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.
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
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
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.