Who knew a sock yarn blanket could be so addictive! I’ve been working on this iteration it for about two weeks now and I already have about 67 blocks (counting the big blocks as 4)! It is definitely going more quickly than I expected it to, but that is probably because I am obsessively knitting squares at every opportunity.
I, of course, have some notes:
- When I start a new block a block I start with 31 stitches, not 30. The pattern says to pick up 30 (15 from the sides of each square) and then on the next row adding one stitch in the middle to make it 31. I was trying to do it that way but I kept forgetting which throws off my stitch count, so instead I’m just starting with 31. Like the subject of this post indicates, I am getting really good at counting to 31.
- It takes me about 20 minutes to knit a block. It is the perfect amount of time to be able to sneak one in here and there, like when my husband is making the morning coffee or while I wait for a movie to start. I am pretty sure this is a big reason why I have been able to make so much progress on this blanket.
- For my decreases I am supposed to slip 2 stitches knit wise, knit one, and then slip the 2 slipped stitches over the newly knit stitch. I am apparently the epitome of lazy because I just can’t be bothered to slip those two stitches knit wise. It is much faster and intuitive for me to slip them purl wise and so that is what I do. Slipping them knitwise may cinch up the decreases to be a bit more snug but it is pretty minimal. I compared a square where I slipped knitwise vs. a square slipped purlwise and the difference just wasn’t significant enough for me to justify slipping the stiches knitwise.[pullquote]I am averaging just over 4.5 blocks per day, which equals out to about an hour and a half of knitting every day.[/pullquote]
- Related to the decreases, at the beginning I was counting each right side row stitch to know when to do the decrease and that was a pain in the ass. Now I only need to count stitches on the first decrease row. After that I can tell by quickly looking at the knit where the decrease row should happen. Saves time and helps to make this a much more easy going knit that doesn’t require constant attention. I do, however, make sure to do a count when I have about 6 decreases to go to make sure I still have the right stitch count (ie. an odd number). Occasionally I have caught myself only slipping one stitch rather than two, but it isn’t a huge deal. All it means is that I have had to do an extra one stitch decrease to get the numbers back in line.
- I, like most knitters, hate weaving in ends, and I have a solution that cuts the number of ends to weave in half. When I start a new square rather than leaving a tail that I need to weave in later I instead pair it with the working yarn and knit it in to the first cast-on row. The first stitch I do normally and then after that I pick up stitches using both the working yarn and the tail. This means the first few stitches are cast on as though you were holding the yarn double, but the difference in weight is imperceptible. It isn’t at all noticeable or visible in the finished blanket (at least to my eyes) and it saves me a ton of time. (Apparently this is similar to making an overlap join?) What this leaves me to weave in is just the ends from the tips of the squares, which still aren’t fun to do, but at least it is only half as much as it could be. I took the time yesterday to weave in all the ends I had so far. I think it is wise to do it periodically instead of wait until the blanket is done to weave in all the ends.
- Despite all being sock yarns there IS a difference between a lot of the different yarns I have in terms of weight. I am knitting with size 1US (2.25mm) needles which is really small, and for some of the yarns this is perfect, some of the yarns it ends up being quite solid (Patons Kroy in particular), and for other yarns (that I suspect to me more Light Fingering than Fingering) it results in a more loose knit. When attaching a new square to the side of one of the looser/thinner yarn blocks, or when I start a new square using the lighter fingering yarn, I was sometimes getting a bit gappy. I now knit into my cast on row through the back loop (TBL) to help to snug up that first row. I don’t do it for all the yarns, just the thinner ones. Seems to really help.
- There wasn’t a set size for the finished blanket, so maybe that is why I continue to be indecisive about the size I want my finished blanket to be. It is currently 12 blocks across which ends up being about 40 inches wide. As it is it would be a good size for a lap blanket and would fit a twin size bed nicely, but a proper double/queen size blanket is very very tempting. For now though I am going to stick with what I have. I can always extend the sides to make it wider if I decide I want to. I love that this project allows for late-in-the-game size increases.
One final note… I can NOT get a good picture of this stupid thing! Try as I might, I have been totally unable to get a proper picture of this project where the colours look correct and where the size/shape of it is accurately captured. I have no idea why this is proving so impossible for me but it is SERIOUSLY driving me insane. I have managed to take this picture of my blanket laid out on my floor but it still isn’t very good.