Friday, February 22, 2008

Tales and Tails

'Member this photo from back in October? I talked as if it were a swatch. It wasn't a swatch at all, it was a square for a blanket. A friend of ours was sick, and we all pitched in and worked blanket squares for her. The blanket itself came out BEAUTIFULLY, but there's something special about that blanket that I want to talk about.

I knitted up a companion square to this, frogging it several times, and finally settling on a simple basketweave stitch. I wanted to catch up, so I took it with me when we went to supper. DH and I were sitting in the bar at Chilis, and some guy proposed to his girlfriend. THAT gave me an idea!

EVERYONE did something else while they were knitting their squares! Why not collect the stories?? So along with a gorgeous blanket that Libby and Trish assembled, I did up a little table, and included a photo of each square, and the knitter's story behind it. For example, my square went to work with me and made a lot of caramel lattes. Other squares went on airplanes, to football games, to doctor's offices and dance class. Some sat outside, and some stayed in. I called it Blankie Tales, and it set a new standard for group projects.

We've done quite a few group blankies recently. Some of the things we learned?

1) Always pick a color scheme-it can be bold and wild, or monochromatic....but whatever you do, set a scheme. One of the very first projects we did DIDN'T have a color scheme, and it was TERRIBLE. There was no way to arrange that blanket to have ANY cohesion. I worked like a crazy woman to knit neutral sashings for it, and it was finished right before mama delivered.

2) Establish tension. State it. Expect it. Meet it. The portion that doesn't will be a total pain in the ass.

3) Don't rely on a hard and fast color chart/seating plan. Even if you make out a chart, someone will goof up. You will end up with an extra blue that needed to be pink, or something like that. If you've done your color homework right, it will all be ok, and might even be better than the original plan, but DO be flexible and gracious. We laid all the squares out, took pictures, cut them up, and made jigsaw puzzles out of them, just to get the layout right!

4) Pick the yarn and stick to it. Washing instructions ARE important.

5) Now I add-have everyone write down a line or two about their contribution. Trust me, the compilation of stories makes the blanket 10X more special.
Suggy came home from the vet an hour ago. It was really weird to be in this house without a dog. I hated it. Her heel tumor was just bumps, her booby tumor was malignant. She's ok for now, and on puppy-drugs.


Libby said...

The package should be there by Monday or Tuesday. I wish it were there sooner because I am SOOOOO dyeing to talk about it. Thanks for spelling out the guidelines for a successful group blanket project. Also, glad that your baby is home and fine.


smariek said...

Glad to hear Suggy is OK!!!

Thanks for the blanket project tips, I'm sure it will be helpful for others who attempt to do the same thing.

Joan said...

Fingers & paws crossed for Suggy's quick recovery!

Murphy is feeling her 10 years in the frigid winter now and won't ride with me in the car. No interest, runs back into the warm house.

It has been very surreal for me to drive around town with no dog in the car. Feel like my right arm is missing.

Can't wait for the blankie unveiling!

Daryl said...

I'm so sorry about Suggy's biopsy results. I had a bad feeling about that booby tumor. Hope she has the older lady version which responds to excision and they got it all. Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

I'm keeping Suggy in my prayers. One more suggestion for communal blankie knitting: Ask the participants to add an edge stitch, which will make seaming the squares together so much easier.