Thursday, July 8, 2010

3 Years, 48 Colors, and 6,156 yards

The blanket squares are done.

Light Leaf Green Square #35

This last batch, 7 squares in all, were completed during this most recent spring-and-summer bout of finish-it-up-itis. After the most recent update in June, I realized how close I was to the finish line and swore to be faithful to the project until the squares were complete. I was on the home stretch, I could see a light at the end of this unpredictably long tunnel. I mostly stuck to my guns (except a little pair of socks. But they only put me out for five days, and besides, it was my birthday).

Light Purple/Orange Square #33

While working on the squares this time, I started envisioning the blanket as a finished object. It's exciting and daunting to think of all the sewing, but I still feel that this is a significant turning point.

Medium Leaf Green Square #32

I uploaded the first set of photos in March of 2008. At the time I'd been working on the blanket on and off for about a year, and had 15 squares. I thought that would be half the finished blanket, and estimated it would take another 6 months to finish knitting (ha!). I uploaded 2 more in April and May of that year, then 4 more in March of 2009, 2 in October, 3 more in November, and 3 more in June. I've shown many blocks before, and blogged a bit about the project here in case you're feeling nostalgic.

Pale Green Square #34

In that post, I speculated that it might take another two years to finish the blanket. Thankfully, sewing the squares together into their blocks of 4 will still be highly portable. I will almost certainly sew all the blocks together before I decide on the final layout of the blanket, and I have my photos of each block to remind me of the placement I like best for each square.

Dark Orange Square #36

Cara, my inspiration for this project, blocked all her squares and tucked in the ends before photographing them. As you've probably noticed from my photos, I'm nowhere near that neat. I still love reading through her journey with that blanket. I think we were both driven to this crazypants project by a love of colors and their interplay, but executed things so differently. She finished her squares in 46 days, whereas I took about 38 months to get everything off the needles.

Light Green Square #30

Now, I'm more worried about the knitting of the border. By my calculations, if I'm picking up stitch-for-stitch around the edge of this massive thing, I'll have 1,728 stitches in one round of blanket. Numbers like this make me gasp for breath. I'm thinking about single crochet edges. But I really love to imagine using this blanket. It'll be huge, and machine washable because of the mercerized cotton yarn. I have fantasies about sewing a fabric lining to the back, so we can use it as a beach blanket (and to hide the wrong side).

Dark Green Square #31

I gave up keeping track of the squares by spreadsheet about two-thirds of the way through. I suspect that allowed me to finish sooner than otherwise. As it is, I ended up with more leftover yarn than I thought.

Mitered Square Leftovers

There's probably 5 or 6 skeins' worth of yarn there. I'm going to save it for sewing and knitting the border. The funniest thing to me about all this is that skein of white. I bought that in the first batch of yarn, and never ended up using it. I might still save it. It's bright bleached white, and I guess I think it would end up dingy-looking after some harsh use. For now, I'm giving the blanket a break for a few days. That's about how long it will take me to decide which of the five projects screaming for attention in my break to cast on (one of them, I kid you not, is another blanket). In the meantime, flickr will have to keep my humongous blanket fantasies satisfied:

4 comments:

wildtomato said...

Congratulations on finishing those squares! It will look so wonderful all sewn up!

Tracey said...

woo hoo! i love the mosaic photo.

Curious Foxkitty said...

This is going to be SO RAD when you're done!

Hayley said...

Hey!!! It's Hayley form Ukelele class! I have had a look through your blog and I really enjoyed reading it... the knitted kite shaped squares look gorgeous... great to meet you!!!
Hayley