I had certain criteria:
- It must be portable. I did not want to haul around a blanket to my office or the dentist's.
- Since the yarn was coming from my stash, it would have to be multiple colours. I might buy sweater quantities of yarn, not afghan quantities. I am not that crazy.
- I had to like it, Actually, the hubby had to like it. He was more likely to use it than me.
I went stash diving. I had lots of Paton's Classic Wool, the result of yarn orgies over several years at the Listowel Tent Sale. I also had a decent amount of Cascade 220. I haunted Ravelry checking out the afghan patterns. I finally settled on Log Cabin Afghan published in 60 Quick Baby Knits.
A baby afghan you ask? Well, since the afghan is made up of square blocks knit separately and sewn together, I figure I could just make more and instead of 3x3 squares, I could have 4x5. I would need 20 blocks. Totally doable.
It took me a while to rework the quantities. I gathered the yarns in the necessary quantities. I set them up next to each other and made my choices. I am not going to list each colour for you as each of the colours used is now discontinued.
I was heading out to the Esssex 73's home game so grabbed the yarn and a new set of needles. I cast on and knit through the game. Essex won 3-1 defeating Blenheim. I missed every goal. I was either counting or ripping back. The pattern just says cast on 17 stitches. It does not say which cast on method to use. As stitches need to be picked up on the cast on edge, different cast on's give different results when picking up stitches.
Also there were no instructions on how to pick up stitches on the sides. I know several methods. Some require special treatment for the edge stitches. Of course each method will also give different results in the finished look of the piece. So while at the game, I was experimenting with different methods, No matter which one I chose, it did not look quite like the photo in the book. Eventually, I settled on the knitted cast on. It creates a series of loose stitches at the bottom suitable for picking up stitches.
I was home admiring my work. I decided to put one square on top of the other so I could see how I liked the purple centre.
Looks good doesn't it? The ones with sharp eyes for details will notice the problem immediately. Got it? No? Well the upper square is smaller than the lower square. In my rush to get to the hockey game, I thought I had taken a 4.5 mm needle. What I had taken was a 4.00 mm needle. If I finished the square with the smaller needle, the whole square would be smaller than 12". If I continued, the whole afghan would be too small for the category. There is a minimum size of 40 by 60 inches.
I cast on again with the correct needle size. Here is my square blocking.
It is square. Angle of the camera distorts the image. See I can prove it.
I picked up a quilting square at Sewcraft in Essex. I went in to see about a zipper for the Vespa Sweater and came out with a square instead. It is 12 1/2 by 12 1/2". The square knit up was 12 by 12 and came out of it bath 13 by 13. I was able to smoosh it back to 12 1/2 by 12 1/2. The quilting square is perfect and will make blocking these 20 squares easy.
I knit up a second and here you can get an idea of what the whole blanket will look like.
Hubby likes the purple.
Now for progress on the other items.
The cowl looks the same but slightly longer. No point in a picture that essentially looks the same as last time. I have been hauling this project around with me and knitting on it when ever possible.
I started the shrug.
The Vespa Sweater is blocked. I want to knit the collar on rather than knit it separately and then sew it on. It is too hard to sew with the bulky yarn. For the sleeve seam, I found a cream ball of Galway worsted in my stash. It will work for the sleeves and side seams. I don't have a matching green for sewing on the collar. Therefore any seaming will show on the collar and look tacky.
I thought it would be easier to sew in the zipper before attaching the front pieces to the rest of the sweater. I measured the front. 61 cm. Headed to Fabricland for zipper and ribbon. I thought a nice piece of ribbon sewn inside to hide the zipper edge would be a lovely attractive finish. Picked up the zipper and ribbon and then got distracted in the store by the sale on flannelette. I bought five pieces.
Got home to sew in the zipper. I put the first half on. The piece with the zipper would not lay flat. Usually this is a result of stretching the knitted piece. I had carefully laid out the front flat on a table, pinned the zipper in place careful not to stretch the front. It was buckling. Tore out the stitching and tried again. Same thing.
Laid out the zipper under the second front and now the zipper is too long. Compare the two fronts and the one with the zipper sewn in is longer than the other front. Damn! The first front was stretched. Now I need a second trip to Fabricland for a shorter zipper.
The zipper is not the only issue with the sweater. This is how much green I had left after finishing the body. The collar will be green as well.
That looks like a full ball but it is not. It is less than 1/2 a ball. Not nearly enough to knit the collar which has 102 rows in it. Only one thing to do. I called the Factory Outlet Store in Listowel. I spoke to the lovely Tammy. I explained that I had sent my husband to the store in August during the tent sale to buy me yarn for this sweater.
Tammy says, "Oh, I remember him. He was on a motorcycle".
Tammy checked and yes they had a ball of this colour in the same dyelot and it would go out UPS that day or the next. I texted Hubby and told him he was famous.