They’re all knit/purl pattern blocks, as I’ve already got lots of cable ones. Now I have sixteen blocks (out of 25) which feels like most of a blanket. I’m about to run out of yarn, though, and as I’m on a strict yarn diet (the stash is far too big and I’ve got at least three sweaters to knit for summer) this puppy’s going to have to go back into hibernation for now. Bring on the next hibernatee!

Just in time for the Australian winter

Some final pics of the bedspread before it gets packaged up and sent to Queensland. I absolutely love the attached i-cord edging – there’s a very helpful video here that I used.

Attached i-cord

You do need a needle size bigger than the one used to knit the main section (tried it with one the same size and it puckered like mad). It took ages to weave in all the ends – at least four ends per block and then the sewing-together ends – and I hate weaving in ends. But it’s done now!

Crunchy snowspread

Crunchy snow-spread

I’ve just finished the last block of the bedspread for my best friend in Australia (see (Bed)spreading the love)

Leaf lace bedspread

and I’ve decided to be whimsical for once and give it a name. I was snowed in when we were all eight inches deep in the white stuff a couple of weeks ago, and got some good work done on it, which was partly the inspiration, but also the cotton yarn has a lovely ‘crunchy’ look. (That’s a technical term, obviously.)

I really like the individual blocks with their leaves and then the ridges.

Single block

I’m sort of tempted to do another one in a skinnier yarn just so there are more blocks to play with. I think it’d be fun to put them together a different way so they radiated out from the centre. If I wasn’t sick to the back teeth of knitting the same darn thing over and over, of course.  Now just for the four miles of I-cord I need to do around the edge to finish it off nicely.

New blocks

Knitting on the afghan is coming along nicely – completed two more blocks this week. Once I get going they only take two or three evenings each, which makes it even more ridiculous that I left it in the cupboard for so long. Plus I think I’ve found someone to give the finished blanket to, who will hopefully appreciate the hundred-odd hours and four kilometres of yarn that will have gone into it by then…

Block 11
Picture of block 12
Block 12

Though on the downside I have accidentally cast on a new thing. Well, I had this lovely fluffy mohair yarn sitting in my stash, without a ballband or anything, so I thought I’d just knit a quick swatch. Just to see what it looked like. And it looked rather lovely, and was so soft to knit with, I thought I’d just do a few rows. And now here I am with another project to be getting on with.

Picture of mohair rug
Mohair lap rug

Though fortunately I’m about to run out of the yarn and have to find some more, so it can hibernate for a bit.

Unfinished objects

As well as the queen-sized bedspread there’s another baby blanket on the go and the mohair shawl – which currently looks like an old-fashioned mob-cap while I work out how to start patterning outwards in a spiral. Trouble with mohair is there is no possibility of mistakes because as everyone know, Mohair Does Not Frog. It clings stubbornly to itself as though its destiny was always to be in that particular stitch next to that other particular stitch, and having achieved this nirvana it’s not going to be parted from it. At some point soon I am going to have to sit down with graph paper and a pencil and a stitch dictionary and work it out properly, but that’s going to have to wait for the bedspread to be finished.

I haven’t cast anything on (other than the bedspread) for AGES and am feeling very virtuous. I don’t even have any socks on the go, though have three balls of yarn in the stash calling seductively to me. I also haven’t bought any yarn for ages, but that’s not so much virtue as enforced abstinence brought on by being on maternity leave and Not Having Any Money.