‘Quilted’ Log cabin lap blanket

(For today’s post, I was thinking about whether to talk about making a knitted ‘quilt’ or whether to talk about things I’ve been thinking/reading about consumerism. The knitting won … this time.)

Today, my friends, is a marvellous day.

Today, I have a log cabin lap blanket.

Log cabin!

What you can't see is the big cheesy grin I'm hiding behind there

I started this blanket a long time ago – searching my old blog brings me back to this post of November 2009, at which time Algebraic Geometry was driving me to knitting.

(This is not surprising. In the end the course was a disaster – the syllabus was sort of still in its test-phase, and it was badly placed before Algebraic Topology had been lectured and – yeah, you don’t want to know. I’m glad I took it, it was interesting, but trying to make sense of it kind of sucked.)

And today we come to a significant milestone. This is not finished, oh no, but it is all in one big piece! Jubilation! For a long time it has been a (slowly growing) pile of squares. But now They Are One!

So without further ado: How To Attach Knitted Squares

The obvious suggestion is “sew them together”. Yeah. That probably would be the sensible thing to do. However, I really don’t like sewing up knitting … at some point I will master this dark art but for now I’d rather avoid it. Still, the first thing to do, however one is going to attach them, is to block the squares. Blocking means gently washing or steaming knitting, which helps to even out the knitting and also gives you a chance to pull it into shape.

Squares - unblocked

turning this ...

(note how some of the squares are definitely different sizes to each other)

squares - blocked!

... into this!

note how beautifully the edges line up! Okay, not perfect … but pretty good.

I decided to block using steam. This is because I am impatient – although these squares definitely could be washed, I didn’t want to be waiting about for a couple of days for them to dry.

As first knitted, my squares varied from just under 10″ square to about 11.5″ square … I decided to try and block them out to 12″ squares. For a template, I folded and ironed a piece of cotton to 12″ x 12″ and pinned it to my ironing board:
cotton template on ironing boardFor each square, I pinned it out to match the cotton, and then held the iron over it (about a centimetre away) and shot steam through the whole thing. Like this:

knitted square pinned out for blocking
It was like magic. I now understand why people think blocking is amazing. It really really *can* make a difference.

stack of nicely-lined up edges of squaresSuddenly I had a big pile of squares that were all the same size! I had tried to knit them all the same – same number of stitches etc, but they still turned out different sizes. Blocking fixed all that.

So. Now I have squares that are the same size: how am I going to attach them together? Well, log-cabining has meant that I’ve become very skilled at pick-up-and-knit-ing. So, the natural way to join things together? Pick up stitches along the two edges you want to attach, and then bind them off together (the “three needle bind off”). I first joined squares together to make three big horizontal stripes (short, one-edge-long seams), and then worked on two big horizontal (three-edge-long) seams. And it’s beautiful.I plan to add the equivalent of 3 squares to two ends, to make a bigger blanket, and to add a border all the way round … but for now, this is lovely.

9-square finished!

All stitched together! Although still with a few ends to weave in, in this photo.

Have you been making anything crafty lately?

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One Response to ‘Quilted’ Log cabin lap blanket

  1. Pingback: Saturday Play – attempting crochet | Eudoxia Friday : Thoughtful Eclecticism

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