October 26th, 2008


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Our current KAL on Ready, Set, Knit is a series of four knit squares that can be combined to create a lap blanket or afghan.

Pixie and I were brainstorming for this KAL at the same time we were making plans for this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Event.  In the past, we’ve knit scarves and chemo caps for our partner organization, Cancer Connection.  We were interested in doing something different, as were they.  The idea of the squares were born. 

I particularly liked the idea because it could involve knitters and crocheters easily (and ultimately we came up with a planner to include our weavers as well).  I also felt that the joining of all of the individual squares together to create a finished piece had lovely symbolism.

Deciding what the squares should be took a little more thinking.  Pixie first proposed hearts.  Nice thought, but it just didn’t speak to me.  Then Pixie hit the jackpot with the concept of trees.  She did a bunch of research, got the necessary permissions and put together a wonderful selection of four trees, representing the four seasons.  We were set for the BCA Event.

I had been thinking about a charity project for the podcast for awhile, but the timing never seemed right nor was there an idea that jumped out at me.  As sometimes happens, the stars align and things just fall into place. 

Here is a stack of some of the squares we received from the event:

I love that some folks decided to use a different stitch pattern than one of the tree designs.

Here is a close up of each of the tree motifs:

The first three are from Barbara Walker’s Treasuries.   Representing Spring is her Candle Tree design:

Representing Summer is Barbara Walker’s Apple Tree:

Next up, representing Fall is Barbara Walker’s Twin Trees II

Last, for Winter, Pixie selected this Pine Tree, which is knit and then appliqued onto a stockinette stitch square.  She found this motif in Nicky Epstein’s book Knitted Embellishments

Finally, while all of this was in the planning stages, our store manager Karen resigned to move onto another opportunity.  The staff decided that once again, the tree squares were the perfect project to create a blanket for Karen.  Here is the finished product (the blanket is folded in half for photography – it’s 4 squares wide by 6 squares long):

This is only half of the blanket – it’s absolutely stunning.  All four of the tree motifs look beautiful together.  You can see in the top left corner, we knit in Karen’s name and embellished it with some beads from our bead store.

Both the KAL, BCA and squares created for Karen’s blanket were done in Valley Yarns Superwash.  You can certainly use yarn from stash.  Just be sure it is a worsted weight superwash and that you are able to obtain a gauge of 5 sts = 1″ and 6.5 rows = 1″.  Remember, they must be blocked to a finished size of 12″x12″.

If you are still working on your square, we’ll be collecting them through next weekend and then we’ll be assembling the lap blankets for Cancer Connection.  You can drop them at the store or mail them to us.  

I would love to hear about some of the charity projects all of you have been a part of in the past.  Please share in the comments – who knows what it might inspire!


6 Responses to “Squares”

  1. jenfromri Says:

    Those trees look beautiful. What lovely blankets – I’m sure they will be much appreciated.

  2. kathy Says:

    Thanks Jen! Not only do they look lovely, they feel lovely too. The tree motifs have really worked out well.

  3. Lisa Says:

    What color of the superwash was used for Karen’s afghan? Ice blue? It’s gorgeous.

  4. Deborah (aka Mt. Mom) Says:

    You asked about charity projects we’ve been involved with. . . . I like to make hats, because they’re quick. Pas recipients include FIRE (for Mongolia; check out http://www.fireprojects.org/), our hospital’s neonatal ICU, a local elementary school (it’s cold here in winter), and an OB/Gyn clinic in Afghanistan (a doctor from our church is teaching there for a few months).

  5. kathy Says:

    Lisa – we actually used the teal color. The ice blue is a really beautiful cool/pale blue. The teal has a bit more green to it. If you’re contemplating the colors and need a little snippet of each, just email me at kathy.elkins AT yarn DOT com.

    Deborah – thanks for sharing! Hats are great and can be used for so many different needs. Thanks for the link!

  6. Gerry Hartsoe Says:

    I just listen to the pod cast about the squares and wanted to get the patterns but when I click on the KAL link it does not work. Am I too late to get the aquares patterns?

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