Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: September 2009 Page 1 of 2

Blanket Update

The blanket is coming along very very slowly. I seem to rip more than I knit.  How is that possible? I’m still net positive on the blanket. It physically exists.  Math doesn’t work that way.

So what’s the deal?

Because I’m making it up as I go, and I’ve been working at it very sporadically, I can’t seem to remember how I was doing things so that they look consistent from previous work.  I’ve made notes, I seem to interpret my notes differently each time I pick them up.

How is that? Well, I tried half a dozen methods, if not more, for how to attach the working strip to the blanket edge.  I came up with a way that gives me a seam that I can live with.  One that looks similar from the front and back.  Most attachment methods will have a right and a wrong side of the fabric.  That won’t do for me.  I don’t want to think about right and wrong side when I throw a lap blanket over myself.  Even if there’s no one around but the cat and dog to see it.

And because I’ve made this up, and because I don’t work on this blanket regularly, I forget my chosen method.  Then, I’d pick up the project and knit merrily along.  18″-24″ later, I look down, turn the blanket over, and do my Edvard Munch’s The Scream imitation. Rip. Rip. Rip! I’d try another method. Nope. Still not it. Rip.

After the 5th or 10th ripping session, I got smart. I wrote down my instructions.

I still get it wrong.  Huh? Back to being lazy. I wrote shorthand for my attachment method, thinking, I’ll know what I mean by “twist the pair of sts and p2tog.” After all, how many different ways can there be? Apparently a lot.

So, I got anal.


I took step by step pictures. I took notes. I combined them into a series of reference/flash cards. Of course, now that I’ve done this, it’s fresh in my memory and I haven’t needed the cards.  But it hasn’t been a total waste.  The hand, eye, note taking memory is serving me well for now.  I still remember after 24 hours.  But then, I’ve also been actively knitting.  So, the jury is still out on these cards.  We’ll know one way or the other next week.  I need to punch a hole and put it on a ring so I don’t end up doing my version of 52 card pick up.

Now I want to know how far along I am on the project.  I am aiming for a 30″x48″ blanket before I get started on the edging. I have no idea what my percentage of completion is or if I have enough yarn spun up. I didn’t want to fall into the trap that The Harlot fell into. But the project manager in me really wanted to know where exactly I was every step of the way.

So…I created a spreadsheet.


With periodic measurements, I’ll be able to track my path to completion, based on square inches.  A quick trip to the scale will tell me how much yarn I have used. Based on estimated yarn requirements for the finished blanket and how much I have used, I can see if I’ll have enough yarn to finish the project.  Since this is all hand spun, spun over the course of nearly a year, the grist isn’t the same, so this calculation is a way to periodically verify my yarn quantity.

Yeah. I’m a geek and I’m anal.

So, where am I?


The blanket is currently at 12″x18″. According to my spreadsheet, I am about 15% done with the blanket, sans edging.  I have ample yarn spun to finish the blanket.  See?


I really hope I didn’t make a mistake with my formulas…

The big giant ball of yarn in the upper left corner is designated for the edging. It most likely will not be enough. I have another bobbin of mixed colors spun up, but it’s sitting on the bobbin to rest before I wind it up into a ball.  And if I that’s not enough, I still have some fiber that I haven’t spun up yet. (Stop laughing. I meant fiber designated for this project. I know I have a garage full of fiber.)

Wait! How is that? You have a spreadsheet that tells you exactly how much yarn you need. I just saw it!

Ah. That was for the base blanket, sans edging.  I have no idea how much yarn I will need for the edging since I haven’t measured, weighed and calculated how much that will be.  Oh, and more importantly, I haven’t decided what the edging will be yet.  Most likely, it will be an i-cord edging since it is easy and takes less yarn than a crocheted edging.

My biggest problem is that it took me months to get to this point. SOAR is less than 4 weeks away. For 2 of those weeks, I’ll be on vacation. In the topics. I really was not planning on bringing a wool blanket with hundreds of tiny balls of wool with me to the tropics. The idea of the lap blanket on, well, my lap! has absolutely no appeal. Nor does the idea of chasing little balls of yarn down the airplane aisle on an international flight.

But, if I want to have this in the SOAR gallery, I’m going to have to just suck it up and take the whole kit and kaboodle on the trip with me.

Wish me luck.

(Of course, I could just bind off and show it in the gallery without the edging. No one would be the wiser. Right?)

CNCH 2010

Today is the CNCH (Conference of Northern California Handweaver) Liaison Luncheon and Advisory Meeting.  This also means that it’s the official unveiling of the CNCH 2010 conference. The conference brochures will be passed out to the Liaisons to take home to their guilds. But this year, in addition to the paper brochures, we will also be unveiling the new conference website. On this website, you’ll find all the information in the brochure and more. You will find galleries of teacher works and many other things that we just couldn’t fit into the brochure.  Go ahead. Take a look through the website.  We are all very excited.

This is the first year that I’ve been involved in the conference from something other than an attendee.  I have to say, these ladies are amazing. The committee has been busily working away for over a year.  Yes, a year.  This means each conference takes over 18 months to plan and execute. These women worked tirelessly to create an exciting slate of teachers and classes, activities, and events. And with grace and respect for each person’s expertise.

These ladies also had the courage to make some significant changes.  One of these exciting changes is to put the conference materials and registration online.  This is how I became involved. With the help of all the ladies on the committee, Kris Peergand, and Suzanne Pedersen, I pulled together the conference pages on the official CNCH website.

Who’s Kris? She is one of the driving forces behind the rebuild of the CNCH website. Take a cruise through the rest of the site while you are there and see the amazing changes she has made. The website is clean, easy to navigate, and makes use of the available technology to allow all the member guilds to update their own areas.

Suzanne has graciously and openly shared all her experiences with the online registration process with me.  She has been a wonderful resource for all my questions. She guided me through the selection process of the online registration software. We’ll see how well I followed her advice when the registration opens on November 1st!

By the way, did I mention that this committee is an all volunteer organization? Yes, everyone worked on conference (including Kris for her work on the website) without monetary compensation. Why? Because they have a passion for textiles and want to share that passion with all of you. That’s the compensation, the reward: sharing the passion.

I am proud to be part of all of this. Thank you, Nancy and Kathy, for inviting me along for this amazing ride!



Even though I’ve known about this for a while now, and blogged about it, there’s still something magical about seeing your project and name in print.

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