My mother has this funny habit of knitting afghans for her nieces and nephews when they get married. She’s delivered one so far (Paul & Jen), and is this.close to finishing another (Kelly & Nick) for the newlyweds who got married in July. The next wedding (Eric & Sheila) is in January and this time she enlisted help.
The plan was for each knitter in the family to knit a couple of squares that would be joined together and presented to the bride and groom. We have a big family, and the knitters are: Mom, Me, my sister Holly, Aunt Jean, Aunt Jane, Aunt Jeanne, Joanna, Jen (recipient of the first afghan my mother knit), Andrea (sister to the groom), Aunt Char, Liz, and my friend Lisa (not related, just willing to help).
We started with some yarn. I chose the colors based on the knowledge that the couple has a “teal” couch. I love the colors.
We followed the directions for the Warm Up America Afghan in Knitting for Peace exactly. My Mom fell in love with that book when she saw it and really wanted to use the pattern for the blanket.
We sent one ball of yarn to each knitter with very clear instructions to knit three squares. Each square was to be 7″ x 9″ (I know, not technically a square) so I sent a template to make sure that my 7×9 was the same as their 7×9.
The squares started coming during the summer. Amazingly, they were all just about exactly 7×9. Only one of the 35 or so squares that I received had to be reknit because it was just so totally the wrong size. I won’t name names!
I think altogether I probably knit around 15 of the 49 squares. On November 11th I started sewing them up. I began by laying them out, just as I would a quilt before piecing. I knew all along that I didn’t want to fuss too much over the layout. I only wanted it to be pleasing to the eye.
When a couple of the knitters happened to be at my house in November (a rarity because they were in town from places as far as Buffalo and Alaska) I randomly laid them out on the floor.
One of the knitters inspecting the work.
I snapped a photo and although I didn’t know it at the time, it became the official layout guide that I used to sew them up.
The sewing-up began with blocks of four squares each. Then I sewed those blocks into long strips. Then I joined the strips lengthwise. I’m close to finishing.
In the next picture, I’ve highlighted the areas that still need sewing. The thicker line marks the border, which I will probably knit in garter stitch if I can get my hands on a long enough needle.
One thing I have learned is that I absolutely love mattress stitch. I can’t explain it, but I know I love it. Thank goodness, right? Because, y’all, that’s a lot of mattress stitch.
When all the squares were just sitting in a pile I wasn’t sure how this blanket would come together, but with each seam finished it keeps looking awesomer and awesomer. Although I feel certain that the newlyweds will love and appreciate this project I have a feeling that I might have trouble handing this over to the postman.
And another thing? I have a lot of cousins and most of them aren’t married yet. I see my future and it is filled with afghans!