Mitered Cross Blanket

It's finally finished and has been delivered to his dorm room.  Meet my Mitered Cross Blanket.  It is probably the biggest thing I have ever knit by size.  Maybe something I've done has had more stitches, but I'm positive nothing has measured this large.

We moved our son to college a couple of weekends ago, and I packed this blanket in a care package with snacks and supplies, along with a letter, explaining about the blanket.

The details

Yarn:  I used all Knitpicks yarn -- Chroma and Wool of the Andes (WotA)  .G is a freshman at West Virginia Wesleyan College. The school colors are orange and black; that dictated the colors of the blanket.
  • Chroma in Smoothie.  I used more less than one skein to make 3 squares
  • WotA in Coal.  I used 3 skeins to make 4 squares and to do the edging iCord
  • WotA in Orange.  I used two skeins to make four squares and had almost none left.
  • WotA in Cobblestone Heather.  I used two skeins to make four squares. 
  • WotA in Dove Heather.  I think I used 19 skeins as the background color for 15 squares and 6 half squares.
Needles: US Size 6 Knitpicks options needles.  I used both the nickel plated and harmony interchangable needles, depending on my mood.  For the icord, I used nickle plated dpn.

Pattern:  Mitered Cross blanket for Japan by Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting.  Here's the Ravelry link, and here is a link to April in Mason-Dixon Knitting.  If you scroll down, you'll see Kay's blanket and a link to buy the pattern -- proceeds go to Japanese Earthquake relief.  I love that buying the pattern benefits others, and I hope when I told that to my son, it said something to him about serving others and its importance.  My son is over six feet tall, so I added two rows of squares to the blanket for a total of 15 squares in six rows.  I did the icord in a contrasting color (coal).  I liked the look it gave the blanket -- it just seemed right for G.  I added a yarn over to the icord repeats -- knit-knit-yarn over-knit through back loop, and then I passed the yarn over over the final knit two together through back loop. Somehow the yarn over covered the stripe.   By the way, go buy the pattern -- even if you don't plan to make the blanket.  It's a good thing to do.

I stitched a cross (Faith), an anchor (hope) and a heart (love) in the corner.  

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.  (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Size:  I thought I was making a 6 foot by 3 foot blanket.  It turned out to be 8 feet by 3 feet, 3 inches.  I have no idea how it ended up so long, but he'll have lots of room to snuggle in this behemoth.

Final thoughts -- This is a great pattern that is interesting enough to knit for a long time (3 months) but simple enough to not be frustrating.  I enjoyed the knitting.  It was a great project to carry me through the transition of my son's high school graduation and his summer before college.  I was able to knit my love into something warm to leave with him at school -- something that left an important message about caring for others.  Something that told him how much he is loved.

He texted his dad a picture of his newly lofted bed today.  Check out what's up there -- the blanket.  Cool.

Tools for knitting

What's in your knitting tool bag?  I carry a small tool bag in my knitting bag -- I've tried to make sure it has any kind of tool I might need as I knit.  I emptied it out and tool a picture of it so that you can see it.
  • Three dpn -- bamboo.  I'm not sure what size, but I keep them in there to pick up stitches or serve as a cable needle.
  • Two crochet hooks -- bamboo.  They are part of a set of hooks I have.  They are in the bag because I labor under the illusion that I can use them to pick up stitches when I drop them, or when I let them drop to fix mistakes.  In reality, I don't find them very helpful, very often. 
  • Blue ink pen -- I read somewhere to keep one in my tool bag, so I do, but it doesn't get much use.  It's a Zebra brand pen, though -- I love Zebra pens.
  • Tape measure -- it's from Lantern Moon, and looks like a lady bug.  I had one that looked like a sheep, but our dog ate it (or a large piece of it).
  • Metal box filled with ephemera.  I decorated it with a sheep on the lid, which has since worn off.  I keep thinking I'll repaint it, but I've never gotten around to it. 
  • Four small plastic boxes of plastic red and blue stitch markers.  I use them sometimes, and I like having them in lots of different sizes.  They are so inexpensive, that if I lose one, I don't care.  My husband might care, because he is always finding them.
  • End caps for the Options cables when I remove the needles
  • Safety pins
  • Those things you put on the ends of needles so the stitches don't fall off -- what are those called?  These are green and small, for sock needles.
  • Green plastic box with Knitpicks cable connectors and several of the small tools used to tighten the needles to the cables for their Options line.  Love those needles!
  • Blue box with handmade decorative stitch markers -- more about those later.  The two plastic boxes, which I really like, came from the Container Store.
  • Chibi storage tube with needles for weaving in ends.  I'm not sure why the point is bent; I guess it helps with the end weaving.
  • My favorite tool -- a pair of Gingher scissors.  Back when I cross stitched instead of knit, I found these at a Cross Stitch store.  They were expensive, but I thought they were beautiful (I still do).  I didn't buy them, but just mentioned them to Steve.  After that, for some gift event, he gave them to me.  How's that for a wonderful guy?  The scissors are probably older than my kids -- maybe not quite, but close.  They are black, with very pointy tips.  To this day, I only cut thread with them -- nothing else.  Amazingly, they are still sharp, and I still know where they are!
I found the bag itself at the Counting House, a Cross Stitch store at Pawley's Island in South Carolina. It's the cradle of Cross Stitch in the United States, but has since closed. Great store; sad to see it leave. I bought the fish-bead charm that is the zipper pull on the bag at the gift store in the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery in Juneau, Alaska. Odd place to find it, but I liked it.

So, how about stitch markers. Do you make them? I do. I used to make the one with the danglely charms. I used them, but now I like the ones at the top of the picture.  They don't dangle, and just seem to behave themselves better.  All I do to make them is to split a jump ring, place a small bead at the join, return the ring to its proper position, using a little gorilla glue to hold the bead in place over the join.  They work great, and the bead prevents the join in the ring from catching on the yarn.

Project Spectrum and Knitting

I have been knitting.  I've just been knitting on the same thing each time I knit, and I haven't taken the time to take images of it in progress.

The Mitered Cross blanket is finished and is currently blocking.  I'll post a complete set of information for it this week, once I take its picture.

I'm also behind with my Project Spectrum posts.  The blanket doesn't fit with June's, July's or August's colors.  Instead, here's a green picture, taken the other day.  When I get some time, I'll try to put together a collage of cruise pictures -- lots of blues.

Speaking of blue, I've changed the blog template.  What do you think?  I downloaded the template from -- I've never done that before.  I've always just used internal blogs from Blogger.  This morning, though, I looked at my knitting blog, and just didn't like it!  I looked at replacements for the template among the ones offered by blogger, and nothing said "Choose me."  Instead, I googled free Blogger templates, and found some recommendations for safe sites to use to download a new template.  The ones on are rated by users, which was reassuring.  I followed the instructions on the website, and it worked perfectly.  I did have to go in and work a little with my gadgets, but it was time those were refreshed, anyway. 

Back soon with knitting.