Amidst all the farm fresh produce and canning, I have also found time to finish a long overdue knitting project. It started eleven years ago with my first black and white 7x9 swatches for a Warm Up America blanket.
- The best part about these blankets is the community effort that goes into them. It's fabulous to get a group of volunteers to knit swatches together for a good cause. I really enjoyed knitting the swatches because they're small, quick, easy, portable and provide my favorite - instant gratification.
- The worst part about these blankets is joining together all the swatches: 25, 49, 64 or 81. It's an onerous task and the most daunting part of turning this UFO into a FO.
But I persisted. I crocheted the swatches together first by going across in rows. Once that was complete I came back and crocheted them together in columns. I wove in all the loose ends and finished this epic journey by picking up stitches along the border to create a nice and new to me - garter stitch border all in white.
Here's the baby blanket just after I finished it. I'm quite pleased with the end result. Now for a good wet blocking and hopefully all will be right in the world.
I put her in the sink with lukewarm water and mild detergent and hoped that the acrylic would relax enough. I know that acrylic is not so great at blocking, but I was optimistic as I usually am.
I was extremely overeager to get a photo shoot complete before sunset so I hung the soaking wet blanket out back. You can see that it's already late in the day as evidenced by the dark shadows.
I keep thinking that one of these days I'm just going to host my very own quilt show and have the blankets and quilts hanging from the hidden clothesline or over the top sun porch railing. It would be such a happy backyard photo.
The wet blocking actually worked quite well. Never fear. I only left the soaking wet blanket on the clothesline long enough for the photo shoot. Then I whisked it away to the basement where I blocked it flat on top of the plastic topped pool table (which at this point I should rename the blocking table since it gets used more for blocking than for billiards). It's not as perfect as it might be if it were knit in wool, but it worked out quite well.
I'm especially pleased because the different patterned white swatches were made from different yarns and different knitters over the years. You can see that some are tightly knit and others are very loose. This is due to many factors including: yarn, gauge, knitter and pattern. But the unifying nine patch block squares and the flying blocks tie everything together and make this work.
Happy quilting, er, knitting!