I always like doing those simple tasks that connect me with my history - washing up, sweeping, raising chickens, gardening and stitching are all things my great, great grandmas would have done. And they would probably have reflected that the same things they were doing had been done by their many times great grandmothers as well. Many of the things we do in our lives now are far removed from the past, but I rest assured that when I plunge my hands into warm soapy water to wash the dishes, when I pick up my broom and when I stitch, I am doing exactly what's been done by women and men throughout our long history. That makes me feel good.
Knitting is also one of those history-friendly tasks, and it was done by women and men, all through the years, in fact knitting was originally men's work. Men are still knitting now but in far fewer numbers than women. I was hoping one of the men who read here would take up the needles for this knit-along. Maybe one will stand up and represent his gender today. :- )
But even if it is us girls clicking our needles all over the world, it will be a lovely way of showing how knitting not only connects us to our past, but also to each other. There are 27 knitters taking part, with a couple of maybes and a couple of crocheters. I'll make a special section for this on my blog and as we go through the coming months, we can add to our projects with photos, showing our progress. There is no deadline - just knit to your own pace, according to what is happening in your life each week. I expect some weeks I'll get a fair bit done, other weeks I might only manage one square.
This throw/rug/afghan/blanket/blankie pattern will be as simple as you want to make it. You choose the stitches you're familiar with or follow what I'm doing. The stitches I choose will be easy - just a combination of plain and purl - but they'll produce textured squares. I found this list of knitting abbreviations that has many videos of the stitch they're describing, attached. If you're a beginner, look at "K" for the plain (knit) stitch and "P" for the purl. Both have videos attached that show the stitch.
I started off doing one garter stitch square, which is just cast on, plain knit stitch, cast/bind off, and one in stocking/stockinette stitch. That is cast on, one row of plain, followed by one row of purl until the desired square size was reached, then cast/bind off. My squares are using 28 stitches. If you're going smaller or larger, go up or down four stitches, because the textured patterns I'm using work in sets of four. Using 28 stitches gives me 7 sets of 4 stitches. I'm using 8 ply yarn on no.7 needles. You will also need a straight ruler.
Let me say right here that I'm not an expert knitter. There are many very good knitters here though so if you get stuck, make a comment and I, or one of our knitting buddies, will help you.
A couple of the ladies commented that joining the squares together is a bit of a task, so I'm going to join strips together as I go, and then join the strips at the end. Does anyone have a suggestion for how to join the squares? I would like to hand stitch with yarn but I'm not sure how practical that is.
This is the textured stitch I'll be doing today:
MOCK DOUBLE RIB - It looks like rib but doesn't stretch like normal rib.
Abbreviations: p = purl, k = knit (plain)
Cast on 28 stitches
1st row: k to the end
2nd row: p1, k2, p2 and repeat until you get to the last 3 stitches - then do k2, p1.
Keep repeating rows 1 and 2 until you have what looks like a square. Then measure your knitting - whatever the width is, you will need to keep knitting until you reach the same measurement in length.
When you've reached that length and you have a square, cast/bind off.
Everyone will have different tension in their knitting, so our knitting will either be tighter or looser. Your 28 stitches might be 6 inches, mine might be 5.5 inches, someone else's might be 4.5 inches. That is all good - the measurement we are aiming for is a 28 stitch square and whatever size your knitting tension gives you is fine, as long as all your squares turn out the same size.
It's always wonderful starting out on a new knitting project but this one has that added bonus of knitting alongside friends, all doing the same project. I really like that! Thank you for joining me - now let's begin and make up some fine looking blankets.