The Blanket Lives!

While Dad was visiting this weekend I found a place selling my blanket yarn, and quickly snapped up two more skeins of it. They’re even in colorways I haven’t used yet! I only needed the one, but after miscounting before, I didn’t want to take any chances. I haven’t resolved the question of how I’m going to sew everything together, but at least I can finish the squares!

 

Thinking It Through

Remember when I was three squares short on my blanket, and couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong since I had used all of my yarn and gotten an even number of squares out of each ball? The third square was sitting right across from me the whole time I wrote that post. It was waiting happily on the couch for me to notice it, in exactly the same position that it was when I cast it off and set it aside. Trying to get this blanket finished is making me all kinds of stupid.

Now that I only have two squares left to knit (meaning that I have to go buy a ball of the yarn… somewhere), the problem of how to sew it all up isn’t really avoidable anymore. I avoided it when I bought (what I thought was) all of the yarn to finish the damn thing, and I avoided it when I let the squares sit in their tub and sulk for 2 months. This is my first blanket. What the heck am I supposed to do with all of these blocks?! I’ve been researching, and this is what I’ve come up with:

1. Crochet. I’m ignoring this option out at the moment. This is the most traditional choice, it seems, but an option of last resort. I hate single crochet. I’m not even sure that I do it right, despite the dozens of tutorials I’ve read and watched. Despite learning to crochet years before learning to knit, and learning from a real person instead of a grainy YouTube video, I’ve never managed to make it look right.

2. Sew. I could, theoretically, bind it and back it like a regular quilt, which I’ve done plenty of times before. The yarn is thick, though, and my machine is old. I don’t know if it could handle it, and don’t want to push the poor old fella. This means I could hand sew it, but that might not look as nice.

3. Knit. This is the option I really want to work, but the one I’ve found the least tutorials for. Maybe I’m ignoring an obvious solution here, but I don’t have any needles large enough to hold all of the stitches for one edge. Could I knit my boarders separately and seam them on, or only pick up so many stitches at a time, and seam the sections together? Both of these options re-enter the problem of not knowing a good seaming technique, which I’m probably going to have to remedy.

I’ve spent hours now, staring at the blanket on the floor, like Pooh Bear, going, “think, think, think…”, but not coming up with a solution. The next step is to do mock ups, and knit a mini test blanket. All I can figure is that I need yarn. I’m pretty sure a trip to the yarn store would fix all of my problems, or, at least, make me feel better about them. While I deliberate, here’s Harold the Houseplant Monster, wearing a snazzy sweater:

He’s looking pretty darn happy about it, too.

Problematic

I’ve run into a bit of a problem.

Honestly, I should have seen it coming. The first indicator should have been when I reached into the bin where all of the blanket equipment is stashed and came back out with only 2 balls of yarn. “I’m almost done!” I thought.

The next karmic tip was when I bragged to my sister about being so close to finished.

Tweets like, “I knit 2 blanket squares today! This project is starting to go from soul crushingly endless to possibly manageable,” and, “Knitknitknit. 2.5 squares left until I’m done with the endless blanket. BAM.” should have been another hint.

None of this managed to get through to me, though, and today, after finishing my final square, I laid everything out to find this:

I’m missing three blocks. Now, two blocks I could understand. Two blocks could be explained by just buying one less ball than I thought I did, or something similar. But three blocks? How did that happen?! I laid it all out last week, and everything was right on track. Hubris was my downfall. I felt so pleased about being nearly done that I started complimenting myself on a job well done, and this is how the knitting fates rewarded me. Well deserved.

The problem is, the yarn that I picked, the damned yarn that defies all gauge and weight, that despite being an established line from a reputable company has no two colors capable of appealing coordination, is really hard to find in my town. The stores that I bought it from initially have stopped carrying the line. The last time I visited home I stocked up, buying what I thought was everything I needed, specifically so that I wouldn’t run into this problem. Now I’m grumbling, despairing, and glaring at the stack of squares that I promised myself I would start blocking today.

Admit it: you’d be grumpy, too.

All Kinds of Time

Finals are always a weird adjustment for me. After 10 weeks of GOGOGO, I finally get to stop, study at my own pace, and turn things in at my leisure. Only a liberal arts student would call finals week leisurely. It also results in a lot of spare knitting time for me.

 

After flitting off with whatever project caught my fancy for the last 3 months, I’m finally returning to The Unending Blanket. I have something like 12 squares left to knit. Really, it would have stayed in it’s neat little tub if I had been able to think of any other projects worth starting. Every now and then I run into this knitting wall, this lack of creativity. I find that no patterns tickle me, and no yarns can entice my needles. So it’s back to the blanket I go.

I’ve also checked out a huge bag of knitting books and books about knitting to help ease the Stitcher’s block. I just finished the first Mason Dixon Knitting Book, which was an afternoon’s worth of entertainment. It made me want to knit log cabin patterns and miles of garter stitch. Next in the Pile is Knitlit Vol. 3.

 

Here are two of my most recent finished projects, Tuppy Von Monster (who grabbed me suddenly with a passion for fair isle) and the Feather and Fan cowl I semi-designed (which had been stewing in my head for a while).