Rowan Mystery KAL – Afghan Pure Wool Worsted Blanket!

Despite recent overtures towards Spring in England, it is hailing sideways as I type! This means I am still feeling the chill enough to be extra excited about an upcoming knit along from Rowan. Using their new Pure Wool Worsted, Martin Storey has designed a mystery Afghan blanket project. If you haven’t seen Pure Wool Worsted yet, it’s a gorgeous superwash from Rowan which does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s 100% wool in a versatile Worsted weight. And the best part is that it’s available in FIFTY shades! Check out the expansive shade range, there’s bound to be something to suit your taste.

Pure Wool Worsted

So, the Knitalong! Rowan will be releasing the full shopping list on 14th April but here’s a little sneak preview of what you will need. The blanket will be knitted in squares with a trim around the edge. The trim requires 2 balls of yarn and the squares require 16 balls in total (3 squares per ball). Rowan will be suggesting some colourways in the shopping list, but you could get thinking for some inspiration now. How about…

  • 17 shades – 1 shade for the trim and 16 different shades for the squares
  • Duotone – 1 shade for the trim and 1 for the squares
  • Alternating squares with contrast trim – 1 shade for the trim and 2 alternating shades for the squares
  • Variations on a theme – With so many shades to choose from, you could choose a range of shades in the one colour. There are certainly enough to support a 4 shade blanket in blue, or green, or purple, or brown/earth tones.

The most important date for your diary is 21st April as that’s when the first square pattern will be released. The next patterns will follow each week following, for 8 weeks in total. The next two weeks will release the trim pattern and then instructions for making up.

Having worked with this yarn before, I can see that it will make a really snuggly Afghan blanket and, with all those shades to choose from, I’m sure this KAL will produce some stunning visual results too.

Keep an eye on Rowan’s Facebook Page for teaser details and a shopping list in the coming weeks, and stay tuned to my blog for updates and photos as I knit along!

KAL Poster

WIP – Odds & Ends Blanket

It’s going to be a while before this project is completed and appears in my Projects showcase, so I wanted a chance to show it off a bit now. It began when I was  browsing the clearance sale in John Lewis a few years ago. In the sale bins, I found a copy of RYC Classic Weekend, book eight in the RYC Classic series. I’ve been trying to find an official link to the book to show you its contents, but it appears to be out of print now as far as I can tell and I’ve had no luck finding a good, definitive page to use. Luckily I do have some of the images from the book that I can use here!

One of the patterns was Bonnie by Martin Storey, a lovely geometric blanket with squares containing alternating, decreasing square stripes. Having been knitting for a little while at this point, I’d started getting a build-up of project leftovers – small amounts of yarn left over after a project that I couldn’t bear to throw away in case they could be useful, but that I’d so far found no good use for. This blanket seemed like the perfect answer, I could use the odds and ends of yarn I had left from projects to make squares and, over time, I’d build up enough for a good size blanket.

The pattern uses RYC Cashsoft Aran which I’m sure would make an amazingly snug blanket. Mine is a complete mish-mash of mostly DK weight yarns as that’s what I’ve worked with most often over the years and had appropriate leftovers from. The pattern suggests a blanket of 108 squares, although I might make mine bigger if I eventually have enough squares for it!

Here is what a square looks like when it is just finished and before any sewing has been done.
The outer stripe is the cast on edge and you do k3tog at the corners to cause the extreme decreases that pull the knitting in on itself. The seam is then sewn up, which is a diagonal from one outer corner to the centre, and this completes the transformation from flat knitted piece into a square. That then leaves 8 ends from the stripes to sew in.

This is a snap of my blanket square stash at the moment. As you can see, the colour selection is utterly random as it’s from yarns I’ve used in projects for myself, projects for other people, and random balls I’ve taken when friends have had stash clearouts – but I think that’s part of the charm!
blanket squares At the moment I have 39 squares. 7 of those are totally complete, in that they have had their seam sewn up and all their ends sewn in. Of the remaining 32 squares, 29 have had their seam sewn up but none of their stripe ends sewn in, and the final 3 need their seams sewing up as well as their ends sewing in. There is a huge amount of sewing in the future of this project!

I suspect it may take a few more years before this is an operational blanket, even a small one. The good thing is that I will be able to add more squares to it at any time in future as there won’t be any kind of border around the outside, so it can start as a lap blanket and maybe grow into a double-bed size throw one day.

One of the other nifty things about this project is that RYC Classic Weekend book also contained scarf and tote bag versions, pretty neat!

Do you have any projects that are, intentionally or otherwise, taking years to finish? I’d love for you to share your loooooong project stories too!

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