Blankie Friday – the Wrap-Up

I can’t believe this is it – the final Blankie Friday. The culmination of what seems like forever, but really in the long run has been a simple blink in the eye. The blankie has been a huge part of my life these last 20 months. It has led me to many new friends, most far, far away in the computer, but a few real, in-person friends. It has been a constant companion, growing in my lap. It has been something to photograph and write about, to dream with. And here it is all grown up.

Let’s start with a few fun facts:

The finished dimensions are 53″ X 72.5″, or 134 X 184 cm (diamond point to diamond point.)

The finished weight is 2 lbs, 13 oz or 1.282 kg.

That’s about 5960 yards/5450 meters – or 3.3 miles/5.4 kilometers of yarn.

512 sts per square times 736 squares (counting each of the large squares as four) adds up to 376,832 stitches in the squares alone.

Each square took about 25 minutes to knit, and if you add five minutes to that for picking out the next color and weaving in two ends, half an hour per square adds up to 368 hours of my life just knitting the squares for the blankie. That over 20 months, start to finish, comes out to an average of well over one square per day, which was my original goal for progress on the project.

The Timeline…

Blankie was started at the beginning of July, 2006 – it first appears on the blog here, leading me to believe that I started it right around the first of July, 2006.

Just a few days later, I wrote a post that sparked a flood of gifts, sparked on by the Yarn Harlot’s post here. It is hard for me to believe, in retrospect, that so many people so generously sent me their yarn on faith based on the tiny little start I had going in this picture.

Note the tiny basket of original yarn scraps. That was the sum total of my own scraps that I started with.

Lots of people were interested in knitting a similar blanket right away, and I felt like the least I could do to repay the huge response of yarn-scrap gifts was to write up a little tutorial. I do seem to be unable to write a blog post without embedding my family in it, so it’s a long, rambly tutorial, but it gets the job done. Start Here, Then Read This, Then This, and Finally This.

Before I knew it, I was inundated with packages, and it was like Christmas every day for a while there. I spent hours and hours opening packages, photographing them, and thanking the senders in the blog. That was probably the most fun part of the entire project, except perhaps the last five minutes of applied i-cord knitting.

Before long, I was pretty darn well buried in yarn. The cats loved it…

Some of that yarn went to other blankie knitters, more of it went to charity knitters – my favorite was Jo-Ann in Ontario, who knits bears for various children’s charities.

The blankie (and I) have gotten to meet the Yarn Harlot once in Eau Claire.

And again in St. Paul

And hopefully we will get a third picture with Stephanie when she comes to St. Paul again in April. She has been so gracious in the past, I’m really looking forward to thanking her one more time with a final product in hand.

And before we get to the pictures you’ve really been waiting for, I’ll announce the
Contest Winners…

Part the first was sock yarn identification.

Sock yarn C

was the most contentious, and at least a couple of people guessed that it was Fortissima Socka color Mexico 9072 Sundown. And it’s funny because I actually knit a sweater for Julie when she was little (and which Sophie still wears sometimes) and a pair of socks for myself out of that color, or one in the series.

Sorry, but that ain’t it. Fortunately, ikkinlala came up with what I believe to be the right answer, which is Opal Brasil #5001. She even found it available here, which is great, but I chose to order a skein of it through an e-bay seller because I found the whole “every fifth stitch is for g*d” thing a little creepy, and also her ordering system was kind of confusing.

Sock yarn A

turns out to be Trekking #131, correctly identified by Razor Knit Girl. Thanks for the help, RKG, and I left a comment on your blog asking you to e-mail me. On further reflection, I’m not sure that I’m going to order that one after all. As much as I enjoy looking at those colors playing together on the blanket, they are totally not colors that I would wear. So I will at least hold off on them for a while.

I’m a little disappointed that nobody even guessed on squares B

or D

because those are probably my two favorite and I would totally buy them if I could get my hands on them. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I’ll extend the offer of a set of notecards and a little surprise to the first person to comment with good information on what these yarns are.

The second part of the contest was giving away the remains of the blankie scraps. I did get a few responses on this one, including an offer to buy some of the yarn. Sorry, but there is no way my conscience is going to allow me to *sell* yarn that was gifted to me! But there is enough to pass along at least a little something to everyone who responded with a link to a picture.

Sandra is churchlady on Ravelry, and is blogless, but has a teeny little beginning to a blankie.
Sopranospinner linked to her latest picture on Flickr.
Jesse has pictures of her newly-started blankie up on Ravelry
Knit & Purl Mama showed me her little chunk of blankie
Alice debuted her blankie on her blog just for the contest.

All of you are winners! E-mail me with your mailing addresses and color preferences (I’ll do my best – there is an awful lot of blue, brown, black and white in the mix). I’ll get some packages in the mail soon-ish. Just remember – you’re taking on responsibility for the care and wellbeing of this yarn – don’t neglect it!

Okay, and finally the “show me the blankie!” portion of the contest…there were 116 entries, and the random number generator chose 53, which turns out to be StaceyK, aka moonlightknitter, aka moonlightknitter on Ravelry. Stacey, e-mail me your mailing address and I will get a fabulous package out to you soon!

Thanks to everyone who spewed happy comments on last week’s post – it was so much fun reading them all this week, feeling your excitement along with my own.

Now for the real goods…

The photos speak for themselves, no? Happy Friday, everyone! Blankie Fridays are over for now, although I’m sure Blankie will be showing up again from time to time. I will enter it in the Minnesota State Fair this year, and I will bring it with me when I go see the Yarn Harlot in April. Oh, and I’ll probably have it with me at Yarnover this year as well. If you see me with it, come say hello and give it a squish.

89 Responses to “Blankie Friday – the Wrap-Up”

  1. grammie says:

    I just found your blanket. It is just overwhelming! I’ve made two squares today. I’m on my way to a finished blanket. Thanks so much for the idea and the instructions. I’m not sure how on earth I’ll ever come up with enough sock yarn for the finished product, but I’m going to do it. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  2. Sock Knitter says:

    Congrats! The blanket is awesome!!

  3. Lynne_L says:

    Oh great – another awesome blog to read :P This blanket is wonderful and inspiring. I’m going to knit all my scraps into one and in 30 years maybe I’ll have one too! I was wondering though, did you consider spit-splicing the ends and using that to knit up the stitches for the next square? I’d be inclined to do that, but you may have a great reason for not doing so.

  4. Marsha says:

    I just found out about your blanket yesterday. All I can say is WOW to the 9th. I could hardly wait to get home to start digging. I, unfortunately have a “old lady” eye problem so I can’t do this with sock yarn. So I would like to ask all the other ladies out there to trade their sport yarn with my huge collection of sock yarn. I will trade skein for skein or however we can can this.My e-mail is Hope to be hearing from you soon. Your blanket is breath taking.
    Marsha Luke

  5. tm8o says:

    I believe I am also in the Wowie wow wow category on this beautiful project.

    I just happened across it while browsing about on Ravelry…and needless to say, it is truly inspiring.

    Absolutely Beautiful!!

  6. Jess says:

    Really, really neat! And beautiful! And all things in between. Go you. What an accomplishment.

  7. Kristalia says:

    Amazing! I can only say I’m disappointed I only found this now and not way back when you started. I’m now planning to make my own for it does look like is is so comfy.

    Congrats on getting it finished and the award given it. It’s very pretty and encouraging (makes me want to knit better). I’m a blanket obsessed person but up to now I only have Korean mink blankets, and micro plush (23 blankets but…) I’m always up for adding to my collection.

    Hugs and Kisses
    ~Kristalia Astari

  8. Rhonda ~ Waconia MN. says:

    I saw your blankie at the State Fair!!!!
    It is gorgeous beyond words. I was standing there in admiration with complete strangers because my family had long since lost interest. I can’t believe I just stumbled across your complete story. You are a creative inspiration. I was just thinking I have a few socks started that I have totally lost interest in and I should start something like a mini-lap-sized version of your blankie instead. Well my google search led right to you! One of my favorite sayings is “the purpose of life is to discover your gift, the meaning of life is to give it away.” You have definitely done that. Thank you for taking the time to share your journey!

  9. Bubbychucks says:

    Holy guacamole–now that is something to aspire to! What a creative and fantastic use of yahhn!

  10. Bussin' it. says:

    What an inspiring story… You have officially convinced me to knit my own blankie! :) Kudos to you and all your hard work!

  11. pedalpower says:

    Beautiful…found you through your photo of the blankie on Ravelry. I’m going to look at your tutorial…this would be a great way to use up my scraps I bet.

  12. Hannah says:

    Wow. I am so inspired. Your blanket is amazing! Just stumbled across it through a friends Rav. Wow.

  13. Julie59 says:

    I saw this originally on Yarn Harlot and then a couple of days ago when I started a discussion on Ravelry about what to do with left over sock yarn someone posted a link to your site. I bow down before you! you are clearly a sock yarn goddess.

  14. knitso says:

    i’m a little late to the party, as usual, but found you thanks to Carrie of Gothic Yarns. I have every intention of trying this, but I think I’ll be going for a lap blankie :-) At the moment, I’m sitting with a giant cast on my leg after getting hit by a car and I’d like to commemorate the ‘incident’ with a blanket started now (with so much time on my hands while cuddled under a not so cool lap blanket, lol). What a beautiful and inspiring idea, thank you. I’ll try to blog about it, too –, and am going to spend some time catching up with yours now that I’ve found you ;-)

  15. Birdsong says:

    Arisha just forwarded a link to this post about your blanket odyssey, as she discovered my post, just starting a Fiesta Shawl, designed by Cultured Purl (Betsy Coyne), and using leftover sock yarns. I am making great progress, but now am very glad I am *only* making a shawl!! I love the photos of your girls enjoying their new blanket and bet you have gotten a huge amount of good times from it. What an awesome project!

  16. LaraBoBara says:

    Oh, WOW. That is incredible – both the story behind it and the blankie itself! I loooooove it.

  17. Sandy says:

    This is the first time I seen your blankie and oh so beautiful. I have only been knitting for a couple of years, but you have stirred up the excitment in me to create a blankie of my own. thank you for your inspiration.

  18. Vicki says:

    This is beautiful! I just recently found it off of Ravelry, but I have to say its amazing!
    I started a knitting group not that long ago, and when I saw this, I thought it would be the perfect project to help teach people to knit on & then we as a group could put it together!
    I love it! Thanx for the inspiration

  19. Kimmy B says:

    I can honestly say that I've never seen any piece of knitting so beautiful! Looking at the progress pictures and then the finished thing is amazing! I only ever make things for friends and family but seeing this makes me want to make it just for myself :)

  20. Donna says:

    Shelly, I realize that someone may have answered this question elsewhere, but is square B Trekking 135? That’s my best guess…

  21. Elliott says:

    I had a bucket of sock scraps…every year or two I try to make something fun out of it…Guess what this years project is? I started last night!

  22. [...] Yarn Blankie. It kept popping up in podcasts and here and there in the Ravelry Forums. As cool as Shelly’s Blankie looked, I just didn’t have any desire to turn my scraps into a real, honest-to-goodness [...]

  23. Mary says:

    I’m not positive, but Yarn D looks a lot like Lion Brand’s Magic Stripes Yarn maybe in color 202 or 203.

    But magic stripes has been discontinued.

  24. [...] others of you don’t let them sit around at all because you’re using them up in your Sock Blankies, or you have bought this great pattern of Wendy’s and you’ve turned them into other [...]

  25. Alison says:

    Ooooooooo! Luverly-luverly-luverrrrrly! Thank you for your tutorial, so inspiring! Now, where’s me needles ‘n woollies bag …

  26. Tracy says:

    Square B is Online Supersocke 100 Fun Color 766. Here’s a Ravelry page with projects done in that colorway:

    I recognized it because I have socks made from that yarn, though I haven’t put them on Ravelry.

    Your blanket is fabulous! sigh… Another project I simply must make!

  27. Janet says:

    OMG !! What a beautiful blanket , after I complete my on going projects I am going to try this blanket for ME to keep !! Now I need to start collecting scraps…. Thanks….

  28. Pam Gardner says:

    While wandering around on ravelry I found your blanket. It has to be the most beautiful one I have ever seen. I am overcome with lust fo it and envy that you had the ability and Patience to make it.

  29. Cindy Avione says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful blanket pattern. I was introduced to it by a fellow knitter. When she showed the pattern to me, I must admit I was not interested in it for two reasons. 1st – having to pick up stitches, and 2nd – tying in all those ends. Well, one day I picked up the pattern and made a square, hmmmm cute! Then I made another and another and now I have 90 squares and going strong. I can’t seem to put it down, which is a good thing! As for picking up stitches, EASY, and tying in the ends EASY. I LOVE this project and just wanted to personally thank you for it. My biggest problem is finding scraps of sock yarn. When I finish this one, I was thinking of making one out of DK baby yarns for a baby blanket. My niece is trying to get pregnant and I thought this would be such a neat blanket to make for her.
    Anyone who is sitting back thinking of making this, “What are you waiting for” get going, you’ll love it and never want to put it down!

  30. Mary says:

    WOW WOW WOW! It’s absolutely amazing! Gorgeous! I started a “hidden squares” shawl some time ago and just didn’t like the way my purchased colors were looking, so bland… and I had decided I’d just use all my left overs from socks… and that it would take me forever… so it’s fabulous to see what might happen. Congrats on a beautiful piece of art. ♥

  31. Thelma Schoen says:

    OMG!! You are an amazing knit designer.

    I have never been motivated to knit an afgan; they’re usually too too granny-looking for me, even though I am a grandma,

    I tend to gravitate towards the avant-guard, modernistic designs. But, this one I can and will make. It’s a winner, and I’ve tons of left over sock yarn, because I’m always knitting socks. I love the process, outcome and gifting them.

    Thank you, thank you so much for the pattern and tutorial.

  32. Joye Newman says:

    A friend told me about this blanket and I have been addicted to it ever since. Here are the dangerous things about it:

    1. It is addictive.

    2. It’s designed to use scraps, but I find myself going into yarn stores to buy more sock yarn to add to it.

    3. I have forsaken all other projects in order to play with this.

    Thanks for making me a blanket junkie!

    I am using this pattern to make baby blankets. That way I can have the satisfaction of making and completing more!!!

  33. anguinea says:

    i saw on rav that you were working on a version for yourself and had to see the original. it’s a work of art!

  34. [...] Friday, wie bei Shelly Kang gesehen. Auch wenn es schon Samstag war, als ich wirklich angefangen habe: Dies ist der Anfang [...]

  35. dutch margreet says:

    Did you ever start a second blankie? I thought you knitted the first one for Julie, any chance Sophie gets a (different) one too or do they share this heirloom. Mine is half finished now. I love your blog, a pity other things in your life are taking so much timeaway from the blog. Happy the girls overcame their allergies.

  36. Ann says:

    I haven’t been knitting very long and lately I’ve been doing socks. I came across your blanket and I am so excited to get started on my own. Too bad that, as a completely broke college student, it will be years before I can finish even a small one. At least I can get started though. Wish I knew more people who had yarn leftovers!

  37. Charlotte says:

    I wanted to show you my blankie. I made it using Red Heart worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles. It’s a car blanket, big enough to throw over me when my husband is driving and it’s my turn to sleep, but not so big that I get tangled up in it. I am working on another that will go corner to corner so it will have straight sides.

  38. Patty says:

    Even years later your blanket is inspirational. Started mine yesterday. Love picking out the yarn and remembering who got socks. Any hints on how to be in yarn swaps to get more variety?

  39. Mary Fiori says:

    Absolutely love your Blankie. I’m sure your little ones will each want one!!! I know it will take me years to make one, but I would love to make one for my married daughter. I still remember the blankie she carried around for years and years. Congrats on a lovely project and thanks for sharing with all of us.

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