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Dear Kay,

Cecelia Campochiaro’s Color Explosion Throw looks to be a crowd favorite in the newly hatched MDK Marlalong. Everybody’s climbing on the bandwagon, whether with our bundle of Felted Tweed (just back in stock right here) or with combinations coming from stash.

For me, I blasted through the four strips, so it’s time to sew them into one big ol’ marlfest. Let’s review some of the basics of What It Takes To Sew Up A Blanket.

Get a table. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t try to do this while watching, say, Season 2 of Succession. Just commit to the joy of making a gigantic thing.

Arrange your strips as you like. Just because the pattern says to make the strips in a certain order doesn’t mean you have to assemble them in that order. In my throw, there are a few blocks that are super dark.

I did not want superdarks to line up next to each other, so I moved one of the strips to avoid this. Nobody knows or cares but you, and you care desperately, so feel free to edit.

Block before you sew. Here’s what my strips looked like before I gave them a long soak in the bathtub, using Soak of course.

Here’s the after.

So relaxed, so tidy. I didn’t use any hardcore blocking stuff like wires and pins. I just laid the strips out and let them be.

Enjoy the ride. The selvedge stitch edges on these strips means it’s really easy to pick up the stitches. Thanks, Cecelia! You just count to nine for each color block, and before you know it, you’ve got them all picked up.

See the two edges with their stitches all set up for binding off?

At this point the bindoff begins: put the third needle through the first stitch on each of the two needles, knitwise, then knit the two stitches together. Work another stitch this way, which makes for two stitches on the right needle. Next: Bind off one stitch from the right needle, leaving one stitch on the right needle. Work another of those knit-through-both-stitches situations, which puts a second stitch on the right needle, then bind off. Do this 162 times, and what do you know! You made a long awesome seam!

Here’s a video tutorial from Jen Arnall-Culliford that gives you a good view of this magnificent maneuver.

Cecelia gives a link in Field Guide No. 19: Marls for an elegant alternate technique to work the three-needle bindoff. I went with my tried-and-true method, which tips the bindoff to one side. I don’t mind this.

When I’m done, I’ll use the tail of my seam to snug up that little gap at the edge of the blanket.

It’s such a satisfying thing to work this three-needle bind off. You could just mattress stitch these, but the seam is such a great detail.

Pondering whether to do an attached i-cord edging all the way around. Probably not in this case.

Cheers, everybody! I’m looking forward to my next two seams.




  • What a difference blocking makes! Your blanket is beautiful Ann❤

  • Ann! I love this blanket. Congratulations on being so close to snuggling under it.

  • Why not make the attached I-cord edging? It’s my preferred edging and I was thinking of one too.

  • It’s beautiful ! Lucky you or lucky recipient if it is to be a gift!

  • Will you do all the seams in the same color? Also, you held the pieces wrong side together, correct?

    • WRONG sides together. And I think I’ll do a different color for each of the three seams. Not quite sure but if I do, they’ll be in the same value of relative darkness.

    • Seconding that inquiring minds want to know this and also see both sides.

      Also, IT LOOKS SO GREAT and thanks for sharing it all because fun. So much good to see. I don’t know that I will make one…but I don’t know that I won’t, and DANG, I’m a lady who needs plenty of hand-holding thru the “but what if I don’t Liiiiiike this combo” but, it’s like, the CONTEXT of the colors that matters and it’s totally gonna look good TOGETHER.

      • And yes, Amber, there are combos in here that I would never have tried on my own, so this is one of those good ways to fight my own “good taste.”

  • Wow. That looks way simpler than I thought it would be

  • What a beauty!

    I tried to do the nifty knit-purl three needle bind off with my marlogram scarf but I just couldn’t make it happen. I used my regular three needle bind off (just like yours) and I was very happy with the results. I plan to start the CE throw after my Christmas knitting is finished and I’m eager to start.

  • Looking good so far! Kermit will be soooo happy with his new blanket that he might even give Foodlady some time off!

  • Are you using one strand of yarn for these seams? (I’m sure it says in the pattern but my booklet is three rooms away)

    • Yes, that’s one strand for picking up the stitches, not two. In fact, it’s actually one long length of yarn for the whole seam, because once you pick up all the stitches on the first strip, you line up the second strip, and pick up the second strip of stitches going back toward where you started picking up. AND THEN (thrillingly) you begin the 3 needle bind off using [whispers] the same yarn. It’s just so clever and efficient and minimizing of ends to weave in.

      • I love a good 3 needle bind off, but you’ve just way upped the game. One strand, on and on. Brilliant. That’s a gorgeous blanket.

  • In the fifth picture under the title of the piece, you show the needles going into the loop under the loop on the needle. I am confused.

    • Hi Nancy–the game here is definitely to knit the first stitches on the two left needles together, not anything below it. Not sure what you’re seeing, but it’s a straightforward knit stitch for both needles–inserting the needle from the left side of each of the two stitches, then knitting them together. Hope this makes sense! ; )

      • Thanks. It may be a case of photographic trickery for me.

  • Ann, those color combos have come together so beautifully! Glad that you were able to “fight your own good taste”. You set a good example for those of us who would agonize over every micro decision on combining colors.

  • Anne, could you show the reverse side after seaming please?

    • Will do, if Kermit will ever get offa that thing. He thinks he has befriended a colorful sheep–I think the lanolin in Jill Draper’s Mohonk Light is making him drunk with love.

  • Its so gorgeous! Great tips, thank you

  • I have been tempted by this since I first saw it so I purchased the Marls Field Guide. Under finishing, it tells you to trim the ends flush after the strips are blocked. That scares me to death! Will that really hold up with use?

    • No worries—the pattern explains how to start a new color by knitting three strands at once for 6 stitches, then dropping the old color. This means that a) the old end gets woven in as you work and b) you can cut that end flush with no worries. There IS an end at the edge that you need to weave in—that one can’t just be cut off flush.

  • I LOVE your color combos and the juxtapositions between the stripes. “Non-planning”, or at least not heavy duty planning, makes for some great color surprises. So satisfying!
    I see a blanket in my future…

  • Love how you have used the three needle bind off as a design feature by using a different color. Thank you for your fearless color combinations example. Ip

  • Dear Ann, In your sentence immediately following “Here’s a video tutorial . . ., ” you correctly use the word, “alternate.” Thank you. The attention to proper usage is one of the many attractions of MDK. And YARN!!!!!

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