Monday, September 1, 2014

Easy Squares Blanket, with tassels

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Apparently, knitting the things already on the needles and not starting a bunch of other stuff in the meantime is good for progress.  I finished something. 

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This is a throw-sized blanket, good for nights when it’s kinda starting to get chilly, and I just want one more little layer for coziness, but not the great weight of an entire honking blanket.  Do you know what I mean?  I find the yarn blankets around here can be a little bit heavy, and I’m not ready for that yet.  It’s not winter, I’m not cold, I’m just a little bit chilly.  When you have a whole bunch of blankets, you can have choices, am I right? 

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The big tassels at the corners are my favorite part. 

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Inspired by a magazine photo from years ago, I made this one up.  Want to make one, too?  Sure, there’s nothing to it.  Here you go: 

Easy Squares Blanket

You need:

Approx. 2000 yards worsted weight yarn (I used nine skeins of Patons Classic Wool, in “Winter White”)

US size 10 needles

Cast on 168.  First section:  k12, p12, across.  Repeat for 17 more rows.  Next row (second section):  p12, k12, across.  Repeat for 17 more rows.  Next row:  repeat first section again, and continue in this manner, alternating sections of 18 rows, until you’re 3/4 of the way done with the last skein of yarn.  [For clarity, you will work *K12, P12 for 18 rows, then P12, K12 for 18 rows, repeating from * until your yarn is almost gone.] Finish whatever section of squares you’re working on (complete the 18 rows) and bind off in pattern. 

Now, listen to me:  you have to block this blanket.  I mean it.  If you don’t, it will look like an egg carton, left out in the rain and then stepped on.  Blocking is painless, and it is worth it.  Do this: dump it in a sink full of tepid water and let it sit there while you vacuum all the animal fur off the carpet.  Drain the sink, squeeze out as much water as you can, and then roll the wet blanket in a big towel (or two) to take out more water.  Fling it out onto the carpet and spread it flat.  Pull it a little bit for drape, but you don’t need to stretch it, and there’s no need for any pins.  Just prod it into shape, making the edges straight, and then let it dry.  There are no measurements to block it to—just pull it out a little bit and straighten it up.  While you’re waiting for it to dry, with the remaining yarn, make the tassels. 

Tassels are easy; you probably made dolls like this when you were little, but just in case, here’s what I did:  find a smallish hardcover book and wrap the yarn a bunch of times around it, the short way.  For a nice, fat tassel, wrap it at least thirty times.

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Cut a 12” length of yarn, and tie it around the loop, through the middle.  Don’t cut off the tails.

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Wrap another, longer piece of yarn around the top of the tassel, near the tied loop.  Wrap several times, then tighten it and tie a knot. 

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Use a darning needle to hide these ends.

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Now trim it to length. 

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When the blanket is dry, use the tails to sew it to one corner.  Put one on on each corner, and you’re done.

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It covers my feet, and reaches my chin, and the tassels make it a little bit special, but not too much.  It’s a plain little thing, lovely in it’s simplicity.  And it’s cozy.