Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blanket Under Construction-2

First things first--A thousand thank yous to my "wonder publicist" Vicki from Knitorious !! She mentioned my last post on her blog. I received three times more comments than ever before!! Thank you dear Vicki. She also said that the "flag" blanket project that I described was the best knitting project she had ever seen. She was going too far, but I thank her from the bottom of my knitterly heart. It was a labor of true love and international understanding.

One or two of the comments from my last post asked how I sew the squares of the FLW blanket together. Here's what I have worked out ("unvented" as EZ would say) for joining the bias garter stitch squares.

I hold two squares so that they abut each other, right sides facing up. Basically, I sew into the garter ridge bump at the end of every other row, and I alternate sides. I slip the needle through the bump mid-way between the side and top of the bump.

Then, I go over to the other square and do the same thing.
Do not pull the yarn too tight; you will want the seam to have some "ease." For good measure, you can repeat this on the wrong side. This technique (which is probably simply the garter stitch mattress stitch) makes an almost completely reversible item if you stitch along only the front side.

I think that the resulting join/seam looks like a zipper, with the garter ridges interlocking.
I have been using the existing ends to sew the squares together. However, if you did not weave in the ends of yarn when changing colors, you could use those ends as well to make a perfectly invisible seam.
To hold everything together in a finished sort of way, we are knitting long strips of garter stitch (15 stitches wide and on size 5 needles--two sizes smaller than were used for the squares). The strips will be stretched slightly when I sew them onto the blanket. The blanket is quite heavy and I hope the strips will keep the blanket from distorting.
In my previous post, I bemoaned the many miles of stitching necessary to assemble this queen size coverlet! Here is one of my fellow group members, working hard during one of our two assembly meetings. People assembled the squares in groups of four, and I then sewed the groups of four together. Worked well.

Here's another group member paying very close attention to her sewing gauge!!

Our cat, Cosmic, has given the blanket his full approval. At this point, the blanket was 7 squares long and five squares wide. We decided to make another column of 7 squares to make the blanket 7 x 6--and just the right size for a coverlet on a queen size bed. We hope Frank Lloyd Wright would approve!!
Tonight I plan to assemble the last strip of squares. This weekend I will stitch the strips along the edges. As serious knitters, you might ask how I mitred the corners. Well, we didn't. FLW did not mitre the edges of the wood trim strips around windows and doors in our church. Rather, he extended the strips to abut each other. Therefore, I am taking the easy way out for knitting purposes and following his design techniques!!!

Thanks to those of you who sent good wishes for my brother. He got out of ICU yesterday and he should be going home tomorrow!!! He still needs to sleep at a 45 degree angle, not do anything stressful, etc., for a month. But, he is thrilled about being able to go home!! And we are thrilled for him. He has not uttered one word of complaint during this ordeal. He's a better person than I.


Maud said...

The blanket is gorgeous, and the finishing really neat! Very instructive close ups.

Melissa said...

The blanket is breathtaking. Seriously. Thanks for the seaming lesson!!

Pilar said...

I can't thank you enough for that seaming lesson, I really needed it :)
That blanket is awsome dear, congratulations :)

mary lou said...

Nice tips for finishing/seaming. I teach at a LYS, and seaming garter is always a tricky one for students. This will be useful. Nice blankie!

Stephanie said...

That blanket is awesome! It is amazing how well each of those individual squares go together!

Anonymous said...

The Yarn Harlot came to SAINT PAUL (not Minneapolis!) on April 4. The Twin Cities are divided by that Big River . .