Sunday, January 13, 2008

I have completed 9 squares and have 2 more on the needles. Sabra’s done one square and is diligently working on another one.

Square 4 by Celest Pinheiro
I must say, I have had more fun doing these squares than anything else in a long time. There is a notation in the book that 5 of the squares are more challenging and 5 others are easy. Well, I’m not sure how they got to this conclusion.

Square 7 by Susan Z. Douglas For example, Square 7 by Susan Douglas is supposed to be “challenging” -- I thought it was pretty easy. Just follow the chart, line by line and it wasn’t a problem. There are a few 1-5 and 1-3 increases – pretty much the same as making a bobble and you have to keep track of all the different cable stitches (some are p1k1, others are k1p1). I made an enlarged copy of the chart, marked off row by row as I went along and kept referring back to the printed word instructions if I had a question. Voila --- I had it done in no time.

On the other hand , Square 8 by Kathy Zimmerman is listed as one of the “easy” squares and I had to rip it a few times before I got the first row set up correctly. Once I got past row 4, I was on my way, but it did seem to pose more of a challenge than Square 7, at least for me. I think it had more to do with going back and forth between 2 charts – I shouldn’t admit this, but I did sometimes put chart A stitches where chart B stitches should go. Must be an ADHD thing.

Square 8 by Kathy Zimmerman
Square 17 looks like it had an unusual construction and it does, but once you get going on it, you will see how easy it is to do.
Square 17 by Karen Kendrick-Hands
Sabra is working on Square 1, since she loves knitting socks. In order to knit the little socks for the square the instructions say to do what Priscilla Gibson-Roberts calls a “straight-wrap cast-on”. It looks exactly like the “Middle Eastern” cast-on that I did when I knit the fingers for top-down gloves from a pattern by Therese Inverso. A new technique to a lot of folks, but it makes a great, almost seamless seam. I just love doing new things like that.

Square 9 by Lily Chin

Currently I am working on Square 9, by Lily Chin. I’m really happy with how it is coming out. While I have been talking about loving this project, there is one square that I’m not happy about.

It’s Square 6 by Maureen Egan Emlet. It’s a really fussy square and right now I’m not into fussy. One of the stitches is that “Knit Bullion” stitch I mentioned in an earlier post. Sadly, right now I am doing it with a crochet hook. No matter how I tried it with a knitting needle, I could not get my needle through 10 wraps at once ( I suppose I could try the Addi lace needles – I’ll let you know if that works). I saw the crochet hook bullion stitch demonstrated here -- I can’t quite get her technique so that all my stitches are even, so I have been pulling one stitch over at a time. It’s a pain and I just want to get the square done. I will persevere (probably after I’ve finished all the other squares).

Square 6 by Maureen Egan Emlet
I started thinking about fixing mistakes and ripping out as I was working on this aghan, because I have done my share of ripping. I remember all too well all the ripping and fixing of mistakes I did when I quilted. I did take a brief detour into quiltmaking back in the '80's. It seems that it is so much easier to fix mistakes in knitting. Lots of times, you don't need to rip -- you can just drop your stitch down a few rows and fix the mistake and bring it back up.
Quilting is another story.

When I would piece a quilt -- each piece was sewn together with a 1/4 inch seam; not much room for error. (Ah yes, blame it on the sewing machine). Many times I just had to do the whole thing over. I still have the partial top I did for my nephew when he was first born. After I got the star pieced (I'm not going to count all the pieces I cut out), it just wouldn't lay right, the center buckled, so I did the entire quilt over again. Cut out all new pieces. My sister was mad that I didn't have it done in time for his birth. She should only know. He did receive it when he was two years old (just turned 21), I didn't think that was too long a wait. Completely machine pieced and hand quilted. Sorry that I don't have a picture of the finished product. Wonder if they even know where it is.

My husband is still waiting for his sweater which I started 16 years ago. He is just going to have to wait a little while longer.

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