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.


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!

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!)


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.

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


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.


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 da

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!

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!

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….