Sunday, August 16, 2020

Done, and Never Again

This morning, the sun endures past dawn. I realise that it is August: the summer's last stand.-― Sara Baume

By Jove, eureka, and balderdash: the blanket is done!  I scarcely believe it myself:

With gargantuan effort combined with absolute desperation, I worked tirelessly all week to join all 54 of my squares together. Having never done it before, I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely the joins looked. I managed to get it all joined together by Wednesday evening:

I planned to put a nice, wide border onto it using the border from the Nuts About Squares CAL. I was all cool and nonchalant about it: 10 rounds to work, several thousand stitches to work through, no problem. And I was all cool about not getting it finished by today. What was another week to slog through? NBD. It's just a blanket, after all...

I sailed through rounds 1 and 2: all single crochet stitches. A bit tedious, but easy and mindless. Rounds 3, 4, and 5: a few double crochet and spike stitches thrown in... steady and simple. 

And then I got to round 6 and started working the zig-zag stitches... and a little voice inside me started saying, "No... just no... for the love of biscuits, no more." I wasn't loving the look of it and I wasn't looking forward to working four more rounds with a warm blanket on my lap. I sat back, squinted at the stitches, and decided enough was enough.

I ended doing one more round similar to round 5 and fastened off. Done? Well... not quite... because Miss Lazybones here had not woven in all her ends. I know. It was like finding out you'd gone the wrong way two-thirds into a race. Buggernuts.

All was not all lost, since I did have the wit to crochet in quite a few of my ends as I was working each square, but with this many colour changes over 54 squares, I knew it was going to be a long, slow trudge to the finish line. Persistence. Will. Patience. All those words and more...

I wove in the last end this morning. If you're wondering, here is what it 54 squares of trimmed ends looks like:

I soaked it in some Eucalan this morning and spun it out in the washing machine before pinning it out. It didn't need a heavy blocking, but some of the squares were not blocked when I started joining them together, and the whole thing needed a bit of evening out. Since it is a cotton/acrylic blanket, it is incredibly heavy when it is wet and does take a long time to dry, but fate gave me the hottest day of the summer to solve that problem. Seymour supervised the process for me:

It was really only then that I started to really appreciate how nice all the squares look together:

But it is finished. And I am both pleased and relieved:

I am very happy with the simple, yet textured look of the border and corners:

And while it is scorching hot outside today, but I know it won't be long before I'll be getting plenty of use out of this blanket. I'm noticing the darker mornings and the cooler evenings these days, and the yarnie in me rejoices because I can finally get on with the business of sweaters and hats and other warm things to wear.

The squares are all so different that I decided to make a little video tour of them so that each one could be properly appreciated. Folks, you might as well enjoy it as it's the only travel we're likely to be doing this year:

I'm pleased with the result but I am certain that this will be the last crochet square blanket I do for a very, very long time. Too many ends, too many fiddly finishing bits, too many seams to work... I'm a pretty patient person, but this stuff is just not for me. I know there are plenty of ways to work your squares together as you go, but I am not about to give it a go right now. 

And so, onto the next project. It's gonna be a seamless cardigan. One-piece knitting... ya man. That's the stuff.

Have a great week.

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