One of my 2013 resolutions was to conquer my aversion to sewing up squares. This is an irrational aversion as I actually enjoy sewing. I recently joined the SIBOL group on Ravelry and noticed a request for people to help with sewing squares into blankets. These blankets go to residents of care homes in the UK. In a mad moment, I volunteered and a few days later a parcel of squares arrived.
The first photo shows the squares in their "before" state.
The squares were all garter stitch and roughly the same size but a mixture of double knit and bulky yarn. The sewing method that worked for me was:
- block them into good square shapes.
- edge each square with a row of double crochet (UK). This was easier said than done. The squares were knitted by different people and had a different number of rows and knitting techniques. I eventually gave up trying to crochet the same number of stitches on every edge and just went with the flow. I used King Cole Comfort variegated yarn that contained all the colours in the squares.
- experiment with layouts bearing in mind that I wanted the bulky yarn squares to be evenly spaced. I then spaced out the bright green squares and then placed the others doing my best not to have too many plain blue squares together.
- choose a joining method. I settled on invisible whip stitch as the easiest method for joining squares that have different numbers of edge stitches.
- choose a joining yarn. The variegated yarn didn't look right so I settled on blue.
- chain stitch along the joins to strengthen them and make them look more pretty. I found a good tutorial for chain stitch here. It teaches an unusual but very easy method.
- add a border. This is where crochet beats knitting hands down. It is much quicker even for novices like me. But I could see I was going to ruin all my hard work by rows of wobbly crochet. I looked online and in books for knitted edgings and eventually made up my own based on a stitch I found in a book. I'm so happy with it that I will blog about it fully later on and maybe even add it to the Ravelry website.
- strengthen the border by adding a row of simple crochet chain stitches anchored to the border at regular intervals. This gave a lovely curvy effect which balanced the straight lines of the blanket.
- add a water lily motif.
- stand back and admire.
Yes, it was a lot of work. But I enjoyed it. Here's the finished blanket.
All SIBOL blankets are named before wending their way to the care home residents. I chose "The Lily Pond" as it looked like that to me after I arranged the squares. Giving them a name brings them to life. I'm posting this one tomorrow. I'm glad it's finished. But I will miss it as well. I've even offered to sew another one and I mulling over other ways to join the squares. SIBOL always needs people to sew squares into blankets. If you think you would like to do this or even to crochet or knit a blanket, take a look at the SIBOL blog.
I'm really pleased with the way my first squares blanket turned out. Ta dah!!