It is important to have things to anticipate as the new year approaches.
Back in October, Karen Templer announced her next Fringe and Friends Knitalong, beginning on New Year’s Day.
It is a log cabin knitalong.
I KNOW! I AM FIGURATIVELY BESIDE MYSELF!
Karen’s knitalongs are epic, delicious, and inspiring.
For those just tuning in, you can get the details over at Fringe Association, where Karen is cooking up a grand adventure for the new year.
There’s a log cabin knitalong conversation well under way over in the Lounge. We hope you’ll see this as a golden opportunity to knit the new year with a lot of fun.
A Preview of My Plan
It’s going to be a blanket. I haven’t made a blanket in a while (at least a month!), and log cabin blankets are the most sublime kind of blankets to make.
It will be one of a kind, drawing from ideas featured in not one, not two, but three of our MDK Field Guides.
We have kits for this exact blanket, using BerROCo Ultra Alpaca, so beautiful.
I’ve loved this idea—a blanket with a wonky color rhythm, with squares of varied sizes—ever since Kay showed me the quilt that inspired it.
Idea 2. I’m obsessed with the knit-purl textures that are central to Field Guide No. 5: Sequences. Cecelia Campochiaro figured out how to make complex fabrics that can be created easily, once you get the hang of her clever techniques. I want to make the squares using sequences that I pull out of my head.
Idea 3. And then! I want to make this blanket without using mitered squares—not because I don’t adore this technique, but because sequence knitting in miters would be a tricky thing to pull off. (I think—I don’t actually know this.)
Eliminating miters opens up the construction possibilities. The blanket no longer needs to be made in squares with nine patches. Which got me thinking about long strips. Long strips are a sequence knitter’s best friend. If I work the blanket in long strips, the blanket starts to become easier to assemble. A long strip of squares knitted in a variety of sequences, with a variety of colors? That is my idea of fun. And, Karen Templer points out, the long strips are an idea from the Station Wagon Blanket in Field Guide No. 1: Stripes.
It’s a trifecta blanket!
Can these three ideas meet in one blanket? Can log cabin and sequence knitting and long strips exist in the same project? These are the big questions, people. We’re going in.
The Yarn Is a Big Part of This Thing
Tweed. A rustic, worsted-weight, flecky, nuppy tweed.
My love of tweed yarn is as deep as the Mariana Trench, as wide as my backside after finishing that giant can of flavored popcorn, as high as me after that guy refinished the floor in the front hall.
Tahki Donegal Tweed. This worsted weight yarn, launched in 1968, is one of the great, classic tweeds. Made right there in County Donegal, Ireland. By presumably Irish people who have tweed running in their tweedy veins.
I have made blankets, sweaters, random squares, all sorts of projects involving tweed yarns. Tahki’s tweed is great for a blanket, because it’s sturdy stuff. None of this floofy fakey tweed business. It is made from 100% new wool, period. It’s not merino and it doesn’t want to be, goddang it. I want a blanket that will hold up like a Yeats poem.
We’ve just decided that Tahki Donegal Tweed needs to come live in the MDK Shop—one of the happiest days yet in my new life as a yarnmonger.
I’ve been carrying around the dozen shades we’re stocking like they’re guinea pigs of woolly hope.
On the eve of New Year’s Eve, we’ll launch our batch of Tahki Donegal Tweed in Snippets, our weekly email digest of all things MDK. If you’re in the market for authentic, classic, flecktastic wool, please subscribe to Snippets (down at the bottom of the page) so you’ll have first opportunity to lay in a store for your log cabin project.
And for heaven’s sake, get a log cabin plan cooking. There’s a new year coming, and we’re going to need blankets.
Happy solstice! From now on, here comes the sun. (C’mon, sing along!)