Skip to content

Dear Kay,

I’m not saying I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but I will say that I’m chewing like I just invented how to chew. I’m chewing like a termite with a 4 x 8 slab of plywood.

This blanket, my contribution to the Fringe and Friends Log Cabin Knitalong, is delicious the way a gigantic birthday cake is delicious. I’m going to keep going until I can chew no more. It’s a race either to the finish or to the knitterly equivalent of massive indigestion, which is that thing where you take a giant project into a deep, dark closet and MOVE ON.

I gotta finish this blanket. World peace depends on it.

The End of Innocence

Here’s where things stand.

My blanket calls for three sizes of squares: cast ons of 20, 40, and 60 stitches. 5″, 10″, 15″.

This has been completely joyful for these first 98 squares. (And by square, I mean a 5″ square—that’s the basic unit of measure here.)

Left to go: one 5″ strip, one and a half 10″ strips, and one more 15″ strip. That’s 84 squares. I am more than halfway home.

Until now, I’ve been knitting sequences with abandon—at the beginning of a new square, I’d stop for maybe sixteen seconds and figure out what my new sequence would be.  Each strip, as I’ve worked it, has its own rhythm of sequence textures, and they all came together without any futzing and obsessing.

Well, all that carefree whoopteedoo free-for-all joytastic experimentation ends now.

Getting Serious Now

My sequence log cabin blanket is at a crucial moment. I’m starting to aim. Starting to want a certain effect. Starting to notice my knit-purl sequence textures.

Now that I can see the varied textures side by side, I want to make sure that the squares don’t line up in a stack of similar textures. I don’t want five ribby squares to be next to each other. I don’t want the zigzaggers to appear in a row.

Which means that I am turning to the Mothership of All Sequences.

It’s time to spend time with the book that is the original inspiration for MDK Field Guide No. 5: Sequences. It’s Cecelia Campochiaro’s masterwork, Sequence Knitting: Simple Methods for Creating Complex Reversible Fabrics.

Her swatches are incredibly helpful in visualizing what will happen with each knit-purl pattern that she demonstrates. I have 84 squares left to make. I will be consulting with Cecelia’s book every day from here on out.

Of course, sequences can be affected by how many stitches I cast on for each square, so some of my sequences may not look the same as Cecelia’s. But her beautiful swatches definitely give me ideas and an understanding of the patterns at work in these simple combinations of knit and purl stitches.

The dimensionality of some of the sequences is so surprising.

Our Tahki Donegal Tweed continues to amuse with its fleckly depth of color. I’ve got eight shades going at this point: cream, tan, fawn, light gray, bright olive, light olive, midnight blue, and dark gray green. (These and four others are available in ye olde MDK Shoppe.)

Some of the sequences make such subtle patterns that I can’t even see them until I’ve worked three or four inches. I really love this one, especially at its 15″ size.

This hasn’t been blocked yet—the ribbed sections on either side will be flat and even once they’ve experienced the spa treatment that is my blocking process.

The accordion sequences are especially beautiful to me. They look the same on both sides, and create a gentle pleat that is just so lovely.

It’s still surprising to me, how many different textures result simply from altering the knit-purl sequence, the length of the row, and the choice whether to restart the sequence at the beginning of a row, or to keep a sequence running from the front to the back.

I’m beginning to think about how I’m going to seam up all these varied edges. But I’m not sweating it (yet). That’s going to be a whole nother giant birthday cake to dig into.



Leave a Comment


  • Love your squares, textures and fibers! Are you picking up stitches to start the next square? Or is each square an entity of it’s own ? If so,
    What very smooth looking stitch have you used to join the squares or Is this a case of we , the viewers , are seeing through a filter contraption you have devised? Just
    Wondering! Actually, I am very interested to know! Love this site!

    • Thank you, Diane! Log cabin connoisseurs will note that because I’m keeping stitches live at the end of each square, then starting a new color, this is not true log cabin. In my head, however, it’s in that spirit. I decided not to bind off each square so I could zoom through the squares. It does save a fair amount of binding off and picking up for a new square, but I kind of miss the bulk of a bound-off seam at the edge of each square. All will be well. The long seams when I connect the strips are going to be a trick, because I’ll want them to have the same slimness that occurs between each of the squares in the strip. Three-needle bind off isn’t going to look right–too bulky. I THINK. Will experiment.

      • You could always crochet them together.

  • This is incredibly gorgeous Ann!! I love it!!

  • What a spectacular blanket! You can do it!!

    I finished my crochet version, and have – gasp – set off on a knitted blanket of log cabin squares. This is something I have vowed never to do –knit a blanket.

    What have y’all done to me??

    • Congratulations, Robin! Is it on the hashtag #fringeandfriendslogalong on Instagram?

      • Well, it finally is now (I think). My first Instagram post. Y’all are corrupting me in so many ways….

  • Is epic too strong a word? I doubt it! Amazing!

    • It’s just really fun to make. On a size 8 needle, anything is possible!

  • I love the different sequences! I, too, am at a point where choices matter. I started with the plan to only use scraps from my 50 year old collection. The added requirement that each square been completely random (yes, I am a retired mathematician) has caused some worries as amounts decrease. Now do I do three needle joins or add borders, is the question. I think I need to purchase a skein for the connections. Now I feel strongly that Cecelia’s Sequence Knitting book is calling to the mathematician/knitter in me as well. What will that next project is be and how will it use sequences thoughts are swirling about me now. I do enjoy your work.

    • Lynn, you will LOVE Cecelia’s book. It is mathy in the best way—really fun (and I’m saying this as an English major!).

      The randomness is hard to maintain! Things want to rhyme and repeat.

      Maybe, re the borders, lay it all out and just let you gut instinct tell you what would please you.

    • I am walking in your shoes! All of my squares are from stash, and totally random in color. There is a rough unifying principle in each square (each is four colors: a three color strip of any proportion and size i feel like, with two same colored sides added to make it the right sized square). I have made 12 squares (out of a planned 35, although that may turn out to be 30), and am now beginning to think more about maintainning the randomness. It gets harder as you move along and certain colors in the stash become used up. Another project I have going on the side is the Corrugated Shawl which might satisfy your mathematical cravings for sequences!

  • And I tell people that Knitting is relaxing….HA!

  • What a wonderful project! Have you thought about printing up a pattern for it when you’re finished?

    • Yes, please, please, please do! So beautiful…and inspiring.

      • Thanks, y’all! The fact is, if you read the posts for this sequence log cabin blanket, I’ve laid out everything you need to know to make yours right now. ; )

        It’s basically this:

        Cast on 20, 40, or 60 stitches. *Think up a knit-purl pattern. Knit until the work is square. Add a new color. Repeat from * until you have a strip as wide as you want your blanket to be. Make a bunch of strips and sew them together!

        I do think that it’s really helpful to spend time with Cecelia’s patterns in MDK FIELD GUIDE NO. 5: SEQUENCES–you get a feel for what different knit-purl combinations look like, and she has clever techniques to make the stitch patterns shift in beautiful and unpredictable ways. And of course, SEQUENCE KNITTING is a gorgeous, fascinating book.

  • It’s exactly what I’d want to make. You are pushing my “need no more blankets” to the brink!! Absolutely perfect!!!

  • This is just beautiful, Ann! You go, girl.

  • It’s fabulous, Ann!!

  • My immediate thoughts when I saw the top photo, before reading a word: 1) Wow, she’s almost done with her last strip! 2) I’d shift the unfinished one downwards one square, add a new block at the top, so the ribby ones aren’t next to each other.

    Seriously, I cannot believe how fast you’ve done all of this!

    • YES! Those two ribby ones were the sand in my sandals! Such a good idea for a fix. I scooted the strip down one square and now have done a true log cabin pickup on that top square, adding a gray square up top that will Make It All Better. Thanks, friend!

  • That is so awesome! Looking forward to seeing the rest of your choices. Hope there is a pattern!

  • I love your sequences so far, but I keep picturing a 5″ strip in either wine or dark red where the whole strip is just the one color (multiple sequences like the others or just one loooong sequence) in among its more quiet neighbors. Like the red or gold “hearth” square in the center of a traditional log cabin quilt block. And then a narrow border (I-cord? Hdc?) of the wine/ red all around. Sigh. I’m going to have to dig out my stashed tweeds and make one, aren’t I? Where did I put that hot pink skein of Donegal…. I have a new granddaughter due just before Easter…. Log cabin baby blanket…

    • Tish, you clearly need to get started on this blanket immediately. You are thinking about this in a very excellent way—it’s just so fun to work with a really basic technique and let your own ideas connect with it.


  • Looks great! When I do a project like this I try to keep one variable constant (in your case the yarn), and at least one variable changing (in your case pattern and color). Love the Donegal Tweed – thanks for carrying this as I don’t think it’s widely available in the US.

    One trick I learned from the Philospher’s wool book is to also look at the balls of color you’re using – they should each be roughly the same size as the project progresses. That way one color doesn’t dominate.

    For me in any project like this, keeping one variable constant is the biggest challenge. I have a tendency to want to change things and explore ideas mid-project as I go and that is overkill.

    • Philospher’s Wool Book? I like the sound of that, and the example you cited. However, when I did a Google search and then went to their website, I looked for that title, but didn’t see it. Which of the books are you referring to? Is it Fair Isle Sweaters, Simplified?

      • Speaking for Elizabeth: yes, that the one. It has a wealth of inspiration in it…definitely worth purchasing

  • Outstanding…enough said!

  • I see this blanket being cuddled up in to watch tv, then the tv being abandoned as the colors and textures claim all attention. Beautiful!

  • Ann, the blanket is looking great so far. I can just imagine your guys squabbling over it. (“It’s mine!” “No, it’s mine!” “Stop it boys, and give it here!” “HISS!”) But you don’t need to explain to Kay about the knitterly equivalent of massive indigestion…not as long as the Big Floral Damask Thing keeps escaping the closet…;-)!

  • I’ve been thinking about trying out sequence knitting in a cotton dishcloth format. Original plan was to do some (more) log cabin dishcloths, but using sequences instead was my aha moment this morning. Or maybe it was just my haven’t had coffee yet moment…

  • How exciting. Your cake analogy reminds me of something I read in the Jane Smiley novella, The Age of Grief. The narrator-a dentist-said, “to me, dental school seemed like a very large meal that I had to eat all by myself.” Good luck with your cake-Thanksgiving dinner-blanket. I can’t wait to see the end result!

  • This is totally gorgeous.

  • These textures are luscious! Beautiful and Brave!

  • I was wondering if you might be planning to connect the strips by picking up the stitches on all the long sides then knitting a while on each and grafting the pairs of live ends together somewhere in the midst of what would be a perpendicular join-y stripes…
    Not sure this is even possible (if row numbers vary a great deal from strip to strip – do they?), but I figured if anyone could do it, it would be a Modern Daily Knitter!

    • The Joining of the Strips may prove to be my sternest challenge. The row numbers seem to vary, though maybe not as much as I’m fearing they vary. I’m kind of clinging to the idea of the squares all meeting, neat and tidy, with as little visible seaming as possible. The problem is that I didn’t cast off the squares in the strips, which would have created the seam ridges that I actually like the look of. If I’d done that, then a three-needle bindoff would look fine. I may end up deciding that a three-needle bindoff looks fine. Even though it won’t. SOB!

  • Absolutely beautiful work. I give you credit for keeping it up. Happy knitting. Carrie

  • Perfect description of what happens to me in the middle or nearly every project. Which is why the log cabin I’m working on is the revival of zombie pieces started in 2008. But the glorious glorious end is in sight.

  • A lovely sampler of stitches. You are a brave and creative knitter!

  • How do I do the acordiandu? Is ir in Sequnces Book? It so gogeous
    Thanks, Ann! The studio is coming along out here in Oregon

  • Just curious, does your pattern become a patchwork instead of log cabin? Or does log cabin come under the umbrella of patchwork? I love your colour and yarn choices. Can’t wait to see it finished as a whole. Love your work. 🙂

Come Shop With Us

My Cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping