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.


  1. Congratulations. Now step away from the miters and see how long it takes your head to clear….

  2. I love it. I love all the colors. I think your last picture is my favorite.
    You should be proud. You’ve done a momentous knitting…thing. Well done.

  3. I’m in awe! That is gorgeous. Of course I’m not too jealous of the seaming but then it’s a labor of love, right? I love your hydrangea block. Oh and Lilly kicks too! Great job!

  4. If you wanna come visit and have some pizza and seam, I’d be down (after hand-washing of course).

  5. Rachel says:

    Simply said: a work of art!

  6. Dude. Those are some hypnotic, trance-inducing photos. I know you’ve been posting pics all along, but seeing the miters all together like that? Fucking stunning. (Apologies for swearing. In matters such as these — matters of genius — it’s just absolutely necessary is all.)

  7. FANTASTIC! But I have to ask: Aren’t there a bazillion ends to deal with as well as the seaming? I hope you’ll share at least a bit of the finishing saga with us – it’s this piece that keeps me from jumping on the mitre wagon.

  8. That really is spectacular. Gorgeous.

  9. Lovely!

  10. I don’t know about you but I feel like kicked back and having a smoke… and I was just watching the miter show from afar! Congratulations- it is bloody fucking amazing and you are such an inspiration to other knitters. Maybe a martini-

  11. This is just gorgeous!! I love all those colors together.

  12. My eyes become larger and larger when seeing all these colourful squares. It is amazing.

  13. Happy seaming!

  14. Madness, indeed. But totally cool, red hot, colorful madness. It even looks great in black and white. You go, girl

  15. Great. awesome. Cool. Wahnduhful. Thanks for sharing.

  16. i’m looking forward to seeing it all seamed up and bordered. it’s an awesome project.

  17. WOW! that is truly amazing. i am speechless. lovely work. i look forward to seeing the finished product – love the pixelated version, too.

  18. Beautiful! Congratulations on your tenacity, and on such a beautiful job!

  19. WOWWIE! The suspense is killing me, I can’t wait to see it all seamed up. You are far braver than me, it looks like a huge, and like they said above, hypnotic project. It’s been so much fun watching your miters form.

  20. Congratulations on achieving a lay out you’re happy with. I think it looks great. That last photo is my very favorite.

  21. Kristina says:

    Wow, these pictures (especially that last one) are pure color madness. I don’t think I could wrap my brain around all that color mixing, blending, dancing. I’m glad to see that you created some order out of the miter chaos.
    It looks so fabulous. That blanket is worthy of some sort of tour, or at least a gallery opening once it’s done. BTW, do you have a name for it, or will it just be known as the Miter Madness Blanket?

  22. It truly is a work of art. I would be so damn proud of that thing if I had knit it, that’s for sure!

  23. I’m amazed every time I read your blog. Truly a massive undertaking. I love the layout. Keep us posted on the seaming and end tucking.

  24. I love how it turned out! I can’t wait to see how the border comes out and it looks all finished. I’m starting to get the twitch to knit miters now…

  25. angela says:

    i have to say that this whole mitred square craze was a mystery to me. the love and obsession over these blankets never really penetrated my cold, cold heart. maybe because they look like such a pastiche that my desire for the neat and orderly couldn’t hack it (and all those ends!).
    but your blanet may have just changed all that. it is gorgeous. i love your fearless use of color. i now understand the obsession. thanks for making it clear.

  26. You’re not going to be blogging about miters??? That’s it, I’m taking you off my Bloglines.
    Only kidding, of course. (You did know that, right?) I can’t wait to see what you get into next.

  27. I love it. Can you make one for me next?

  28. I am in love. A true work of art.

  29. Congratulations! That’s beautiful work, and it has been a pleasure to read about.
    So, do you have a favorite miter, or would that be as difficult as picking a favorite child?

  30. Perfection! Nice job of sending it off. I’ll miss miters but it might be nice to see you a little less ‘mad’. 😉

  31. I don’t think I’d call it madness; it’s brilliance! The colors are beautiful.

  32. Your pictures are completely mesmerizing. Beautiful!

  33. The photos are just too yummy for words. The blanket is going to be a priceless heirloom. You will have to make more than one so your children can each have one.

  34. i’m somewhat sad to see the madness come to an end. thank you so much for sharing it. the blanket is beautiful.

  35. The final arrangement looks great! How much do all those miters weigh? Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your miter experience.

  36. If you think madness lay in the knitting. . . this may be just the beginning. We don’t want you to go crazy from the end-weaving, but you know we’re all clamouring to see this finished. However, I for one would be happy if it took you, oh, about a year to get the whole thing assembled and ends tucked away, because I think I can restrain myself from dropping everything and following suit until I see it all put together. And I won’t be able to finish grad school on time if I start one now.
    It’s beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. You may just have to redesign a room around it.

  37. Gorgeous. I knew it would come together in the end! I think the last picture is my favorite.

  38. I love the blanket and I think it is going to look great when it is all done. The final photo in the series gave me palpitations…..all order gone – poof!

  39. The final layout is amazing. I’ll envy you for a really cool blanket when it’s all put together, but I don’t envy you all the seaming! Good luck with it.

  40. As always, you amaze me.
    Simply stunning. Absolutely beautiful. There aren’t enough adjectives in the world to describe how I feel about this project. Can I come over and wrap up in it when you’re all done?? 😉

  41. Your miters are beautiful!

  42. Master of your madness you are, Cara! Can’t wait to see it come together.

  43. wow, that’s gorgeous. 🙂 I love the purple square (#26?) the best, but the whole thing is amazing. I’ve only finished like, 5 miters, but that’s mainly because I’m packing and trying to finish other things for other people before I move halfway across the country. thanks for inspiring me to go insane and start my own. 🙂 My squares are going to be my in-car knitting while we’re moving & when I don’t have to drive. hee hee. 🙂 simply beautiful!!!

  44. It’s gorgeous and you’re brilliant.
    Thanks for taking us on this trip with you!

  45. I just wanted to make an acctual comment with my Kudo’s to you for *almost* finishing this project. I’ve been stalking your blog for the past couple months watching (and loving) you make these miters. I swear, it almost – ALMOST – rubbed off on me, LOL. It’s going to be uber beautiful when you get it all seamed together.

  46. Gosh! The colors look soooo beautiful together. Gotta ask – can you do the squares w. your eyes closed now? 🙂 Keep up the gorgeous work. It’s just wonderful!

  47. It makes me so happy (but probably not as happy as you) to think of you & Georgie all snuggly and cozied up in the mitered madness.
    ; )
    Can you imagine seeing that on your bed every time you walk into the room? I think I’d spend a lot of time walking into the bedroom.
    That is the PERFECT final photo before commencing with seaming!

  48. Too wonderful for words. Great job. Love love love.

  49. Just beautiful!!! I’d bet that that would be a 10 year project for me just to knit all those – and then the seaming – I shudder to think about that.
    Have to tried just ramdom placement of miters rather than the four with the common color staying together? Just wondering what that would look like…

  50. Gorgeous, Cara. I’ve so enjoyed tagging along on your “madness”, especially since I can’t imagine doing a project like this (carpal tunnel makes cotton a no-no for me, especially on a scale like this). Your photos are lovely.

  51. Those colors are so exciting together! Wow. It’s like they hum or something. This really inspired me to try to do something like that.

  52. It’s fantastic! Others have said it more eloquently, but it’s true. I’m looking at the boring wall above me in my cubicle, and thinking about that wonderful photo of the miters all jumbled up — any chance you’d sell a copy?

  53. Nicola says:

    Hey. I never ever got the point of miters before, but boy do I see it now! Utterly unique fabulousness. Congratulations.

  54. love it, love it, love it!!!!

  55. It’s beautiful! I loved all the pictures, and I think the last one was my favorite.

  56. Kathleen C. says:

    Oh my God! I love it, love it, love it!!! Even watching your “madness” (but such a method to your madness, don’t you think?) has not disuaded me from wanting a mitred beauty of my own.
    Thank you for sharing!

  57. The squares and how they go together is just stunning!! I love the color pixels – wish I could figure out how to do it. Very interesting!

  58. What a long, strange trip it’s been…. but such fun. I love the last photo, too. Poof! and the order is gone, as another commenter said.

  59. Jennifer says:

    As they say in Brooklyn, it’s “Bee-YOO-dee-ful.” You deserve a break–you must be “seeing” miters in everything: toast, buildings, post it notes.. give the brain a rest. You know..fuhgedaboud-it. 😉

  60. Michele says:

    You are a color genius.

  61. you ARE insane lol but in such a lovely way! oh i do hope you seam it up quickly, i think it’s amazing you knit it in such a quick time period and if you had it seamed all up before may was over it would be even more amazing!
    I am looking forward to seeing what you work on next, and I have enjoyed all your miter postings 🙂

  62. can’t wait to see a pic of you and G all cozy and wrapped up in it!

  63. I have so enjoyed reading about the mitred square afghan from beginnings to this point. The colors of all your squares have been such a blast to look at and read about. I’ve started one to see how it goes. Thanks for all the great pictures and the beautiful work and for sharing it.

  64. Love the end result. Enjoy the process of seaming, when you can admire your miters all over again!

  65. It is absolutely tantalizing. No wonder you were consumed. The seaming will be fun because you can see your squares in a different way and anticipate its completion.

  66. That is BIG! The project, the vision, everything. Way to go, Cara!!! I love all the pictures, but that last one made me laugh. Miter leaves!

  67. God, Cara, it’s stunning. Congratulations!

  68. Amazing, Cara. Just amazing. I love how ‘in the zone’ you were the whole time. 🙂

  69. I know you do photography for your work, and every time I see your pictures I know why. Those pictures are great. I especially love the last one.

  70. Beautiful!

  71. That will be one fantastic blanket.
    Thanks for making my eyes dance!

  72. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blanket. It is beautiful. Congrats on almost being done!!!

  73. Steph B. says:

    It’s just gorgeous! Have fun with the seaming and thanks for sharing the madness.

  74. That last picture is my favorite.

  75. Truly remarkable. A thing of beauty beyond compare.

  76. I second (third, fourth, eleventy-bilionth, whatever) the comments on everything, but especially that last picture is super fab. I’m sure the finished blanket will make your bed the centerpiece of your room 🙂
    Your stamina is amazing. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  77. That’s not madness, that’s simply art!

  78. A feast for the eyes!

  79. Absolutely gorgeous!!!
    thanks for the inspiration as always

  80. I love all those colors, looks fabulous!! I’m very very tempted to make one myself!

  81. It’s gorgeous! My brain still boggles at the thought that you did all of this in so short a period of time!

  82. Really absolutely spectacular. Thanks for blogging about it along the way. It’s been great to follow.

  83. gorgeous! i love all those shots!

  84. As a girl who hates to seam, that last pic gave me chills. Still the finished product may still be worth it. I really like your fianl layout.

  85. Great job! I really like the decision to used the same background color for each square. Mine is going to be more of a jumble, but that’s what makes each person’s blanket unique.

  86. Wow! That’s a lot of miters! I can’t believe how quickly you did it. How do you plan on seaming the blanket and do you have any idea what colour you’ll use for the border?

  87. Thank you for sharing all of the details on this project!! I have never tired of seeing all of the pretty, colorful pictures.
    Lovely, lovely, lovely,

  88. Cara ~ it turned out BEAUTIFULLY!!! All the frantic knitting (2.6 per day? yikes!), all the muttering and color planning, were totally worth it. That is a handmade, brilliant work of art. I think that after it is sewn up, there should be a bit of a public display and open admiration. 🙂

  89. I have always loved your photographs. This project has been really amazing; best of luck getting it all together!

  90. I really love that last picture. (Which isn’t to say I don’t like the neatly-arranged blanket, or anything.)

  91. I’m filled with awe! Thanks for sharing the adventure.

  92. Glad to see you do what you do. Now the rest of us can catch up in about a year or two;) Simply magnificent! Thanks for sharing, this has been very exciting to admire from afar:)

  93. That last picture is my favourite of all time. It looks like it should be a puzzle.

  94. Adrienne says:

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! This is, and will be, such an amazing work of art. Your way with colour is just brilliant.
    Thank you for sharing each step of the journey with us, you take such stunning photographs and I’ve enjoyed every moment of your madness!

  95. Cassandra says:

    Cara, it is majestic. Truly beautiful. Thanks for all the hard work, I’ve enjoyed watching your creative process. 🙂

  96. Wow… just… Wow! They sizzle, they’re powerful, and they totally work!

  97. PICAdrienne says:

    Totally amazing, snuggle-able piece of art. I do hope we get to see it seamed and bordered. You should feel quite the sense of accomplishment.

  98. I love the squares and I LOVE the photos! What a great project. Thanks for sharing it.

  99. Well, I think those squares are stunningly perfect.

  100. This ist SO beautiful!!

  101. So BEAUTIFUL!! I’m so excited for you and of course, along with everyone else, I can’t wait to see the finished project. It must weigh 1,000 pounds!! Just georgeous! 🙂 Congrats!

  102. I have miter envy! The layout for the blanket is exquisite. Your craftmanship is superb. I would love to knit that many miters just to have a pile of them to play with.
    I’m going to miss reading about this project.

  103. Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Michele Basquit,Alma Woodsey Thomas, Lee Krasner, Frieda Kahlo, Grandma Moses, Helen Frankenthaler, Elaine De Kooning, Georgia O’Keefe, Eva Hesse, Joan Mitchell, Nita Leland….you should mount it and hang it on a wall

  104. These pictures are amazing!! This is the prettiest mitered square blanket I have ever seen! There is method to your madness 🙂

  105. I’m blown away by this project. The colors are amazing, and I can’t believe you knit it all so quickly (2.6 squares/day is pretty dang fast). Congratulations!

  106. Oh! This is the post I’ve been waiting for! They are so beautiful! Congrats on such beautiful work!

  107. michele says:

    You are amazing…I feel lucky to be able to read and share in this via your blog. As wonderful as this looks on the screen, I can’t imagine how beautiful it is in person. I envision one of your (also stunning) pictues of the blanket matted and hanging somewhere important or on a magazine cover somewhere…or notecards for all of us mortals to purchase 🙂

  108. Its been alot of fun watching you “obsess” over your miters!! The finally product is beyond beautiful!!

  109. Yay for miters! Seriously gorgeous mitering and I looove the colors. Looking forward to seeing the finished blanket!

  110. Notecards! Use the picture of the week, the last picture with all the jumbled squares, and the finished product. It’s just beautiful!

  111. Wow, your knitting is beautiful! I LOVE the colors! And what amazing photography. A fantastic work of art!

  112. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch this blanket grow! Thank YOU for sharing not just your knitting but your passion. I am equally excited to see the final result and the pictures of it.

  113. Wow! Those look fabulous all together! Bravo!!

  114. Simply amazing. It looks WONDERFUL!

  115. rachael says:

    your madness is both beautiful and inspiring. i have loved every post about the miters, fyi. thanks for the gorgeous colors and your humor and dedication.

  116. I admire your tenacity!

  117. I have absolutely loved watching the journey of the miters. It’s been amazing and I can’t wait for it all to come together and a little sad to see it all end.

  118. Wow! When this is all done, I think it should be framed and hung on the wall. It’s definitely a work of art. Kudos. The Miter Photography series is also worthy of framing.

  119. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the last picture!! The randomness is awesome!

  120. Oh. My. They are beautiful. I’ve loved the journey. Thank you for sharing. -s

  121. It is perfect. Beautiful, beautiful!

  122. The blanket looks just beautiful!

  123. OK, I see you have about a BAZILLION comments, but I just had to say WOW and FABULOUS and just INCREDIBLE. I wasn’t so sure I shared your miter madness (though I enjoyed your pics along the way)….but I gotta say, now I wanna do it too! OMG that is just so, so, AMAZING!

  124. It must have been very satisfying to see all the mitres together at last … especially once you’d hit on the final combination. It’s been amazing to watch this obsession unfold over the last few weeks (nearly 3 a day?! wow!) and we’re all looking foward to seeing the finished piece … in it’s own good time, of course! Now, have a celebratory drink of your aerated beverage of choice, and … don’t think about mitres for a while!

  125. WOW!
    No more needs to be said.

  126. No matter how you stack, scramble, assemble or rearrange those squares, the outcome is lovely. My favorite picture is the last one with all the squares all mixed up.

  127. Absolutely beautiful. I’m in awe. Have to go pick up my own needles. This is truly an inspiration! If I were you, I’d enlarge the photos to poster-size and hang them all over my living room!

  128. Oh WOW! It’s amazing. So beautiful! Great job, I think it turned out so great. I’ve started on my own, I really need to get moving on it!

  129. SallyA says:

    “and it was good.” UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR! It’s friggin’ unbelievably wonderful. WOW! Congratulations.

  130. That is just awesome! Wow!
    Sheri in GA

  131. It amazes me how the colors “change” when they are next to something different. Very cool. Thank you for sharing the process.

  132. Wowsa.
    That is amazing – you should be so proud.

  133. Wow!!!! They were pretty on their own, but when you put them all together they are amazing!!!

  134. Do you need seaming help?
    It looks fantastic. I’m slowly building up my own Tahki Cotton Classic collection. I’m blown away by the number of colors you used.

  135. The gorgeousness that you create and then photograph for us. If I could only be 1/2 as talented as you – I’d be so happy!

  136. Hi, there! I made a little KAL in your name. We were all inspired by your miters, and I figured why not show a little flattery in the form of imitation? I hope it takes off and you can be proud of us! Take care – Rachele

  137. VictoriaE says:

    You rock. I have loved wittnessing the journey!

  138. Wow!!

  139. Too cool for words.

  140. I absolutely love it. All your hard work really shines through and your attention to the color combinations has been a great inspiration. I’m charting one in my head as I type. Congratulations.

  141. What you have created is absolutely incredible!

  142. Ooooh…pretty! I love your final layout.

  143. Nathalie says:

    I LOVE the result and start thinking about making one like that BUT I don’t have a clue on how to make a mitter. Could you please help me?
    I would be most grateful.

  144. I love, love, LOVE this project. You’ve done an awesome job all the way through. I can’t believe how fast you’ve knit all those miters. I’m totally coveting the (almost) blanket!

  145. it’s glorious and gorgeous, and you should be so proud.
    absolutely fantabulous!
    i’ll look forward to seeing the final, final project (whether that’s in a week or a year, or five of some other time period. 🙂

  146. Your blanket is the most incredible ode to color that I have ever seen. I have loved every minute of it and look forward to seeing it in completion. Wow. And thank you.

  147. Your blanket will be marvelous!

  148. Beautiful, perfect arrangement! I hope you’re properly impressed with yourself.

  149. The pictures in this post made my heart pound a little bit. What wonderful-ness!

  150. Really glorious! I’ve enjoyed reading your process so much that I’m even a bit sad that it’s finished. Of course there will be FO pictures so there’s that to look forward to!

  151. your sense of colour and light with photography and knitting… leave me breathless every time.
    this is utterly gorgeous

  152. WOW!! Amazing! That was so much work and it looks soooo great! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  153. Bravo Cara! The squares are just fantastic! I can’t wait to see it all seamed up!

  154. wow! I go away and stay off the blogs for a few days and come back and see this…well, wow!! So inspiring. Must get back to my poor neglected miters.

  155. Beautiful blanket. I made one last year in blues and pinks and did a double crotchet border in a shocking pink acrylic (double shocking, eh?). My top tip is to get a talking book for listening to when you do the seams. It’s a gorgeous blanket, and you’ll get tons of use out of it.
    Cindy (London, UK)

  156. Its awesome! Gorgeous! Fantastic! Congratulations! 🙂

  157. Amazingly gorgeous! What a labor, labor of love. I’m floored.

  158. When you finish this amazing blanket you’ve got to — and I mean got to — find an art show to display this magnificant piece of art!!!!! What a study in color and design.

  159. Stunning. The colors are amazing, and I love the way even in photos (on a laptop!) the squares will shift and pop out like an optical illusion. What a wonderful work of art! I’m in awe.

  160. Your miters are beautiful and what you have accomplished is amazing. I would love to have a collection of the photographs you’ve taken of them. The photos themselves are breathtaking.

  161. Sarah R says:

    So many people have said this before, but I have to add my little voice:
    This is just stunningly beautiful and it’s been so much fun watching you make it. I love the way you found your color combos and I love, love, love the square that commemorates your split finger. Seriously, I am in awe.
    And now my fingers are twitching and I keep thinking about the wall of color at my LYS. Should I be afraid?

  162. Seeing your squares is just so inspiring for me! I’m only on miter number 4 and I keep looking back at your posts to remind me that this can be done! I am panicking though as I have no set colour scheme!!

  163. I’ve been inspired do some mitered squares of my own from this series of posts.
    Not sure where you live in NJ, but you are invited to our World WIde Knit in Public day on June 9 here in Hoboken NJ. We will be knitting from 11 -4 at Pier A park on 1st Street and River Road. If you’d like to stop by, let me know.

  164. It’s absolutely stunning, you did an amazing job!

  165. I saw this and immediately thought of your mitered squares…

  166. Haven’t checked back for about 10 days – I have been watching form afar and admiring your dedication/obsession/whatever! I love the hydrangea square and I think your work is great. Well done.

  167. It’s freakin’ gorgeous!