Friday, May 11, 2007

The Rules

for starters, i pondered awhile on how to make this blanket a contrast to Babette's Blanket. Babette was also about color, but on that design, i was randomly substituting colors according to the pattern's specification (and whatever happens to be in my stash). Pattern calls for red--i use red. Pattern calls for orange--i use orange, except that i quickly run out of orange and have to substitute pink. you get the idea.

On the mitered square blanket, i get to make up the rules. i choose all of my own colors, and i'm using the same brand of yarn throughout in order to have a consistent texture. this blanket is for my bed, so i don't want to burn out my retinas right before bedtime. i want it to be colorful, but soothing. i've decided to make each block a coherent theme, or color scheme. i see it as a sort of patchwork quilt. i want it to look semi-random, but not arbitrary. i also think it is important to distribute light and dark throughout to avoid any weird pooling on a giant blanket scale.

i plan to seam each block together as i finish it, and at the end i will arrange the blocks in a (hopefully) pleasing manner. i will wait until the entire blanket is seamed before i choose a border color.

The MDK book says that you should make some rules for your blanket, if only so that they will be there to break. sounds like a plan to me.

Rule #1: Thou shalt adhere to the 6 stripe mandate. no cutesy skinny stripes here.
Rule #2: Thou shalt be only 4 coordinating colors per block, 2 colors per square.
Rule #3: Thou shalt be one dominant color per block that shall be used in 3 out of 4 squares.
Rule #4: Thou shalt be one minor color per block that is only used in one square.
Rule #5: Thou shalt break Rule #2, but only once out of every 16 squares. More than 2 colors will be allowed in that one square as another color(s) can sub in a stripe(s) for a "cameo appearance."
Rule #6: Thou shalt be approximate even distribution of contrast throughout each block. No blocks with all loud colors or blocks with all subtle shades allowed.
Rule #7: Thou shalt be no black or white, as that will constitute cheating. cream counts as a color, as long as it is not used as a substitute for white. trust me: it makes sense in my head.
Rule #8: Thou shalt knit at least 2 squares per day, or 14 squares per week. I want to finish this blanket before I'm 80.

how am i doing so far? this block is my homage to classic ice cream flavors.
Block #1
the block measures approximately 13" square. that means that i will need a 6x6 grid to make a full-size bedspread. i am using elann sonata on #6 denise circs. the yarn is fairly splitty. i shudder to think what would happen if i used my knitpicks circs. i've encountered a couple of knots so far and a weird green thread intertwined with the pink skein, but i'm still happy with my yarn choice. it knits up nicely, it looks good, and the price is right.

i tried a few different things this time. i steam ironed the squares flat rather than wet blocking. it worked pretty well as you can see. i used the backwards loop cast-on which looks messy on the outsides right now, but will probably help me when i have to seam the blocks together. and speaking of seaming, i have a confession to make. i suck at mattress stitch. i tried many times last night to get it to look right, but my stripes weren't lining up and i ripped it out so many times. finally i settled for crochet seaming it together. it might not be the neatest seam possible, but it looks a helluva lot better than my mattress stitch did. and when i get to the part where i seam strips of blocks together, i am going to be much less frustrated with crochet seams. on that, i am certain.


  1. I like it. Your rules are strict, but they can be broken! :-)

  2. Now I'm hungry!

    Yeah I suck butt at mattress stitch too. Those tutorials with those swatches the lock together all so perfectly really bug me. My seams are NEVER that pretty!

  3. Its gorgeous and now I want one. Sooo many rules....I would never keep it straight. I will so enjoy watching you do this.

  4. Now I want some Neapolitan ice cream!
    It looks pretty to me, and I'm sure it'll look much better when all the pieces come together

  5. I think the rules are good ones & your color choices are awesome!!

  6. Mmmmm...those miters look delicious.

  7. Love the rules. But two squares a day? Seems pretty strict!

  8. In response to being bad a mattress stitcher -- you can pick up the stitches on two squares and do the three needle bind off. Since it's in st st, you'll have to calculate the ratio for how may to pick up per square -- with garter stitch it's easier (one st for every 2 rows) . . . Once the squares are assembled in one direction (i.e. end to end) you can do the same thing in the for the opposite direction, i.e. length-wise. You can finish the outside edge by picking up stitches and then binding off without knitting a row (I've only done this on garter st, so not sure how it will look in st st.



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