January One -- Spectrum Crosses

May 05, 2011

Spectrum Crosses

May marks the start of a new Project Spectrum, a create-a-long near and dear to my heart. It also happens to be the absolutely perfect time to talk about my new blanket project which I finally started after planning it forever!

I've renamed my Mitered Crosses Blanket project SPECTRUM CROSSES, in honor of Project Spectrum. I have been busy gathering yarns and mixing and matching colors for weeks and it's all together. I started my first square the other day and I'm off to a wonderful start.

My plan uses almost all of the Tahki Cotton Classic leftovers from Miter Madness, plus a few new colors that I had in the stash and didn't use the first time and some new colors I bought to round out my color choices. Each square will have a different color for each miter/arm of the cross and all the colors in a square will be similar to each other.

There will be 25 squares in all and 23 of those squares will be the colors of the rainbow starting with all pinks and ending with some vibrant red violets. The two remaining squares will each be ROY G BIV. The blanket will "start" at the lower left corner with a square featuring a bright red, orange, yellow and green. The blanket will then move in the colors of the rainbow row to row until the final square, located at the top right corner, which will be made up of a bright blue, indigo, violet and red violet.

In order to mix things up a bit, I've put each grouping of four in a baggie and I've thrown all of the baggies in a green trash bag. I'm having Meli reach in and pick out a new one for each square. She loves helping with the knitting, and this way I'm surprised by each new color choice.

So far I've finished one square and am almost finished the second. And Meli has already chosen the colors for the third square. I'm absolutely loving how they're coming out.

This is the beginning of the first square, along with a book that Lolly recommended on the Project Spectrum Facebook page. The book is called Color: A Natural History of the Palette and I thought it would be a fantastic companion to the blanket.

In the put on the back burner but in no way forgotten category, I finished all of the knitting and seaming on the Miter Madness project!

There are still a bunch of ends that need to be woven in and it needs a good steam block, not to mention a fantastic photoshoot worthy of such a project. I'm not sure when that's happening. I needed a rest after all that hard work. It will happen and it won't take another three years. Trust me when I say it's fabulous. The black border came out better than I ever could have hoped and is the perfect frame for the squares.

Of course, I had hoped to be blogging more regularly, but life around here has been kind of crazy - literally - thanks to a nice round of postpartum anxiety/ocd. Things are finally getting back on track and I have high hopes for blogging lots of squares and lots of color in the near future.

Thank you, as always, for reading. I'm so happy this community is still so strong.

Happy Project Spectrum!!!
L, C

Posted by Cara at 12:30 PM | Comments (19)

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)