Melissa over at Knitting the Stash started the Knit Together project in late July and I signed up pretty quickly as a veteran of group blanket projects. All the details are on Melissa’s blog, but essentially it’s a DPN relay: each knitter receives the DPNs (symbolically or actually), makes an 8″x8″ afghan square using meaningful or special-to-them yarn, and passes the DPNs and the project on to another knitter. Knitters send their squares to Melissa, who will seam them all together into a blanket. When the blanket is complete, Melissa will choose a winner from among the knitters to receive the blanket.
So, for my square, I chose to use some handspun yarn that I’ve had around for a while. I spun it to make my first Bohus cardigan, the Blue Palm Cardi, which is also my first (mostly) hand processed & hand spun cardigan. The pattern is supposed to be red and is based on the Red Palm Cardigan, but I like blues and had the brown fleece. (Side note: I just checked the pattern page on Ravelry and they’ve featured my sweater on the pattern page! Neato!)
The brown yarn is from a local sheep named Abigail who is 1/2 Romney, 1/4 Finn, 1/8 Corriedale, and 1/8 Merino. Abigail lives at Willow Hawk Farm in Lovettsville, VA, which is local to me. They generously invited my knitting group to their spring sheering day in 2010 and I’m pretty sure I watched Abigail being shorn. I bought her fleece and split the cost of two other fleeces with a knitting & spinning friend. I hand processed the fleece, from skirting & washing it, all the way through carding and spinning it into a fingering weight 2 ply yarn. For this project, I doubled the yarn to make it more suitable gauge wise to the US size 10 DPNs that Melissa sent me along with the project instructions and a mini skein.
After looking through my Barbara G Walker treasuries (I have 1-3), I settled on using the Wager Welt or All Fools’ Welt pattern. Barbara explains:
This type of ridging owes its fame to an amusing little sidelight in the history of knitting. The “wager” was concerned with the question, out of eight pattern rows, how many rows are purled? From the appearance of the pattern it is very hard to guess, and so the French call it Puzzle Stitch and the Germans called it Dispute Stitch; but the English, who seemed to believe that only a fool could be stumped by the problem, called it All Fools’ Welt. The answer, of course, is “one.”
– Barbara G. Walker, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Schoolhouse Press edition 1998, 10th printing 2013
It’s perfect for this, no? The only problem is that I gave away the answer, but whoever ends up with the blanket can always challenge their knitting friends and family to answer the question.
For ease in achieving the 8″ square, I did change the pattern up a bit by knitting it on the bias. I cast on one stitch and increased at both edges until I reached what I have to admit is a generous 8″ and then decreased at both edges until I was back at one stitch, which I bound off. It was a lot of fun to knit and I suspect it took me about as much time to actually knit as it did to plan and to write this blog post. (Okay, maybe a little bit longer, but not much.)
Knitting and blogging friends and anyone reading this! Would you like to participate? I’ve already asked my in-real-life knitting friend Lisa and I’m going to ask a few others who aren’t in the blogosphere, but now I’m asking you. It’s fun, relatively easy, and it’s been really interesting to see what other people have done with their squares.
Let’s see if I can zero in on a few people who I think might be interested, and hope that WP notifies them properly. (I hope I’m doing this right!)
Mrs. Craft, are you up for it? I know another Brit has joined the project, so it’s certainly not limited to this continent.
Weird Weekends, how about you? I seem to remember that you don’t knit or don’t knit well – maybe this is the perfect weekend project for you?
Naomi of String Geekery, are you up for this? I love your designs, maybe you’d like to take one for a spin for this?
Suzy Sells Sea Shells, I know you just got a new dog and you’re working on a fabulous shawl, but maybe this would be a fun diversion too?
Nothing But Knit, and Allision of On the Needles, how about you?
Boy I hope I got that tagging thing right; it’s not as easy as typing @ on Twitter or Facebook, is it?