Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Shelly asked about the yarn I'm using. Diane was wondering how many squares I'm planning on making. It occurs to me I haven't posted any hard facts in a while. I know it's all back there in previous posts somewhere, but frankly, I've written about this so often that I don't want to try to mine the archives for the information, and it's my blog. Besides, I'll do anything at this point to keep you all from noticing that I still have not sewn one single square to another.

The miters themselves are not those used in The Book. Those are knit in stockinette. These are the "Weird Partial Garter Miters" from Kay's post, "Clip 'n Save for Miterheads". She's right about the garter stitch part. With a mere double decrease at the center, it moves much more slowly than the stockinette part, which has a triple decrease. I just love them, so it seems worth the effort.

I am, however, following the traditional Mason-Dixon mitered square assembly pattern, the one that calls for the centers of the blocks to point to each other (go back and look at the pictures in "Clip 'n Save"). The length and the width, therefore, have to be an even number of squares. The afghan will be 8 by 10, or 80 squares. I prefer to think in terms of blocks of 4. That makes it 4 by 5. Much less intimidating.

In another departure, the yarn is Cascade 220 (the originals are cotton). All the colors are from what Cascade calls "The Heathers." Left to right, top to bottom, from upper left: Celery - 9407, Provence - 2425, Satine - 2434, Pumpkin Spice - 2453, Mallard - 2448, Shire - 2445 , Kansas - 2437, Charcoal - 8400, and Mahogany - 2454.

The needles are US 7 Addi turbos. I probably should have used US 8's, but I started this before I realized just how tightly I knit. The squares are blocking out to 7.5 inches instead of 8. I could -- I know because I tried -- force them into 8" squares, but it struck me as cruel and unusual punishment. Give the rack a twist, and all that.

There's a lot of blocking involved. The squares come out looking like slightly deformed, demented bird-bills (that tendency of stockinette to roll in on itself). I decided I didn't want to spend weeks on end with wet towels draped about on every available surface. Meet the ideal mitered square blocking team.

A blocking board marked in 1 inch squares, a ruler whose width measures exactly 1.5 inches (very important for that .5 part of 7.5), pins, pin holder. Please note the most important members of my blocking team: A squirt bottle filled with a no-rinse wool-wash solution and a no-rinse wool-wash that doesn't smell like eucalyptus. No soaking squares in sinks, buckets, dishpans or basins. No pile of damp towels from squeezing out excess moisture. No memories of trees that look like vertical diseases (we got married while Marc was at Stanford).

Pin, squirt, let dry.

There, I bet you completely forgot that I'm supposed to be sewing this up by now.

Blocked - 46
On the board - 6
Completed - 52
On the needles - 53, 54, 55.


Cheesehead With Sticks said...

Hello Dish Rag Tag teamate!

I thought I commented earlier, but I must have not clicked the right button and finalized it.

The miters are looking nice! I have to admit the mitered blanket was the only thing I wasn't too keen on in the Mason-Dixon book, but now that I see it with some garterstich texture I don't think I will be able to resist! I am excited to see the finished blanket.

Shelly said...

Thanks for the info about the yarn. I must get me some Cascade 200. Our LYS, Lakeside Fibers, advertised that they had ALL the Cascade 200 colors. They have the skein in cubbies along a wall and the display takes up the whole wall.

I think the colors are just so wonderful, especially the celery and provence, and the satine and the mallard.....and the shire....