January One -- Madness

March 19, 2011

Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together

Ever since I started working on seaming my mitered blanket, I've been dreaming about the next blanket that I'm going to make with all the leftover Tahki Cotton Classic I have. It has to be something that will utilize A LOT of color - after all - I used 85 different colors in the mitered blanket and I have leftovers of everything, not to mention a bunch of colors that I never used at all!

I've always known I was going to do a much more structured blanket - at least colorwise. My fantasies have always been about a blanket that is laid out in the ROY G. BIV rainbow and has always had some kind of play on close color tones that sit next to each other.

And after seeing a few quilts out in the Internets, both knitted and sewn, I knew that the background palette for all the color would be an off white.

At first I was seduced by hexagons - lots and lots and lots of hexagons. My idea was to do a pair of colors - two blues or two reds or two oranges - just a bit off from each other - and then surround them in white. I started knitting it a few different ways but never loved it and I was too involved in all that seaming to really commit.

Then I saw a gorgeous Log Cabin blocks by Julie and the hexagon blanket was suddenly dead to me! I would do four sides in different colors - again all similar in color but off in tone - and then frame them in white! Perfect! Once again, there was a lot of planning involved and I was still deep in the seaming madness of the miters and I didn't fully commit.

Then Kay, my guru in all things quilt-like and knit, posted about this fabric log cabin cross quilt and how she was going to turn it into a knit blanket and it was like being hit in the face - in a good way! I was completely entranced. I had to knit this - it was PERFECT for what I wanted to do! Each "arm" of the cross would be in a different yet similar color and the background would be white and I would do each block in it's own ROY G. BIV fabulousness and WHAM! There it was.

How to knit it though. I preordered the book figuring by the time I would have it in hand I might be closer to starting to knit (still a TON of seaming to do!) But this blanket would NOT shake me and after a couple of comments to Kay about being super psyched to knit this, I couldn't contain myself anymore and called to beg for the pattern. How happy am I that I did!

Kay has released The Mitered Crosses Blanket pattern just today! The pattern by itself is fabulous, but to make it extra fantastic, all proceeds from the sale will go to help Japan as they recover from the earthquake and tsunami.

Now, I know my talents and my limits and while I can put colors together like nobody's business, I don't have the skills to figure out how to knit shapes and put them together and construct them and make them fit like they were meant to be. But Kay does. I'd like to think that my part in all of this was to say how do I knit this and then her brain took off and knit it!

I was lucky enough to knit a block along with Kay and it's just a flawless pattern. Miters are knit on to each other (no seams!!) and then you log cabin a frame and it's beyond perfect for what I want to do with my left over yarn. Beyond perfect. What could possibly be better than miters AND log cabin?! It's the Reese"s Peanut Butter Cup of knitting! As you can see in the square above, I'll be using four similar colors for the cross, framed by linen white.

The fun part now is to go through all the colors and put them together in groups of four. There may or may not be some other rules - like the last miter in one square will be the first miter in the next square. Not sure I want to repeat any colors though. I will definitely be supplementing my colors - there are not enough yellows or oranges or reds. I'm thinking it will be a twenty block blanket - at least two blocks for each ROY G. BIV color with some neutrals thrown in as well (a block of browns in between the reds and oranges and maybe a block of grays after the violets.) They will be laid out in rainbow order as well.

Hopefully soon I'll get some time to go through the yarn and organize it and try to figure out some color numbers and such. My test block is almost perfect - once I was finished I decided I needed to reknit it on 5s instead of 6s and I think I'm going to be much happier. I'm going to love planning this, knitting this, finishing this - everything about it! And it fits perfectly into the knitting I'm able to do right now - small, portable - perfect for what will most likely be a long summer.

I'm still working on the mitered blanket! I have one strip completely seamed and I'm working on the next row:

The picture does not do this blanket justice. Even with only one strip done, I can't believe how gorgeous it's going to be! And big. Very, very big.

I'm sad it's been over a month since I blogged last. Life has been kicking my ass. Sleep deprivation (no, my kids still don't sleep through the night and yes, my oldest just turned 3!) is killing me and my anxiety lately has been in overdrive. I'm taking steps to get them to sleep - especially the 3 yr old - and things are looking promising. But I still feel pretty lousy. It just invades your life in ways you wouldn't expect. Pushes all my buttons. And today our computer died. Just as I was about to start processing a new job. Fun times. At least now I'll have plenty of time to knit.

Posted by Cara at 11:03 PM | Comments (18)

February 16, 2011

Exercise in Futility

Yesterday was supposed to be my relaxation day.

We had one of those weekends that changes your life forever, and not in the good way. Oh yeah eventually, hopefully, it will be one of those funny stories we tell about how the police and paramedics came and mommy was in her t-shirt and underpants the whole time, but for now it's still terrifying for G and I.

The baby started getting stuffy and was up all night Saturday night and I was dealing with her when Meli woke up around 3 or 4 AM as per her usual. I handed the baby off to G and went in to check on Meli and immediately noticed she was really hot. So I took her into our bed and tried to take her temperature. About 5 or so I succeeded and she did indeed have a bit of a fever, so we somehow got her to take some medicine and we all went back to sleep.

When we woke up, Meli was still hot - in fact a bit hotter. I took her temp again and it was a degree higher, but it wasn't time to give her more medicine and she was in pretty good spirits, so we were all just lazing around in bed watching cartoons and relaxing. Meli rolled over as if to go back to sleep and G was laying next to her when he noticed she was doing something funny with her eyes. He told her to stop and then realized something was really wrong and called me over. I looked at her and we both started into a panic. Her eyes were very fixed and open and her eyebrows were going up and down rapidly and then the whole foaming at the mouth started. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew she was most likely having a seizure from the fever, but it was still so completely horrifying. I told G to call 911 and in the few minutes that it took for the paramedics to get to us, the seizure had stopped and she was groggy and awake. The whole thing lasted about three minutes. Three excruciatingly harrowing minutes.

The paramedics told us that it was probably a febrile seizure, but we went to the ER just to be sure, where they told us the same thing. She had a fever of 104 when they took it at the hospital. We stayed until her temp came down a bit and then went home and preceded to stare at her for the next 24 hours. A visit to our pediatrician the next day confirmed everything and she's been fever free for over 24 hrs now. Apparently febrile seizures are fairly common and while horrific to witness, they don't do any damage. The way the paramedic described it to us is that when a fever spikes really high, the body will sometimes convulse as a way of breaking the fever. Meli has no history of anything like this - in fact - aside from a runny nose every now and again, she's had like one ear infection her whole life. She's rarely sick. The good news is that it didn't hurt her and that she might never have one again. The bad news is that she COULD have one again and also the baby is now at a greater risk to have them because it tends to run in families. We keep telling ourselves that it didn't hurt her and everyone and everything says it's not a big deal but it was just so scary that it's hard to believe. We're trying, but it's going to take awhile to get over this. (For us - Meli's back to her old singing and dancing the day away self.)

Oh and did I mention this was the weekend she decided to potty train herself? Surprisingly the trauma of the ambulance ride and the hospital visit didn't derail our progress.

The baby still has a cold too.

With all this going on, I'm not sure the last time I really and truly slept or relaxed and my mind really needed a break, so when our babysitter came for the day on Tuesday I thought I'd delve into a project I had been thinking about for a while.

As you all know, I'm working the miter project and it's going pretty slow these days. I think I've managed to seam one more square since the last time I blogged which is killing me, but I did manage to order a bunch of yarn.

What you see there is the present and the future. The black yarn (Tahki Cotton Classic) will be the border for the mitered blanket (I'll also use it for seaming all the seamed squares together) and the linen white TCC will be a blanket to be named later.

I've been thinking a lot about a new blanket using the leftovers of the miter project. I've had a few ideas going around and around in my head and I've seen a few quilts that have inspired me lately (I'm looking at you JulieFrick!). At first I was thinking knitted hexagons but now I'm squarely in the log cabin camp. I'm not sure what it's going to be so I'm not going to say much more, but I have been wanting to organize the leftover yarn so I can easily tell what I have, what I want more of, and what I'm missing. To this end, I contacted the wonderful Kathy at WEBS and asked if she knew if I could purchase color cards for TCC from Tahki. I figured this would be the easiest way to catalog all the yarn I have and identify something. Surprisingly, Tahki doesn't have color cards. Color me shocked, but that was the message given to Kathy. Oh well. Too late to change yarns so I went to Plan B.

I gathered up all the TCC yarn I have: little bits and pieces, half used balls and unwound hanks. I took out the spreadsheets with color numbers I put together back when I started the project and the color card scans I printed off the internet that I found on Yarndex. I had the internet open to anyone and everyone that sells TCC and set about matching the yarn in my hand to a number. After about three hours I had this:

Sixteen freaking colors. And about a third of them were easy because I had extra skeins still wrapped up in the ball band with the color clearly stated. The others were a pain in the ass. The scans don't match the yarn which doesn't match the internet and this green looks like that green and is that a yellow or a brown and I used 85 colors in the damn blanket. You can imagine the frustration. While I'm proud of the color card I made, that's it. I will start planning my new blanket and will determine a yarn color number when and if I need it. While it would be nice to have them all labeled, I don't have the patience or the time for this. It really sucks that Tahki couldn't provide color cards. And it also sucks that I wasted what was supposed to be a relaxing afternoon. I knew it would be a project, but I really thought I would make more progress. I should've just seamed more squares. Would've been a whole lot more satisfying.

Suffice it to say, it's been a trying few days. Thanks for letting me vent. I'm going to leave you with a short video of the baby laughing her ass off. I had her at hello!

Laugh Riot! from January One on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully my next post will be that I've finished seaming all the squares and I'm ready to seam them all together. And hopefully I'll be blogging sometime next week! I want this blanket DONE.

L, C

Posted by Cara at 12:28 AM | Comments (20)

February 06, 2011

Are you ready for some MADNESS?

By the time you read this, I will have seamed 15 of the 30 squares and the rest of the miters will be blocking. Yes, my friends, the miter madness continues! I have had complete project monogamy with this - the miters have taken hold all over again. Even though I have a million projects on the needles and I'd like to be knitting all of them all the time, the squares are what pull me in. I feel like I'm cheating if I even look at the knitting. Honestly, my time for any of it is so limited and the squares are easy and give me such satisfaction and I can taste the finish, even though it's a LONG way off.

It took me more than ten hours over three days to seam the first square. I must have ripped and restarted like 25 times. The second square took half that time and now, if I had an uninterrupted hour, I bet I could do all four seams without any issues. I finally figured out the formula, so to speak, in lining up the stripes.

I'm constantly surprised at how satisfying this phase of the project has been. If I had known how much I'd enjoy weaving in ends and seaming I wouldn't have waited three years to get started. It's been the perfect project. Firstly, I took all the thinking out of it. I'm seaming the squares in the order I knit them and I'm seaming them exactly the way they look in this picture. No thinking allowed. It's like I'm one of those color people - you know - when the cartoonist does the outline and someone else just colors in by the numbers? What's so great about it is that my mind is freed up to think about other projects and daydream. And, when I'm too tired to even do that, I just know my job and I do it.

Undoubtedly, the absolute best part of the project - always the best part of the project - is all the color. Especially given that there is still about 36" of snow in my front yard. This winter has been dreary and gray and we're constantly being forced to stay home because of the weather, but every day I get a little pop of fun color to keep me company. And it's always changing. The pile of seamed squares keeps growing and I'm consistently pleased by the choices I made so long ago. So far there's only been one square that I'm sort of eh about, but I'm not changing anything. It was a completely different person that started this project and she made choices that were inspired at the time. The me I am now refuses to get in the way of that vision.

Tomorrow I will pick up all the blocking squares and dive into the remainder pile to match up the yarns with the squares for seaming. I've got my 60" circular needle winging it way through the mail to me as we speak and I'm ready to order the dozen or so skeins of black Takhi Cotton Classic I'll be using for the border and the general seaming. I'm so happy with this project and I can't wait to get back to work on it. I want it to be finished so badly because I'm so excited to have it finished and I keep imagining how wonderful it will be to see my girls all wrapped up in its explosion of color. And at the same time I will be so sad to have it end. Fortunately, I guess, that end is still a long ways off.

Thanks for reading!

Posted by Cara at 11:25 PM | Comments (22)

May 01, 2007

Madness Deconstructed

- 120 miters, 30 squares, 85 different colors of yarn

- The first miter was knit on March 15, 2007. The last miter was knit on April 29, 2007. Forty-six days. 2.6 miters per day.

- Each miter starts with 72 stitches. Knit with US #6 needles.

- Four main miters, one background miter from a skein of Tahki Cotton Classic.

- Only one color used two skeins. I used it to make two background colors, and then wanted to use it for a main color. I needed to break into a second skein.

This project has completely consumed me. Knitting these miters was an extreme labor of love and I'm so glad I got to do it. All of the squares sat on my floor for at least a week off and on - I would leave them out there and keep adding squares to the mix as they came off the needles. Yesterday I decided on a final layout. I photographed it and lifted the squares off the floor and mixed them all up. I think I sort of want to erase the layout from my mind while I'm seaming the squares. I will be referring to the photographs for the seaming, but it won't all be together. Plus we need room to walk around the house.

Basically I had the squares down on the floor and every now and again I'd move some around. Then I'd stand on the arm of the sofa overlooking the squares and squint my eyes. (Quite the scene, I must say.) Yesterday I was DETERMINED to get this all down - don't ask me why but it became incredibly important for me to say THIS IS IT. I would move squares around and take a picture. Then I'd put the picture up on the computer and change it to black & white. I wanted there to be a somewhat even distribution of value throughout the blanket. Then I'd go back and move stuff around - take a picture - look at it in b&w - move more squares and on and on until I got what I wanted.

When I saw this combination up on the screen - I knew that this was it. I stood back in the doorway - away from the computer and looked at it and it was good.

I leave you with another bunch of pictures, because that's what I do.

I don't think I'll be blogging about the miters for awhile - it's time to put the project to rest a bit and move on to other things. My mind can't take it anymore. I don't know when I'm going to start seaming - maybe my next free weekend - which doesn't come for awhile. Or maybe I'll start seaming and it will overtake me and I'll become obsessed all over again. Have no fear - this blanket will be seamed. A border will be knit. This project will be finished.

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm for this project. It means so much to me that I can share my madness.

Posted by Cara at 12:22 AM | Comments (167)

April 30, 2007

The Final Four + One

First, send out a hearty congratulations to Margaret! She won the contest with a guess of April 29, 2007 at 12:53 PM. She was ONE MINUTE OFF! Way to go Margaret! Just a leetle scary how close you came. (By the way, check out Margaret's GORGEOUS new sweater while you're over there.)

It turned out that by Friday, both jobs I had this weekend had rescheduled (that's what happens when you work with kids - something always comes up and I've made it my policy to be very flexible.) So I had plenty of knitting time. And Georgie took me to a FANTASTIC dinner to celebrate - screw the sushi - hands down - best steak in the city. Seriously.

Without further ado, since you've all waited so patiently, I give you the last five squares:

Square #26

This square was based on this picture:

Kay called this next square my ode to Lilly Pulitzer. I really love this one.

Square #27

My kindergarten square:

Square #28

And the blue square:

Square #29

Last, but certainly not least, is the square based on the picture of my finger:

Square #30 - THE LAST SQUARE

I'm thinking this square is my signature square. It's got the one red row to symbolize the blood spilled (so DRAMATIC) and also, I want this square to anchor the piece. The border will probably be dark-ish - I'm hoping this square will blend with the border - just like a signature.

So. I finished knitting the squares. I haven't cast on for anything new, but I do have a bridal shower coming up this weekend and a planned project for a gift that I haven't started yet. If I can get yarn today, I'll start on that. The squares are all laid out on the floor and I'm moving them around all the time and hopefully I'll have pictures of what will be the final layout tomorrow. I don't plan on spending too much time on laying things out. I want to take a picture and get it off the floor so I can start on the seaming. I have no idea how long it will take to seam this baby. I'm sure it will go a lot slower than the knitting. That's all right with me. And I'm undecided what to do about the border, but I hope that will reveal itself as I sew the thing together.

This has been a marathon and to say I'm sad to be finished the knitting is an understatement. This project really has taken over my mind and my heart. I'm so glad to know you've enjoyed it too. Thank you!

Posted by Cara at 09:02 AM | Comments (71)

April 29, 2007

Pencils Down

I finished knitting the last miter of this project at 12:54 PM, April 29, 2007. Details tomorrow.

Posted by Cara at 02:19 PM | Comments (53)

April 28, 2007

My eye will not stop twitching.

Posted by Cara at 10:49 AM | Comments (40)

April 27, 2007

Tease me, tease me, please!

It's killing me to not show you miters. And I know at least one other person misses them as well. But I'm waiting to show you them all finished. So here are some miter macros to tantalize!

It's become clear to me that it's going to be VERY difficult for me to STOP mitering. Extremely difficult. The fallout has already begun: I was on the phone with Ann this morning sitting on the floor amidst the yarn piles and four colors jumped out at me SCREAMING to be knit together. The only problem is that if I were to miter them, they don't really fit with the scheme of the blanket, which may or may not be finished already. Immediately my mind jumped to an entirely OTHER blanket. Maybe not miters at all.

Hold me. I'm scared.

Posted by Cara at 12:41 PM | Comments (53)

April 26, 2007

True Confessions

But first, a little clarity. I WILL be showing off the final miters - as soon as I'm finished knitting them. Or maybe I am finished knitting them. Maybe I haven't slept or showered or eaten in five days and not only have the miters been knit, but the entire blanket has been seamed and the border knit and I'm writing this right now from the very comfortable room they've given me at the hospital. The white walls are SO MUCH BRIGHTER when you have a mitered blanket to cover your shoulders as you rock back and forth and back and forth.

Or maybe not. Maybe I'm still knitting. Maybe maybe maybe.

Anyway, I'll be showing you the last five miters just the way I've shown you all the rest. Only I can guarantee you I won't be showing you them until next week. Or when I've finished. Or I'm finished. Whatever. You'll see them. When I let you see them. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (Excuse me, the nurse is here with the happy juice!)

True confession time. I bought more Tahki Cotton Classic yesterday. Two new colors. Or non-colors as they're both greay. (That's how I'm spelling now - should make everyone miserable - whether you're a gray or a grey.) And I bought a second skein of a color I've already used. You see, I've got a problem. (Insert mad laughing here - like I've got only ONE!!! Go ahead Annie! I can hear the cackling now!) There are a few colors that I've used twice as a background and now I'd like to use one of them as a main color but I know I won't have enough yarn. So I bought a color I already had and I might use it. Or I might not. It depends on how it all plays out.

Or maybe the blanket's finished and I'm just messing with you. I didn't buy any yarn at all. (SHHHHHHH!!! Anyone who may have happened to see me in a yarn store yesterday. You know who you are. Or maybe you don't.)

Gotta go! They're coming to take me away HAHA!

Posted by Cara at 10:20 AM | Comments (19)

April 25, 2007

Radio Silence

I'm declaring a moratorium on miters. I will not be blogging about mitres until they are FINISHED! I will try to blog though. Sort of like practice for when there are no more miters to blog about. It will be sad, won't it? I will miss them.

Yeah. Yeah. I remember I used to blog about socks. But does anyone remember the two sweaters I whipped up this Winter? Huh? Sometimes I feel like a one man band with these obsessions. No matter what I knit, I will always be known for the Jaywalker thing. Just yesterday I was reading someone's site and they were talking about me and Jaywalkers. The knitalong ended over a year ago. I've knit a lot of stuff in that year. And maybe only one pair of socks were Jaywalkers.

Not that I'm complaining, really. The Jaywalker sock pattern is a GREAT pattern and I've actually been thinking about it a lot lately. It may be time to knit it again. When I really think about it, this miter obsession is very very close to the Jaywalker obsession. At the heart of all of it is COLOR. The Jaywalker thing wasn't really about the sock pattern (it became like stockinette to me) - it was about how the colors of STR worked with the pattern. It was an exploration of the colors of Socks That Rock and Tina's true genius. The Jaywalker pattern just happened to be a great way to manifest that color. I've never made a pair of Jaywalkers in anything other than STR.

Maybe I'm just obsessed with COLOR. If you ask me, in a world where there are so many awful things I could be obsessed about, color might be the best choice.

Thanks for all the contest entries and for all the lovely things you've said about my miters. I really appreciate it.

Posted by Cara at 08:35 AM | Comments (41)

April 24, 2007


I don't have a new miter to show you today (maybe I'm dragging things out because I don't want the knitting to end!) so I thought I'd answer some questions about the project, and maybe, just maybe, if you're patient, they'll be a little contest at the end of this post. Firstly, I'd like to say - what the hell did I blog about before I started this project? Everyday I think about what I'm going to blog and the only thing I can think about are the damn mitres. And what's with the spelling of mitres/miters? Does it matter? When I spell it miters, do I look like a bumbling American? I mean, I AM a bumbling American, but do I really want to put that out there in the world?

Alright. The miters. I currently have 28 unused colors. I have FOUR SQUARES - actually 17 MITERS - left to knit. That's potentially 20 different colors. I'm not going to use all 28 because I know I'm going to repeat some - but still - I started out with 95 different colors - I think I did pretty good.

One of the questions I've been getting nonstop since I started this project is about my leftovers. What am I going to do with my leftovers? I've been offered money for them. One beautiful knitter offered to take my leftovers and knit me something from them. Others have been so kind as to take them off my hands - FOR FREE! As if I didn't want them. PEOPLE. I'm KEEPING the leftovers. I'll do something with them eventually and if I don't, they're still mine. It's like when you read a book - you don't give it away when your finished. You put it on your shelf and there it sits forever collecting dust because it's now a part of your soul and you can't ever part with it. Yarn is just like that. At least the yarn for this project is like that. So give up on the leftovers. They ain't goin' nowhere, no how.

Another question I've been getting - did I have all this yarn in my stash? Well, sort of. Last January, I bought four grab bags of Tahki Cotton Classic from WEBS on the advice of the mitre master, and then stuck them in my closet. I had no idea what I was going to do with them. No project in mind at all. Then one afternoon I mitered and the rest is history. Pretty quickly I started buying up all the different colors I could find and I ended up with 95 different colors. I think. I have to go back and check, but I'm pretty sure that's the final color count.

More answers: I will be putting a border on it - I'm thinking a dark garter stitch. Single color. Simple. Maybe black. I haven't given any thought to a back. I don't think I'm going to back it, but you never know. Never say never. I have thought about mixing up all the squares and making it completely random, but that's a different blanket. The rules stay. I will not be placing the same color miters in a particular square at opposite corners ALL THE TIME. I will do this occassionally, whenever I see fit. Chuck Close has been mentioned before. I like Chuck Close. Have seen his work up close and personal. In fact, once, a long time ago I was looking at a Chuck Close at MOMA and Vincent Price was looking at the painting next to me. I have noticed - especially when finishing one miter and starting another - that the color of a yarn can look SO different depending upon which color it's up against. Very much like it's a different dyelot, but I can assure you, I've only used ONE SKEIN of each color I've used. I mentioned before that I'm getting five miters out of a skein - four dominant color mitres and one background color miter, but your mileage may vary. Everyone knits different and just because that's what I'm getting - you may knit loser or tighter or whatever and get a different result. Some of the squares have a color repeated twice in the background and some of them have four different backgrounds and I've made these decisions on a square by square basis. The rule that there is one constant MAIN color has remained constant. And will not change.

I think I answered a lot of the questions I've been getting, but if I missed yours, please ask again.


It's been a while since I've given anything away and I've got a bunch of fairly new readers and I used to give stuff away all the time so I'm feeling guilty about not giving stuff away and you've all be SO SUPPORTIVE of this project and while you say you love it and I believe you, I know that some of you can't stand to look at another freaking miter, so I'm going to share the love.


Your own 10 skein/10 color grab bag of Tahki Cotton Classic and a copy of Mason Dixon Knitting.

I mean, really, what's the good of being MAD if you can't share it, right?

This is how to play - SEND AN EMAIL to


In the body of the email give me a date and a time - like this: 4/29/07, 11:53PM - (THAT's MONTH/DAY/YEAR because I'm a BUMBLING AMERICAN!) for when you think I will finish the LAST MITER! (Not the border, not sewing it all up - just knitting the miters.) And you can say hi if you want but it's not necessary. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON! The person who comes closest to the winning time WITHOUT GOING OVER will win. IN THE CASE OF A TIE - I will choose from the winners AT RANDOM.

ETA: I SCREWED UP ABOVE and said that I had only 4 miters left to knit. As of this edit, I have 17 MITERS to go. If you entered the contest before 11 PM EDT and would like to re-enter based on this CORRECT information, please do so. Thank you and sorry - I've got miters on the brain and I can't think so good.

THE CONTEST WILL CLOSE APRIL 28, 2007 at MIDNIGHT EDT. Any entries received after that will be discarded.


PLEASE - DO NOT LEAVE YOUR ENTRY IN THE COMMENTS. Entries left in the comments will not be counted.

A couple things to know - I will be working (photo shoots) both Saturday AND Sunday this weekend, but I will be sleeping at home. Have fun. Play safe. Peace out.

Posted by Cara at 05:00 PM | Comments (37)

April 23, 2007

Tunnel Vision

I'm so close on this project, I can taste it!

I wasn't that close this morning, when I was getting ready to post. I had taken all my photographs and prepared them and was all set to upload them when I realized I had no internet connection. I checked the tvs and no tv either. Cable was out. It went back on about 5:45 PM (It went out around 10:30 AM.) Needless to say, while I did get a lot of stuff done around the house, I also figured out my next miter.

See, this morning, I was going to tell you that for the first time since the beginning of this project, I DIDN'T immediately cast on for a new miter. Not because I didn't want to - but because I felt like I really needed to sit with the project before deciding on how I was going to end it. I know how I'm going to end it.

First, though, let's look at the progress I made this weekend:

Square #23

This square is yet another in the Stained Glass series based on this photograph:

I've taken to using the photographs as more of a suggestion than an acutal color palette and I'm enjoying the process very much. Two more squares:

Square #24

Square #25

That brings my miter total up to 100 - 25 squares. I have definitely decided on 30 and the last square that I knit for this blanket will be based on the finger photograph. The finger square will anchor the blanket - it will be placed in the lower left hand corner and the layout for the rest of the squares will grow out of it. So that leaves four more squares to plan. The whole weekend I had the blanket laid out on the floor. (G was so good to step around it - especially since it was right at the entrance to the kitchen and pretty much blocked the whole passageway.) I wanted to study what colors I had used and what I felt like the blanket needed and what better way to do that than walk by it a million times a day. This is what I studied:

It goes without saying, of course, that this is no where close to the final layout - either for the squares OR the blanket. This is just putting it all down so I can get a good look. After I took a picture - I applied the Stained Glass Filter so I could get a better idea at the colors represented and hopefully what I need to concentrate on for the last four squares.

I've already started a mainly purple square because I feel like it needs purple - and I'm using lighter colors for the main color because I think it needs some lightening up, but I'd love to know what you think it needs. It's become very hard for me to be objective anymore. I have to say, though, I am LOVING what I've got and am so excited to put it all together. I just hope I don't drive myself crazy with the final layout.

Here are a million more pictures of the squares laid out - I couldn't resist. Feel free to skip over.

So? What do you think? Fantastic, no? Okay - so maybe you feel like your retinas are being blown out, but I'm very happy. Very very happy. EXTREMELY happy. I can't wait for this to be FINISHED. I told G I was getting to the end and he said that's great! What's next? What's next indeed! (Someone's bound to ask - most likely I'm going back to the KH Cardigan.)

For those of you doing the Mason Dixon miter, Kay gave me a tip that can help you get into a rhythm on the miters. For every decrease row that has a stitch count divisible by 3 BEFORE the decrease, you do a SSK, K2TOG, K2TOG, knit to end (should be the same number of stitches as BEFORE the decreases.) On the rows that DON'T have a stitch count divisible by 3 - you do a SSK, SSK, K2TOG then knit to the end (should be one LESS stitch than the number of stitches before the decrease.) Trust me on this - it works. The first few miters I was doing all this division, because, you know, I'm math-challenged, but it's pretty intuitive now. I also know that when I'm using my "main" yarn, I'm going to have two decrease rows that are divisible by 3 (the first and the last) and one that's not. The opposite happens when I'm using the contrast yarn.

Whew! Before I sign off, I wanted to let you all know that I'm not going to Maryland Sheep & Wool this year - family stuff came up and it was too much of a pain in the ass to get down there around the family stuff. Not to mention the fact that the last thing I need to be doing is buying more yarn or fiber. So I won't be organizing a knitblogger meet-up, but I understand one is being organized by Gryphon. So go on over there and check out the details. Have a blast everyone! (At least this year there's NO WAY I can be blamed when the STR sells out in five seconds flat. So don't even try it.) (Oh and if there's anyone out there willing to buy me a t-shirt, I'll paypal you the money ahead of time and hopefully make it worth your while. BUT only if you're planning on standing in that hideous line anyway. I don't want anyone going out of their way. THANKS!)

Okay. Back to mitering. The finish line is calling!

Posted by Cara at 07:00 PM | Comments (120)

April 20, 2007


Square #22

This square was inspired by this photograph:

Applying the Stained Glass Filter in PhotoShop:

The white looking color in the square is actually a peachy pink that perfectly mimics one of the lighter colors in the photograph. To be honest, all the colors look a little off. It's really much closer to the photograph.

Guild was fun - but I have to admit my mind was on squares rather than spinning and llamas. I spun for like five minutes and it was all I could do to take out a miter. I have to measure my bed today, but I'm leaning more towards 30 squares instead of 25. Somehow I think a rectangular blanket will be better than square. I'm not sure if it's because it's the right thing to do or because I can't see myself stopping. Everything's sort of muddled together now and I'm pushing myself.

I'm also knitting hurt. This project has taken a toll on me physically. I have slowed down CONSIDERABLY (and please - no lectures on repetitive stress injuries and exercises and whatnot. I'm a big girl and if I want to fuck myself up I will.) But I start to get some pains in my right elbow and right wrist about half-way through a miter. I know what this means and I'm taking steps to fix it. The biggest problem, though, is that I've put a hole in my left index finger.

Basically, I split my callus. I've written about how proud I was of my calluses before, and I still am. Proud, that is. I showed my finger split to Ann while I was out on Lawn Guyland and defiantly proclaimed that I was HARDCORE! Look at me! There's BLOOD! She cackled in the way that only Ann can and told me I wasn't freaking hardcore. All my booboo meant was that I was DOING IT WRONG!

I told her, if I was doing it so wrong, how had I managed to knit 91 miters (with another one on the needles) in 37 days? She told me madness trumps knitting skills any day. I think she might be right. But hey - I may get a square out of it anyway!

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Cara at 12:36 PM | Comments (81)

April 18, 2007

Stained Glass

Yesterday, knowing I didn't have anymore color combinations lined up for mitres (that's for you Sundara!), I went a little crazy playing with Ruth's method of singling out colors in photographs. Just to reiterate, I'm using the Stained Glass Filter in PhotoShop. You'll just have to wait for the results because at least the next two squares will be from this method.

Anyway, so I went a little crazy pulling up photographs - especially photographs that didn't seem like they'd yield a lot of different colors and I came across one that looked a lot like the square I was currently knitting. The colors for what would become Square #21 had been sitting around for awhile - I knew I wanted a red as the main color and gold yellow as one of the accents - possibly with two squares and I had a deep blue purple and brown as the other accents. The way I knit the squares is to knit all of the different colors first - and then decide what the repeat color will be. Well, last night, I had knit the three different squares and I couldn't decide on the last color. I knew I didn't want to repeat the yellow, but what to choose? So I went to the altered picture and the stash and this is what I came up with:

Square #21

This is the altered photograph:

And this is the original:

Salmon Roe

What do you think? I'm pretty happy with it!

Okay - I'm off to Guild tonight in Long Island - so no post tomorrow and another square on Friday. I have a feeling we're getting down to the knitty gritty on this thing. Then the adventure REALLY begins!

Posted by Cara at 10:19 AM | Comments (39)

April 17, 2007

The True Measure of Life

So you know how some people will say: "It was so much fun I pissed my pants!" or others might say: "That scared the piss out of me!" ? Welp - that's the kind of weekend I had! Lots of wet pants.

My sister set up the new huge trampoline in the backyard last week - you know - when it looked like it might really be Spring? - just in time for the litte one's birthday party on the weekend. Luckily Saturday turned out to be the NICE day and we all got a chance to jump. Can I just tell you? I can't remember the last time I had that much fun! I cleared all the kids out and went to town, windmilling my arms higher and faster, forcing my body to SOAR! I was laughing and laughing and jumping and jumping and I pissed my pants. Literally - pee came out. THAT'S HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS!

(I'd like to think it was also the bottle of water and gravity and not some kind of bladder malfunction because I thought all that pee stuff was supposed to happen AFTER you have kids. Not before. Needless to say I've been doing Kegels like crazy. There. I just did another ten.)

The party was great and we all had fun and then Sunday night I got the opportunity to have the piss scared out of me. It was late and I was having trouble sleeping what with all the wind and the rain and I had finally fallen asleep. Then - CRACK - CRASH! I bolted upright! What the hell was THAT? I listened. Nothing. I waited for the others to come running. Nothing. I checked for wetness - whew! Nothing. (Although I was sleeping in the waterproof princess bed, just in case.) Eventually my heart stopped pounding and I went back to sleep, figuring that it was just the wind. The next morning we found the branch across the backyard and the hole in the roof of the garage. Thankfully it missed the house.

Quite the weekend of extremes. I'm ready for some nice weather now. Any time Mother Nature is ready.

Onto the miters! We've got two (I just love reaching my goals!)

The first was inspired by this photograph:

I applied Ruth's method by using the Stained Glass Filter in PhotoShop.

Then I went to the stash and pulled out some colors:

Which gave me this!

Square #19

I'm pretty happy with how it worked out! I've got four (or nine) more squares to go - and I may just try this exercise again.

For the next square, I just put together colors that made me happy!

Square #20

I just love how the dark chocolate brown sets off all of the bright colors. You'll be happy to know that Square #21 is half finished.

Thank you again for all your comments and opinions on my post about blog behavior. I'd like to reiterate that I welcome constructive criticism. I understand that my opinions are one in about 6.5 billion - opinions, it turns out, really ARE like assholes. My blog life is VERY charmed and while it IS hard work and occasionally people like to rain on your parade, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. At least as long as it takes to sew up all these miters. Have a great day!

Posted by Cara at 12:08 PM | Comments (61)

April 13, 2007

We now return to our regularly

scheduled mitering.

Thank you all so much for your eloquent comments and a wonderful free exchange of ideas. I'm so glad to hear from all of you - whether you regularly comment here or not. Please know that I'm working my way through every comment. If you don't hear from me - I READ WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY and took your words to heart. I have to admit, when I pushed publish yesterday my heart sunk a bit at the earnestness of my post. I'm don't like to be earnest - it's uncomfortable and embarrassing to say the least - plus I'm not sure it makes good writing (I put it just below sentimentality.) But I don't think I'm all that earnest on a regular basis and sometimes you just have to get stuff off your chest.

I really don't get that much negative feedback - constructive or otherwise - compared to others. And I've, fortunately, never really been flamed here or anywhere else, that I know of (and please don't feel you need to tell me about if I have been.) But I have friends who have been - and frankly - I don't think that behavior is appropriate whether you're my friend or not. It's just not good blogging.

I would like to say that I welcome CONSTRUCTIVE criticism here, on this blog. And please don't feel that if you have a contrary opinion from me, or anyone else that reads here, that you aren't welcome to express it. If something should happen in the comments because of your comment, you can rest assured it will be addressed by me in the manner I deem appropriate - that may be a further blog post about my feelings, or the deletion of comments. Thank you again, as always, for taking the time to read my blog.

Whew! Now let's get back to what's REALLY important! The miters!

Square #18

This square is based on a ribbon sample I bought a while back. I like the squares and colors and I think it's a good match for the blanket. I've got three more squares planned out - the next one I started is based on one of my photographs and I'm really excited about it. It's kind of neutral so I hope it works out. I'm off AGAIN for the weekend, but I hope to have more miters on Tuesday. My goal is an even 20.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Cara at 08:25 AM | Comments (65)

April 11, 2007

Sol LeWitt is Dead.

Remember I showed you this photograph from the NYT on Monday?

Remember how freaky it was that the Sol LeWitt painting they showed with the announcement of his death pretty much EXACTLY matched the square I had started the night before?

Square #17

I showed G the picture and my square and he said that I must have seen the painting somewhere somehow and I said no. I can't remember the last time I was at the Whitney (which is where the picture seems to hang) - sadly, it's got to be AT LEAST 18 years ago. I told him that I had never even HEARD of Sol LeWitt. Not once. The only possible explanation is that on his way to heaven, good old Sol whispered into my ear, "The yellow will look great with some light turquoise, some forest green and some rusty brown red thrown in for the accent." Really. That's the only thing that could've happened.

Any other dead or dying artists (or even living ones) that would like to whisper some color combinations into my ears - bring it on. I'm starting to struggle.

In fact, when I was putting the photographs of #17 into the gallery - I caught a glimpse of #14 and panicked for a second that they were so close - but I think it's okay. The yellows are different and the greens are different and the blues are different and there's rust instead of wine. So, similar, but not the same.

When I first started this project I thought I needed to be really inventive about my color choices - be BOLD and DIFFERENT! Now I'm just happy to find inspiration anywhere I can get it. I find myself putting together these great combinations only to realize that I've already done it with maybe a touch lighter shade of purple or a darker shade of blue. As frustrated as I'm feeling - this is the time to persevere. Many times the moment of exhaustion - the moment where everything blurs together - directly precedes the times of utmost clarity. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

Posted by Cara at 02:05 PM | Comments (46)

April 10, 2007

Blanket Half Full

I slowed down a little yesterday. I don't have a finished miter to show you - I think I took a bit of a break because I knew that I had something a little bit better to show. You'll have to wait a few minutes though. I'm now more than halfway through the KNITTING portion of this project (not counting the border - which is already giving me fits.) Whether I make 25 or 30 squares - I've got 66 miters completed. One on the needles. 16.5 squares.

Things are changing for me in this project. First of all - I'm retiring colors.

I have knit five miters out of each of these individual skeins - four main color miters (so they start the miter and therefore use the most yarn) and one background miter. There's about 8g or less left over and I can't get a really accurate read as to whether or not I'll be able to make another miter - I think I use about 8g but I'm not positive - so I'm letting these colors go. Which is kind of sad because I really love these colors. Why don't I buy more? A couple of reasons. 1) I currently have 56 untapped colors. 56. And I've only exhauted 9 colors. That's a lot of unused color and I'm actually feeling a bit gluttonous so I'm not buying any more yarn. If I can't get 8 or 13 squares out of what I have, then I should just give up this project. 2) I have no idea what the colors are. I may be all OCD about some things, but I'm clearly lacking in many other OCD departments. (I like to think that if there was an OCD club, I'd be kicked out on my ass - just for the sheer number of germs taking up residence in my home.) I have kept a running list of all the colors I have in my "collection" but I haven't recorded which colors I've used for which squares AT ALL. I have no freaking clue. (So please don't ask which colors I used for square # this or square # that. I already feel bad about it.) I think those are two excellent reasons NOT to duplicate yarn colors. Don't you?

Another interesting fact is that I've now knit an entire square (or two) using yarn already used before. I don't know why this is important to me, but it is - am I copying myself? I don't think any of the squares are so similar. But still, it's in my mind crowding around with all the other thoughts about this project.

One of the reasons I knit like a maniac this weekend was because I wanted to get to the magic number 16 so I could lay out what I have and see it taking shape. 8 was too few, if you remember, and this time I did it right. (Forgive the really crappy photograph!)

Laying out all the squares, I was VERY pleasantly suprised! I LOVE IT! (And I've still got 8 or 13 more to add to the mix! I can't wait to see how it changes.) In real life, I'm happy with every square. Fortunately or unfortunately, picture-wise, there's really only one square giving me fits.

One of the things I LOVE about the red square is that the orange and red values are very similar - especially give the contrast of the blue and green. BUT, red is awful to photograph (contrast and saturation are a BITCH to control) and as I was taking the picture I could see through the camera that the red and orange were blending together. There is much more of a difference to the naked eye - but this square worries me - and it's one of my favorites. Here's where I was killing myself about not recording the colors - because if I could I would re-do this square with a more contrasty orange. Of course - the red, blue, AND green have all been exhausted and I know I will have a terrible time trying to figure out exactly which red and which blue and which green they are. I'm not going to worry about it until the end. I can always try to back track my way out and re-do the square if need be.

Needless to say, this layout is not the end result. I love the squares where the values are similar and blend a bit in contrast to the color combinations where the values are in stark contrast and when I do lay out the final blanket I will have to pay particular attention to those "lighter" miters. But the blanket is pleasing to me nonetheless and I have added encouragement to continue. Rest assured, there will be a new square to show you tomorrow. For now, here are 80 million pictures of what I've accomplished so far. Enjoy!

Posted by Cara at 09:01 AM | Comments (106)

April 09, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

I'm not sure if that title is talking to you, my dear wonderful crazy-as-I-am readers, or I'm talking to me. I'm not sure it matters. To clarify a few things: I am smart enough to know that if people are talking about you, in whatever venue, that's a GOOD thing. They may be hating on you or loving on you or whatever - they have an opinion. The worst thing for an artist, or writer, or blogger, or person in general is INDIFFERENCE. It's when people AREN'T talking that I'm really going to worry. Also, I don't feel guilty about the squares or blogging about the squares, I feel guilty that they've truly taken over my life. My husband is a GENEROUS soul and he gets some kind of thrill out of seeing me in the middle of an all consuming project. He's seen that look in my eye whether I'm writing or shooting or knitting - he gives me glorious space to do my thing. But sometimes I feel guilty. He goes to work every single day so that I can have this joyful life and while I know that I take care of him well, sometimes I don't feel like I take care of the house well. And I feel some kind of Ozzie and Harriet guilt about that. Like I'm not pulling my weight. Although back a million years ago when we were dating I did tell him I was crazy and he should get out while he can - and he decided to stay - so really. It's his own fault. ;-) And my last point for now is that I blogged about boring you all because it was something I started to worry about all on my own - before I read about it. I worry about you. I know there are a lot of you and I'm so grateful to you all and the truth is, is that I do feel an obligation to you all. To keep you entertained. It's not something that really affects what I have to say or knit or write - but it is there. I'd like to think you influence me way more than I influence you. If not - I don't think I would've kept up with the blog or love it as much as I do.

Enough with the metablabber. Eh.

Square #13

Square #14

Square #15

Square #16

I was in sort of a blue mood this weekend. I hadn't used much blue at all. Oh and as much I still enjoying knitting the squares, photographing them is getting really tedious. The colors are hit or miss and I just don't care anymore. Even the focus is off on some of the above pictures.

I started a new square last night and in the THERE ARE NO NEW IDEAS department, I was shocked to see it in the New York Times this morning. (No. I haven't started hallucinating.) A little background. I need to use some yellow - real yellow in the blanket and generally I'm a few squares ahead of the knitting. I keep little groupings of color out and most of them are ready to go but sometimes I throw them aside. So yesterday I had a group of purples and greens with a yellow background and it was all Eastery and I didn't really love it. I was finishing up square 16 and all of my TCC was laid out on the floor grouped by color and there were some greens close to the oranges and also a turquoise pretty close by and I figured out the new yellow square:

This morning, while I was scanning the front page I saw this picture:

Sorry for the photograph of the paper.
I couldn't find the painting online and my scanner won't work.

It accompanied the announcement of the death of Sol Le Witt, an important Modern American artist (who, incidentally, I've never heard of - I'm more a Renaissance kind of girl.) How crazy is that? Guess I'm doing something right.

Tomorrow - squares, again, but in a whole new light. ;-)
Thank you all so much.
L, C

Posted by Cara at 12:45 PM | Comments (77)


So I've got a problem. In the scheme of stuff, it's pretty minor but it's on my mind nonetheless. And this isn't one of those please tell me I'm right kind of posts - I've made up my mind about what I'm going to do and nothing you say is going to change it, but I feel like I'd like to talk about it.

I was checking my stats (because a little narcissism never hurt anybody) and I came across a discussion about my blog happening on a popular knitting chat board. The thread was started by someone who had stumbled across my blog and liked what they saw and wanted to share it. (Thank you so much by the way!) A few people posted that they read the blog pretty frequently, but lately it had gotten kind of boring because all I talk about are these dang mitered squares. There was even some discussion as to whether I'd ever sew the blasted things together. The discussion was very civilized and everyone's entitled to their own opinion and that's not my problem.

My problem is that I might kind of agree. My blog is boring now.

I've been thinking about it a lot actually - every time I blog a new square. Then I got this comment from Elizabeth: "Cara, for weeks you've only knit one thing. You have only blogged about one thing. We've only seen pictures of ONE THING." I was so upset. I KNOW I'm like a broken record. Here's another square. Here's another square. Here's another square. This weekend - guess what I did? I knit four more squares and started a fifth. Thankfully, Elizabeth saved my life because she followed up with: "And yet, you have made these mitered squares interesting for every single entry. "

Honestly, I'm driving myself insane. All I can do is knit these miters. I'm making myself sick with the miters. The only person who is still excited about the miters is G and that's because he sees the blanket that will be on his bed. (That's not completely true. I love the miters. Sometimes I hate them, but truly I love them.)

What's the solution? I've thought about it. I could blog about the squares once a week. I could have this super photo filled post and list all the squares. But you know what? If I do that? I won't be blogging but once a week. This is where my head is at. I'm not going to knit anything else until I feel like I've exhausted this project. It's taken hold of me and it won't freaking let go.

It's been well documented (here and in the comments and even on other blogs) that I tend to go overboard with stuff. I'm not sure that's a fair assessment. I do what I do. If I was knitting a sweater and I kept showing you pictures of the sweater in progress (which I think would be WAY more boring than my squares - but I'd do it anyway) and I knit nothing but that sweater until it was finished - would people say I was over the top? Or would they say I was knitting a sweater? What's the difference?

I have felt a lot of guilt over this project. G will come home at the end of the day and in between knitting miters and trying to remember to eat I've attempted to move the dirty dishes from one side of the sink to the other. I feel like a wasteoid - but I can't stop. I definitely have OCD tendencies - and this project has tapped right into it. I started out with 20 squares. Then I thought I'd make 25. Now I find myself dreaming about 30. I have yarn everywhere - color EVERYWHERE. It's giving me a headache. My shoulders hurt and my calluses have calluses and still I can't stop. You may say to yourself: who is this spoiled rotten girl who spends her whole day knitting these stupid squares when I have laundry and vacuuming and kids and responsibilities? Listen - I'm thinking the same fucking thing. And still I can't stop.

One other thing. So I knit 100 miters, right, and I decide to NEVER sew them up. I just leave them in a beautiful pile in my bedroom or sometimes I spread them out in my living room to saturate our life with color or maybe I even hide them away in a box somewhere at the back of my closet. SO WHAT. It's my project. I have learned - am learning - many many many things about myself and about color and about what I like and don't like and about the way I work and it's priceless what I've learned knitting these ridiculous little squares. I wouldn't trade it for the world - the guilt and boredom and the wonder of it all.

(For the record, I have every intention of putting this blanket together. I can count the number of projects I have started and NOT finished on one hand and at least three of them are socks. I'm a crazy obsessed perfectionist - I finish what I start unless I have a fantastic reason to do otherwise.)

When I started this blog, the main purpose was to keep a record of my knitting. That's still the main purpose. So I'm going to blog my squares. On the days that I blog the squares I'm going to talk about other stuff or not. Maybe I'll talk about the project and maybe not but these days this mitered blanket IS my creativity. It's the catalyst for everything I have to say here. It produces energy. It transforms me. It's my spark.

Posted by Cara at 01:06 AM | Comments (218)

April 05, 2007


So I've changed the category name for the mitered blanket from Stripes (WAY pedestrian) to MADNESS because, honestly, it's much more accurate. If you would like to link to the category, all of the posts can be found here.

The dictionary defines MADNESS as the "quality or state of being mad." MAD is defined as:

Main Entry: mad
Pronunciation: 'mad
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): mad·der; mad·dest
Etymology: Middle English medd, madd, from Old English gem[AE]d, past participle of *gem[AE]dan to madden, from gemAd silly, mad; akin to Old High German gimeit foolish, crazy
1 : disordered in mind : INSANE
2 a : completely unrestrained by reason and judgment [driven mad by the pain MITERS] b : incapable of being explained or accounted for [a mad decision MITER]
3 : carried away by intense anger : FURIOUS [mad about the delay the fact that there's not enough hours in the day to knit MITERS]
4 : carried away by enthusiasm or desire [mad about horses MITERS]
5 : affected with rabies MITERS: RABID
6 : marked by wild gaiety and merriment : HILARIOUS
7 : intensely excited : FRANTIC [WHERE'S THE FUCHSIA!?!?]
8 : marked by intense and often chaotic activity : WILD [a mad scramble to knit a MITER in under an hour!]
- mad·dish /'ma-dish/ adjective
- like mad : to an extreme degree [spending MITERING like mad]

See? I've got it all! MITER MADNESS to the extreme. I know a lot of you have been inspired by this project and that makes my heart swell, but consider this a WARNING!! I will not be held responsible if your kids go hungry, your dog shits in the front hall by the door, your spouse/partner/significant other has no clean underwear, your dustbunnies have great-great-great-grand dustbunnies. I spoke with a lawyer about this and you can't blame me. I've warned you. That said, if you're still willing to take this crazy crazy crazy ride with me, here's more information than you ever wanted to know about this project so far. I figure I'm just about halfway through (maybe) so we'll update all this information at the end of the project. Like next Tuesday at the rate I'm going.

First up:

Square #12

Here we've got Square #12, an autumnal grouping with the rare four background change. There's only one other square like this, but when I was messing around I found another one. This project is going to kill me for sure.

-- So far I've knit 12 squares which equals 48 miters. My plan, RIGHT NOW, is to knit 25 squares for a pretty squarish blanket. The squares are measuring (lightly blocked) around 11/5" x11/5". I have no idea how big the final blanket will be. I'd like it to rest upon the top of my king size bed - so we'll see how big it needs to go.

-- I'm using Tahki Cotton Classic on Size 6 Addi Turbos (knit flat - I only use circular needles.) The project was inspired by Mason Dixon Knitting and the formula for the miters can be found in the book on page 108. Suffice it to say I'm doing a 72 stitch miter.

-- At this point, I think I've used somewhere around 44 colors. I currently have 94 unique colors in my stash. There are colors out there I don't have and that makes me NUTS. So far I've been able to get five miters (a quarter of a square) out of one skein of TCC. I've purchased the yarn from WEBS, Flying Fingers and through the TCC Shopatron site. It seems to retail for around $5.50 a skein (sometimes more, sometimes less) and I've heard that Elann's Sonata is very similar (and much cheaper.) I've never knit with it though so I can't tell you anything about it.

-- I can knit one miter in about 1.5 hours - depending on whether or not I fuck it up. And even though I've now knit 48 of these suckers, I still fuck them up. I can't count for shit.

-- I am NOT using Kay's patented no-sew method. And I haven't sewn any of the squares together. That means I have 48, which is only HALF, that will need putting together. (Now do you see why this project has been renamed madness?!) YES, I will be sewing up 25 squares and YES I will be sewing those squares into a blanket and YES I will be weaving in all of the ends. I will not be cheating at this endeavor. Ends do not scare me in the least. Seaming does not scare me in the least. (See Short Rows and Verde Verde Verde.) This blanket will be sewn up and ends will be woven in and it will be finished. It may be a long while after I finish the squares, but it will be done. I promise you that.

-- I didn't use the no-sew method because I conceived this blanket in squares - squares that go together. My only rules are that there is a dominant color for each square. It's hard to plan that all out if you're knitting four opposite corners together.

-- I can't knit anything else. I don't sleep. When I can sleep, I don't dream anything else. I don't eat. I've stopped washing altogether (which really wasn't a stretch, by the way. I'm a dirty girl.) I basically can't DO anything else but knit these miters and it may actually be intruding on my life. It's MADNESS I tell you. MADNESS.

Have a great weekend! See you next week with GUESS WHAT?! MORE MITERS!

Posted by Cara at 12:43 PM | Comments (64)

April 04, 2007

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Square #10

Square #11

When I was choosing colors to take to my sister's I was immediately drawn to the pinks in square #11. After I had pulled together the colors I wanted for the square, I noticed a sock on the floor right near where I was sorting through the cottons for miters.

Hot Flash!

I had inadvertently chosen square colors just like my Hot Flash socks! I've always said Tina is a color genius, and her color sense translates well to my miter project. So well, in fact, I did it again....

Pebble Beach!

I was putting browns and blues together and realized I had come up with another sock. I talked to Tina and she was very happy to inspire! I love that my good friend is now a part of this project. Onto the next square!

(And Career Day! I've got to leave very soon to talk to high school kids about my career choices, so a short post today. Tomorrow a long post on my miter project. Everything you ever wanted to know about this thing that has taken over my life!)

Posted by Cara at 06:49 AM | Comments (33)

April 03, 2007


I did it! I made my goal of two squares over the weekend. Well, technically I finished miter #7 on the train and #8 on my couch, but they're done. And the next square has been cast on as per the law. I had a great weekend - lots of sibling bonding time and much of it sans kids. The house was awfully quiet but my sister and I laughed until we peed in our pants, which according to some people is the true test of a good time.

Details on the squares tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Posted by Cara at 05:31 PM | Comments (15)

March 30, 2007

Wall, Meet Hammer.

You didn't think I'd give up that easily did you?

Square #9

All I needed was a little RED! When I posted yesterday I already had this square on the needles. So I posted, and then I went and knit for the rest of the day. Thank you all so much for your encouragement (like I need any!) and support with this project. Blogless Betty left a comment this morning saying,

"I know that feeling. You put a finish line in front of you by putting them together. Not a time line but a what it will look like line. Half the fun of knitting them is the anticipation of putting them together later and all the random possibilities. Kind of something to knit towards um like not knowing if it's a boy or a girl kind of thing."

That's EXACTLY how I felt yesterday - sort of like a premature birth. I still LOVE the squares. I still LOVE my rules. I'm not changing any of that up. In fact, the more I came back and looked at the montage, the more it grew on me. The pictures absolutely do not capture the richness of the colors in the squares.

Today's square has lots of red!

It's funny - from what I've seen, the Tahki Cotton Classic has a million shades of pinks and purples and greens but not a lot of shades of red. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place? I don't know. But finally some reds have come in. What I love about this square is that the blue and orange and green look okay together - but when I add the red all of the colors come alive. Margene and I had a very long talk yesterday about color theory. She tauted the amazingness of Deb Menz's book Color Works. (I actually don't have this one, Margene - I have the other one - Color In Spinning. Will be ordering this one ASAP.)

Margene was educating me on Value - or lightness - in color and how a successful square will need to have all the value ranges within it. So far she thinks I've been pretty successful. The discussion came out of the lighter yellow square I posted yesterday - she said that yellow is tough because if it's too light it will look like a big hole in the blanket because the eye will immediately be drawn there. You need enough dark to offset the light for BALANCE. Isn't that what we're all looking for in life? Balance? Balance leads to contentment. Contentment leads to peace of mind and I have ALWAYS said that we should strive for peace of mind. Happiness is so overrated.

Anyway - from now on I'm going to lightly block the squares, take a picture of them, show them here, then put the pieces in the large pile forming in my bedroom on top of a stack of knitting books on the yarn dresser. I love to look at the pile with all the different colors poking through and maybe when I've got sixteen squares done I'll morph all the square pictures together again. Until then, I'm going to bask in the glory of each individual square.

I've had a few questions as to the size of the squares - I'm estimating they're about 11"x11". I would like the blanket to rest on my king size bed - almost like a coverlet as opposed to an actual sleeping blanket. I might go with 25 squares. We shall see.

Believe it or not, I'm off to Philly again this weekend. I've got a family Bar Mitzvah tomorrow, which will mean lots of hang time with my siblings. And then Passover starts Monday night. (Happy Passover!) I'll be back sometime on Tuesday and will try to post then. Then Wednesday is a crazy day. I've been asked to speak at Career Day at a local high school and I have to be there really early in the morning. I also have to come up with a career. ;-)

Have a great weekend! My goal is two more squares to show you when I get back. Thank you all!
L, C

Posted by Cara at 09:26 AM | Comments (58)

March 29, 2007


These miters are taking over my life.

Square #7

Square #8

I don't know - the light is not right on these photographs. The colors are much richer and deeper. I have 8 squares finished. I took the photographs and put them together and got this:

Click on it to make it bigger. I'm kind of sorry I put them together. I think it was too early. I'm having so much fun planning and knitting square after square just knowing in my heart that they would all go together in the end, and now I feel like it's died a little for me. I don't know why, it just has. Maybe I need a little break - but I'm so in love with the next square already and the three squares after that and I just don't know what to say.

Maybe it's the photographs. I think they're a bit dark and the color isn't true. There is so much lacking in the photographs. I'm really feeling my limitations. I'm sorry for the downer post - trust me when I tell you that 40 minutes ago I was feeling GREAT about this project. I think I hit my first wall.

Posted by Cara at 12:57 PM | Comments (107)

March 28, 2007


Before you do anything today, please go back on over to Ruth's. She's posted her first installment in the Playing with Colour series and you must NOT miss it! Ruth is really really really on to something here. I'm just jealous I didn't think of it first. ;-)

Last night I had my first color crisis with my squares. My process for picking colors is like this: dump the large bag of Tahki Cotton Classic on the floor and start rifling through finding colors I like. Once I've identified a range, I pick the four that hit me somewhere - my head, my heart, my eyes - I don't know - I'm maybe not that conscious of the process (sorry Margene!) I just get four I like together. Usually I try to make sure there's some kind of zinger in there.

Once I've got my colors together, then it's time to decide which one is going to be most dominant. As I said before, I'm choosing one color of four (right now - this might change as I go along) that is the lead color on all four miters of a square. The other three colors become the "background" with one repeating twice. Don't hold me to this particular rule. The main color rule - that's staying. I really love the cohesiveness it brings to the squares and I think it lets me go a little wild in the background colors. I haven't felt the need to go all out with four different backgrounds yet, but it could happen. There are going to be A LOT of squares. Lately I see this as a cover for my king size bed. Not necessarily a blanket to actually fit - just something to lay over the top of the bed. I'm crazy - but I'm not insane. I don't think so at least. I've always taken comfort in the idea that if I ever do truly go insane I won't know it because I'm insane. My therapist likes to burst this bubble all the time.

For square number 7 I chose a vibrant purple, a very dark purple, a wine, and a green. Right away I thought I'd go with the vibrant purple as the main color, and the dark purple as the repeating background. I like to knit all three different background colors before I do the repeat just in case I want to change my mind. I had two miters done last night at about 12:30 AM and I cast on for the third miter because you MUST CAST ON when you finish a miter. This is a law. There is no skirting around it. A tradition, but not necessarily a law - although as the rabbis teach us, tradition can sometimes be more compelling than law - is to knit the first six rows of the miter. Or at least get past the first two rows.

So I'm in bed and it's very late and I'm very tired and I just want to get a couple of rows under my belt on the next miter when I suddenly decide that I've fucked up the order of the colors! The DARK purple should be the main color - NOT the vibrant purple. (Please PLEASE don't ask me the color numbers. I'm keeping spreadsheet after spreadsheet of the yarn colors I have and where I've bought them but I neglected to write down which colors I'm using for which square. Sometimes I think I'll work backwards to figure it out (because what if there's a color I really like and want to use again!?) but then I don't. It's adding a bit of anxiety to the project - which might actually be a good thing. Maybe I am crazy after all?) Luckily I was smart enough to know that in the poor poor light of my bedroom and the dark sheets (dark purple and wine purple) I wasn't going to be able to tell anything. So I put the miter down, turned out the lights and tried to sleep. You know where this is going right? I couldn't get the miter out of my freaking mind - turning the colors over - questioning my decision. Then I had a weird dream about being thin and wearing a Von Furstenberg wrap dress. Oddly, it wasn't a very good dream.

When I woke up this morning and took the miters into the light to photograph for you, it became clear that my first instinct was the right one.

At least I think so. For now.

A couple of things about the miters - someone asked if they were heavy. I weighed one square - four miters - lightly blocked, ends hanging, unsewed and I got 68 kg or 2 3/8 oz. (What the hell do I know! It says kg right there on my scale!) They don't feel very heavy, but I'm sure the blanket will be substantial when they're all sewn up and laying over my lap.

Another thing - someone asked where I'm getting the Tahki Cotton Classic from - my initial forty skeins came from WEBS grab bag sale, which is over. Then I bought another 20 skeins from them as singles. WEBS has a nice discount policy - the more you buy the more you save. My greedy search for more colors also took me to Flying Fingers. I wasn't so happy with this store when I was actually IN the store, but the mail order customer service has been very nice. A couple of the colors I wanted are on backorder - but they assured me I'd be getting them soon. The third place I've been buying TCC is from the Tahki website - they use Shopatron. If you're not familiar with Shopatron - it's a FABULOUS idea! You buy the yarn from the manufacturer's website (I know Louet uses Shopatron as well) and the orders are actually fulfilled by local yarn stores! So my large order for Tahki Cotton Classic was fulfilled partly by The Yarn Shoppe in Miami, Florida and My Knitch in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. I don't know about you - but I think this is great! I get to shop in one place for all the colors I want and Shopatron gets to track it down for me! And I'm supporting local yarn stores (maybe not MY local yarn stores, but somebody's!) I should be getting more yarn any day now - I'll let you know how it plays out. (Just a note - it looks like the prices on the Tahki web site are a bit more expensive. By like $.25-$.50. For me, that's okay - because I don't have to go searching every small website on the Internet. I'm the person who will pay full price at Bloomingdale's because I CAN NOT STAND sifting through the racks at TJ Maxx. That's just me. Time is money.)

Thanks so much for all your kudos on our crazy weekend. As I mentioned, I am extremely close with these kids and besides my own, if I have them one day, I wouldn't do this for anyone else. (Sorry!) I love them to distraction and anything I can do to make their lives a little better - by keeping with their routines or letting them eat pasta with butter until they burst or letting them sleep with me because they miss their Mommy then I will do it. I would do anything for them. They are my family.

Okay. Off to knit miters! Have a great day!

Posted by Cara at 09:16 AM | Comments (44)

March 27, 2007

The Little Children

Hey Nancy! This is for you!!! ;-)

At 18:07:39 PM EDT, I handed back the keys to the minivan to my sister. The kids were a) all alive (I REPEAT - THEY WERE ALL ALIVE!!!!) b) fed (I won't say well fed unless you consider a steady diet of pasta, butter, pancakes and syrup healthy) and c) happy (well, as happy as they could be now that their favorite aunt was running for the hills with nary a kiss goodbye.)


Honestly - we had a great time! We both miss the kids terribly and have talked about nothing else since we came home (remember when E did that? Remember when C said this? Remember how sweet M was when he helped out with that?) I always miss them when I leave - I love those kids so much it hurts sometimes - but I was weeping as we pulled off their street. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with exhaustion because, man, I have NEVER been so freaking tired in my LIFE. NEVER. EVER. NEVER. Bone crushing. That's how tired.

Let's refresh - three kids, 6, 4 and 2. Two childless adults, 37 and 44. Alone. For the weekend. We got down to my sister's Friday around lunch and my mom, who had the kids the night before, handed off the littlest and said SEE YA! We hung out with E for a bit and then headed off to pick up the big kids from school. All went well - I even made three different dinners for each of the kids - short order cook now on the resume - and they pretty much went to bed without a hitch! Of course, I didn't sleep for one second the entire first night. The baby co-sleeps with my sister, which means he was co-sleeping with G and I and the poor thing would semi-wake up crying for Mommy and thrashing about then stop suddenly and go back to sleep pretty much every hour. I think my big humongous EMPTY boobs were confusing him. Poor baby. And when he was sleeping, I was listening for the other kids - waiting for them to wake up and come into our room. They didn't. They slept. Kids 1, Me Comatose.

The next day was Saturday and I told G that this would be our hardest day because we had all three of them for the ENTIRE DAY by OURSELVES. It was overcast and drizzly and not very warm and I told him that WE MUST LEAVE THE HOUSE. I know from experience with my sister that three kids in the house the entire day is a like a death wish for the adults so we all piled into the minivan and headed off to The Franklin Institute. In restrospect, I was probably sleep walking to think we could pull this off and truly it's a testament to my sister and her husband and what great parents they are because these kids were fantastic. They didn't whine, they didn't cry, they didn't fight, they didn't run off - all was peaches and cream. We had a great time! And we tired them out! Everyone slept that night. Even me. This was the easiest day by far.

(OH MY GOD! How could I forget!! I gave them all baths on Saturday night. HAIR WASHING AND EVERYTHING! They were so good for me too. No one cried about rinsing out the shampoo! (Not that I'm patting myself on the back or anything. I should also note that I am extremely close with my sister and her kids. Closer than most, I think. ))

Sunday was a challenge - hebrew school by 9AM! Me, alone, with all the kids! Sweatpants under nightgowns and snow boots without socks! Superman pjs with cape! Oh NO! It's a dog in the parking lot! Everyone in Aunt Cara's arms! M got there ON TIME and he was dressed in actual clothes AND had breakfast!! Double points for Aunt Cara! Quick! Let's run home! Time to get dressed for the birthday party and pick up! No! You can't wear your nightgown snow boot combo! Hair combed! Teeth brushed! WHERE'S THE FREAKING PRESENT?!?! Birthday party pick-up complete! Time to go BACK to hebrew school! Where's G?! I SAID NOON! Run through the parking lot. There at 12:15 on the dot. M last kid picked up. Teacher says: See, I told you your Aunt wouldn't forget you! DAMN! Points deducted. Never pick up the kid last. Back home! LUNCH! (Who the hell came up with the three meal a day plan? They should be SHOT!) NAP! (Thank god!!!!) Birthday party girl arrives home! It's NICE OUT! Let's GO OUT! PLAYGROUND TIME! (Yes. G and I took all three kids to the playground. No broken bones. No bloody lips. No fistfights. 100 BONUS POINTS!!!) Come home. MORE OUTSIDE! Let's RIDE BIKES! Helmet won't fit over super curly hair. Tears. Lots of tears. Aunt Cara says fine. Don't wear the helmet. But if you fall over and crack your head I WILL NOT FORGIVE YOU! Tricycle breaks. Damn. Let's go in! DINNER! Pasta and butter AGAIN! Yes. You can watch a show. Turn show on. Do dishes (I did so many dishes!) KIDS ASLEEP!!!! IT'S ONLY 6:30!!! THEY HAVEN'T PEED AND THEY WILL WAKE UP IN THREE HOURS AND BE UP ALL NIGHT!!! You have no points left. YOU LOSE. Baby's about to fall asleep when you realize he hasn't pooped all weekend. He's a once a day kind of guy. Shit. LITERALLY! Change diaper THREE TIMES in 45 minutes. Big kids still sleeping. Baby finally asleep. Big kids wake up. Okay. Let's watch that movie you promised. Sorry, honey, it's too late. BUT YOU PROMISED!!! Kids are all in various beds - some of them their own - most of them not. OTHER sister shows up sometime in the middle of the night. Don't sleep so well. Hmmmm.

Monday, M had school and I was relieved a bit my other sister. She came down the night before and suprised the kids in the morning by managing to wake before noon. I took M to school (I PACKED A LUNCH! And wrote him a note - my mom always wrote us notes in our lunch bags) and came home to find my sister playing with the other two kids. Took five minutes to clean up the freaking kitchen AGAIN. And straighten up some toys. Sister leaves. Toddler melts down SPECTACULARLY! I made sure he couldn't hurt himself and let him go at it. Quite impressive. Finally he calmed down and we drove around in the minivan with a movie going for C and hoping the baby would fall asleep. He does, but doesn't make the transfer from the car to the bed. More melt downs. MY SISTER IS ON THE AIRPLANE HOME! Lots of TV that afternoon as I try to put the house back together. Pick up M from school. Twist ankle on front yard as kids climb through ivy and get stuck. Start crying. Scare kids. Love kids. MOM HOME!!!!

That was my weekend. How was yours?

I'm being sort of funny, but it was quite the weekend. G and I were stressed but we loved it too. We missed each other - I would see him and want to hug and cuddle but there were three kids on the couch between him and me and it was tough. He was a real trooper and the kids and he bonded which makes so happy. My sister and b-i-l got to get away. I proved to myself I'm much tougher than I think I am. We're all winners!!!!

I even got to knit. A little bit.

Square #6

I started this square right before I left for my sister's. I finished it this morning. I've already started the next one. This square was completely influenced by this post over at Ruth's. Ruth has been exploring color by taking photographs and breaking them down into their elemental colors. It's a great idea and I may just follow suit. I've got some flower pictures that might need to be broken down. Thanks for the inspiration Ruth!

I wanted to thank you all again for your participation in the discussion on comments and blogs. I've seen the topic come up quite a bit around the blogs and everything I've seen remains thoughtful and respectful. That's no small task in this day and age where everything seems to break down to a toddler's level rather quickly among the adults in this world. I said it first! I said it best! I'm RIGHT! She's WRONG! It's NOT FAIR! Honestly, I didn't see any of that and I thank you so much. I hope we can have more give and take like this real soon. Thanks again for reading.

Up next: More miters! If you're sick of these, you might want to take a break from reading. That's about all you're going to get for a while, I'm afraid. Well, I'm not really afraid because I love them more and more each day, but you might be bored.

PS - I almost forgot! While I was being SUPER AUNT, I also managed to do an interview with Tara for Create A Connection and the Interview Tuesday series. Check out the site - there's lots of great stuff. Melba's done a great job putting it out there. Thanks girls!

Posted by Cara at 03:53 PM | Comments (77)

March 22, 2007

One Million Possibilities

About the only thing that could possibly make me feel better is this:

When I took to my bed yesterday, I wanted to knit. But not socks or the cardigan or any of the other half knit stuff I have laying around the house. I wanted to knit a mitered square. I really really REALLY wanted to knit a mitered square. So I laid out all the TCC I have and started moving colors around on the bed and I came up with a couple of possibilities but nothing I loved. And my head hurt so I told myself don't push it. Wait. Be patient. Today I was rewarded! One of my new batches of TCC arrived and I see a MILLION possibilities! I'm going to try to be good and get everything ready for the weekend and get some work out of the way and THEN I will be allowed to knit my miters. Only then. I might plan a few out before hand, might move some colors around, but NO KNITTING. No. I will be good. It's a very lucky thing that I have to watch those kids this weekend, or we all might be in trouble. You might find me Monday one very sick girl mumbling miter miter miter miter over and over again rocking back and forth with imaginary needles and imaginary yarn in hand. DUDES! WAIT! IDEA! I've never wanted to take LSD before, for fear I'd lose myself in some kind of psychedelic haze - but OH MY GOD! What if you could take LSD and KNIT MITERS?!?! Seriously. I haven't taken any cold medicine at all. I swear.

Before I sign off for the weekend, I wanted to sincerely thank you all for your comments on my post yesterday and especially over at Steph's. Thank you for the tremendous insight you left here, and over there, and thank you for being respectful. I promise you: I read EVERY SINGLE COMMENT left here. I even read the fucking spam comments. I may not be able to reply to every one, but I READ THEM. And I appreciate every one of you - whether you leave a comment or not. ETA: I have my blog set up so that every comment I get comes in as an email. This way it makes it easier for me to reply back to the commenter (when I can - I'm sorry I'm not better than I am.) You might want to check your blog to see if you have this setting - it makes communication so much easier!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Posted by Cara at 01:25 PM | Comments (90)

March 19, 2007

The Lost Weekend

Starting Thursday afternoon, when I first posted the beginning of my first ever miter, I knit miters the entire weekend ending about midnight last night. 20 miters in all. Five blocks. It's only the beginning. Not surprisingly, I found my voice - and there are lots of pictures and words to prove it. Skim if you like. Thank you.

Okay. So this is what happened. Back in January, I got an email from WEBS saying that they had Tahki Cotton Classic grab bags on sale - it came out to like $2.50 a skein. I had never used TCC so I called Kay, who I know collects TCC the way I collect STR and asked if this was a good thing. She said it was a very good thing, so I bought three 10-skein grab bags and gave them the specifications Kay suggested: 1 bag warm brights, 1 bag cool brights, and 1 bag neutrals. All different please. Now, with a grab bag you are at the mercy of whoever's putting the bag together and whatever stock allows. When my yarn arrived, I realized I was a little light on the purples and reds, so I did what you all would've done and bought another 10-skein grab bag and asked for purples and reds. I got oranges and some pink, but that's okay. That's why they call it a grab bag.

I bought the yarn, took a couple of pictures of it (see above) that I didn't really love and promptly put the yarn in a huge plastic bag and stuck it in the closet. Honestly, it was one of those things I needed to have but didn't have an idea about it. Another Log Cabin? Who knew? I just knew I needed the yarn and the price was good and that was that.

Fast forward a few weeks. I keep seeing these interesting ripple blankets and chevron scarves everywhere. I'm not going to crochet and I hate scarves, but the undulating color is appealing to me. Then, I go to my sister's for the weekend and I'm in my niece's room and she's playing with my hair (god I love having a niece!) and I'm looking around her room and I spy some of the swatches I gave to her so she could have blankets for her babies. Back in the old days, I'd make tons of swatches - I mostly knit blankets for other people (oh how the times have changed), in acrylic no less, and there are lots of leftovers. One of the blankets I made was a ripply chevrony blanket pattern that was my grandmother's - well - actually - it wasn't her pattern but she had used it to make blankets for all of us grandchildren. Mine was the first, I suspect, and it's quite boring in its color choices, but my sister's is inspired. I'll try to take a picture of it while I'm at her house next weekend. Anyway, I had made this blanket for a friend's daughter and had swatched a bit before I started knitting. This swatch had purple stripes. My niece wanted to know why I didn't make it bigger.

The swatch stuck with me and started niggling around in my brain while I was knitting away happily on the Katharine Hepburn Cardigan (which I WILL BE FINISHING) and on Thursday, when I was out of sorts, I thought - HUH! This could be a great use for my Tahki Cotton Classic. I'll knit an undulating ripple blanket in my grandmother's afghan pattern and how fantastic will that be!?! So I took out the yarn and chose two colors I didn't really care about - an orange that I had five skeins of and a bright yellow. I found my grandmother's pattern written on the back of a receipt and tucked away for safe keeping and tried to cast on. Not only couldn't I read my writing to get the pattern to work out but I started to cast on and got the stitch count wrong and then I thought forget it. But I had the cotton out and Kay's always talking about her miter love and I'd never knit a miter before....

Quickly I took out my copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting - possibly FOR ME the single most influential knitting book I own - and turned to the miter page. I studied the pattern and my mind went a churning. Then I remembered that Kay had a no-sew miter thing going on so I went to investigate. Might as well get as much information under your belt before you start. While I was over there, reading the tutorial and thinking this probably isn't for me - I WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. There was a square - a group of squares - in the no-sew miter that spoke to me on such a level I was instantly dumbstruck and foaming at the mouth. Muttering and silent. I was NUTS!

Then I remembered that I, myself, had photographed this stupendous mitered blanket before it was finished. I went and looked through my photographs.

I did NOT knit this masterpiece. Kay did.

See that big orange square up in the right top? See it? THIS, my friends, is the secret to everything. Immediately the whole thing fell into place for me and I dumped that bag of glorious Tahki Cotton Classic color and started throwing things together.

Square #1

My favorite thing about Kay and Ann's book is the whole thing about rules. Kay loves the rules. They rein you in and set you free all at the same time. So I made up some rules for my new mitered blanket. First off, there will be approximately 20 squares, made up of four miters, and they will each have a dominant color that runs through the square and keeps it cohesive. The four "background" colors may be in the same color family, a different family, I may use a background color more than once, I may have four different colors. The background is kind of like anything goes. I won't be sewing them up until I'm finished - I may throw out a square in the end, I may need to knit more.

Once that was settled, I began to knit:

Square #2

And knit:

Square #3 - knit on St. Patrick's Day

And knit some more. (So my hand was cramping up before I went to bed Saturday night. So what?)

Square #4

At some point, I don't know whether it was Saturday or Sunday, my ass went numb from sitting on the couch. All the movies started to blur together (but I do remember that I REALLY like Daniel Craig as the new Bond. He's got that grittiness to him that's essential to Bond - they can't be TOO pretty, ie Moore and Brosnan) and I had scoured the internet looking for every color card of TCC I could find and promptly printed them all out and cross referenced them with the list I had put together in Excel of the colors I already had in my possession. I may or may not have left the house on Sunday to buy a HUMONGOUS GLASS VASE so that I could throw all of the half balls of TCC into it and let the colors mingle around together to find new and exciting combinations. I definitely bought another 17 colors. I am desperately in need of red.

I do know this: by Saturday night I had identified the fourth and fifth squares, started the fourth and thought I'd at least CAST ON for the fifth. Whatever.

Square #5

Whew! I'm done for now - or at least until the new yarn comes. I've exhausted the color combinations I've got. I'm sure I could push them and find another few squares, but I'm mentally exhausted. I need to go back to the KH Cardigan - one color - for a little bit. Besides, I won't have a weekend like this one - where I don't have anything to do, really, for a long time I'm sure. But I've got it down that I can knit a miter, one quarter of a square, in under 90 minutes - three sitcoms - it's not going to take me long at all. I'm already 1/4 finished! And away we go....

Posted by Cara at 01:32 PM | Comments (78)

March 18, 2007


by Tahki Cotton Classic.
Full details tomorrow.

Posted by Cara at 11:22 AM | Comments (19)

March 17, 2007

Like Freaking Potato Chips

Posted by Cara at 11:48 AM | Comments (21)

March 16, 2007

Love it lifts you up it brings you down

makes you want to shout

I'm sort of feeling like I've lost my blog voice. Hopefully I'll get it back over the weekend. The title of today's post was brought to you by a google search that landed someone on my blog. Have a good one.

Posted by Cara at 11:20 AM | Comments (36)