Imagine this ...

19 March 2009
snuggling in, soft and warm, on a cold winter's evening, wrapped in a Shaker-style blanket made by my own hands. I am trying to stay focused on that wonderful thought but now, so early in the project, when I have only seven squares completed, it seems a far off dream. Starting something new, even though you want it very much, seems like too much sometimes.

But I press on.

I am enjoying the knitting, it's just I don't have a lot of time for it at the moment. I love that it's small and movable, I love that I can finished a square in a fairly short amount of time, and I love starting and finishing each square. Seeing each square completed and selecting the yarn for the next square gives me the motivation to keep knitting. How is everyone else going on this blanket?

Click on photo to enlarge. The pattern featured is a reverse stocking stitch and star square.

The square I like the most so far is the mustard one with blue crosses. It is just alternating blocks of plain and purl - I think I did four rows of plain, then four rows of purl. It gives a nice textured look without having to remember what stitch I'm up to. I also like the stripe, so I'll do another of those. But the squares that are the easiest are those in plain stocking stitch. I also like them because I can embroider whatever I like onto them to add interest and I can do them without looking while I talk to someone. I'm guessing there will be quite a few of those.

If you're knitting along, here are some patterns you might like to try:

Rows 1 - 4: four plain followed by four purl, repeat to end.
Rows 5 - 8: four purl followed by four plain, repeat to end.
Repeat these two instructions until you reach the right length.

And Rose sent an email with more patterns. You might like to try some of these:

Row 1: Knit into the back of the stitches.
Row 2: Purl into the back of the stitches.

Row 1: K2 P2
Row 2: Purl

Row 1: K1 P1
Row 2: K1 P1
Row 3: P1 K1
Row 4: P1 K1

Find the 5 stitches in the centre of your square. Work a normal stocking stitch square but, in the middle:
Right side: P1, K1, P1, K1, P1
Wrong side: Purl
Continue throughout square.

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: K2, purl to the last 2 stitches, K2
Repeat Rows 3 & 4 until the last 2 rows.
Knit 2 rows.

Row 1: Purl
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: P2, knit to last 2 stitches, P2
Row 4: Purl
Repeat Rows 3 & 4 until the last 2 rows.
Purl 2 rows.

Many thanks for those Rose. It's a big help.

I would like to have a photo sharing site where we could all load our photos to show our progress. I know this would be a big motivation for me and I think it would help many of our other knitters too. However, I have no clue about where or how. How does Flickr work or is there another site, can anyone help me? It needs to be something I can have a link to on my blog but where everyone who is knitting along can freely load their own photos.

And finally, the photo above is of Koda, watching the chooks. Koda is my step son's dog and we're looking after her while he and Cathy are away for the week. So with Koda and Alice, Princess - Shane and Sarndra's cat and Hettie, our cat, with all the chooks, including Shane and Sarndra's chooks, the old homestead is turning into quite the animal refuge. It's nice having them here though, although Hanno reckons we should put up a sign now saying: FULL HOUSE.


  1. I am on my 5th square and mostly knit at night in front of the tele. Although there is the odd meeting at work that is enhanced by my knitting... :-) Enhanced for me that is, I hate meetings.
    So far I am just doing knit rows only but may mix it up a bit later. My prodominent colours are grey, white and mixed blue/grey with flecks of bright coulor. Working my way thru the wool pile. I have a beigey colour to crochet it all together later but anticipate more bright colurs as well.

  2. The blanket looks fabulous. I tried crocheting the other night but it just isn't cool enough for me yet. Goodluck with your project - I'm sure that the more you do the more enthusiastic you will become.

  3. I think your blanket will be beautiful when it's finished! I am teaching myself to knit via Youtube and advice of other people. I won't have much time until next fall now as our busy garden/yard season is upon us! I love the photo of the dog -- so sweet!


  4. Awww, What a wonderful pic of Koda!

  5. It's going to be practical and cosy, but gorgeous as well! Lovely, and so talented... I must learn some other needlecrafts. To be able to produce clothing and blankets and other needed things, without a machine, would be great.

    Can't wait to see the finished product... can't help you with Flickr or Photobucket too much, but surely they have a set up for a group account (one password) and you could put a Slideshow onto you blog from it??? Hope someone can help..

  6. I love Airedales and had one many years ago. Lately I have been thinking of getting another one. Do you know any breeders in Qld?? Where did your dogs come from. The only breeders I can find are in Vic. & although they can fly pups up here I prefer to be able to pick my own I think the right one tells you!! I am in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland like you. Thank you for your time Rhonda as I know you are very busy and this is an out of the ordinary ????

  7. I'm trying to follow along but I've only done one square and am beginning my second. I'll have to hurry to catch up!

  8. Good morning everyone!

    Dixie, I think I'll check out Flickr and see what type of accounts they have available. Thanks for the nudge.

    Caroline, we bought Rosie and Alice from the Barclays in Victoria, but here is the link to the Qld Airedales site:
    Good luck.

  9. Why don't you put it on ravelry, where you can link by pattern to whoever is doing this project. Ravelry is a community of knitters/crocheters from around the world who share patterns and yarn and friendship. My username is Lusks too on that site if you wish to 'friend' me.

  10. Rhonda, you can just join Flickr , they have a free account available and then start a group. People have to join the group to be able to post their pictures and you can make it that you have to approve their membership if you want to. After that they can just post their pictures and you, as the moderator don't have to do anything else except check occasionally to make sure that only appropriate photos are being added.

  11. Rhonda,
    Wow! 7 squares, you're flying along! I've completed 4 and am very happy with this. Thought if I do 1 or 2 a week I'll be happy.........remember little steps. I've got my sister doing it with me and that's encouraging!
    Sorry, I'm a newby to posting, so have no hope of sending photos, but keep going! I print your patterns and do them as I go along.
    Thanks heaps!!!!!

  12. Good morning Rhonda, so glad those were useful. I see that Lusks and Jenny have advised re Flickr and Ravelry. Flickr may be a tad more direct for others to join.

    The lemon cordial recipe is excellent! Thank you so much. We've never drunk much soft drink but this week, I have not had 3pm sleepiness and put it down to that tiny drop of cordial in water rather than flavoured mineral water.

    Hope it's a good Thursday for you. Rose

  13. Full house!!! No wonder it is hard to find time to knit.

  14. You could send Koda our way!
    I miss our Abner so. Aren't Airedales the best (and craziest) dogs ever?

  15. Hi Rhonda,
    Your blanket looks wonderful. I've only finished 4 squares but that's better than I thought I would do so I'm happy.

    A simple pattern that looks good and adds some texture is Roman Stitch. You need an even number of stitches.

    R1: knit
    R2: purl
    R3: knit
    R4: purl
    R5: *k1,p1 repeat from *to end
    R6: *p1,k1 repeat from *to end

    Repeat R1-R6

  16. its beautiful..i love squares..i crochet them..

  17. Hi Rhonda Am up to only my 3rd square, time is an issue. But will keep at it. I am going with a fuschia pink and purple theme and its looking quite good.
    Thanks for the knitting patterns.

  18. I am embarrassed to say I am starting my first square tonight. I had to finish and bind off a dishcloth I started for my daughter for Val. Day and it is now an Easter gift. See why I chose my screen name! Oh well, if at first you don't succeed...

    We live on a farm in midwestern US and we have been calving. That always brings a lot of excitement and activity. We had a cow last weekend that had large teats and her calf was unable to nurse. We have been hand-milking her twice a day. Her baby is now starting to nurse, but still can't keep her emptied out. Oh, my aching hands and arms!

    We are also expanding our garden this year and it is time to put in our early season vegetables.

    I also work at school 3 days/week, This was a very long way of saying things have been hectic, but I am going to work on my squares when possible and maybe one day... :)

    Thanks for your inspiration,

  19. Knitting is Greek to me. I've seen some pretty knitting and admire.

    Coffee is on.

  20. Hi.. I haven't been here for a while and now I am reminded how Awesome your blog is!

    I'm excited for the knitting.
    I've never knitted anything beyond numerous scarves, but knitting squares can't be too hard?

    Best wishes & thank you for all that you share Ribbon

  21. Hi Rhonda,
    I have only completed 5 squares so far as I was ill last week. Much better now so I hope to catch up a bit. I am using pastel colours and think I will have enough to keep to this theme.
    Cheers, Eileen in England.

  22. They blocked us from looking at blogs at work...very sad face. Your site picks me up....

    At least I get to see you when I am home

  23. Thanks for the update - I stopped working on my blanket while knitting up some wool diaper covers but I think your post has encouraged me to get back on it, thank you for that!

    I too will add my voice and recommend Flickr as the best way to do that.

  24. Greetings from Kansas, Rhonda Jean!

    I stopped in after visiting Domestic Felicity. How very talented you are.

    I've never been to your home country, but my dad had some major fun there at the end of WWII. He was a member of the US Navy...need I say more?!



  25. I finished mine today. I made a crocheted floor rug instead as I am just beginning to learn how to knit and figured it would probably take me 2 years to finish it! I made plain squares with a black border and I am thinking of embroidering things on them to liven it up a bit. I gave it to my Father-in-law who is now living with us full-time due to a heartattack in November 08 and he put it at the foot of his lift-chair. He loves it so much, I don't know if I could get it away from him long enough to embroider anything though! As soon as you figure out where they are to be posted Rhonda, I will post my picture.

    Thanks for the project. I have never seen my Father-in-law so happy with a gift.

  26. How funny, I have been working on this same type of thing, a knitted pieced together quilt!
    I am having a great time with it. =)

  27. What a very nice blanket!

  28. With Flickr, people load the pictures to their own account, but can then 'assign' them to a group set up by someone else as well. I know it's easy to join a group & link your pictures to it, but I've never done it from the other end & created the group to begin with. Most of flickr is easy though, so it should be simple.

    I posted about my squares to date on this post -

    I've done 2 more squares since then, but haven't had the time to scan them & add on the new ones.

    I borrowed a few books from the library which have given me a heap of ideas for new squares. I will keep adding patterns to my blog as I finish new ones

  29. Your squares look lovely. I think I like the striped one the best. I've knitted 17 squares for the blanket I'm finishing over the past two weeks - but they're much simpler squares than yours. I find I get most of my knitting done on the bus to and from work each day, which is a bonus as it uses "wasted" time.

    Best wishes,

  30. I knitted myself a patchwork blanket last summer and have so enjoyed snuggling up under it this past winter, remembering when I was knitting it in the light summer evenings and dreaming of warm summer days again.

  31. Thanks so much for posting this square knit blanket. I am going to start one right away. I used to knit my grown children sweaters and hats, but haven't picked up a knitting needle in about 35 years! I saw some yarn at my local thrift store this week and will pick it up, get some needles and begin a blanket. My passion these days is hand quilting, which I love to do, but knitting the squares is another take along project I can do as well.

  32. I forgot to do you sew the squares together and how to you edge the blanket. My skills are so rusty, I need help remembering. Thanks so much!

  33. Thanks for passing on those knitting patterns Rhonda. So far I have been using the ones you have suggested. My squares are all plain, maybe I'll have to do some stitching on them with contrasting colors..I like what you did!

  34. I'm just finishing up my first square. I've been trying to teach myself to knit for quite a while, but had all but given up, when someone suggested the continental method. I learned watching an online video, and I was amazed at how much easier it is!
    Thanks so much for the encouragement and the patterns :) . I hope to have a bit more time this weekend to get at least a square or two done. Spring has sprung in my part of the world, however, so much time is spent outdoors in the garden.

  35. Your little squares look lovely Rhonda - I have done a similar number to you & have been trying out the different patterns & enjoying that! I agree though about plain being the easiest to do whilst watching tv or chatting etc. Am off to UK soon to visit my elderly mother & hope to do lots of squares there. Pity we can't take knitting needles on the plane any more, could have whiled away a few hours up in the sky. I do like the embroidery & embellishments on you squares - it has inspired me. Must try those new patterns too - thanks for posting,

  36. Rhonda, I have a knitted rug pattern that uses squares and would love to post a copy to you (bit long to type out). Could you email me your postal address?
    jamie at ipstarmail dot com dot au
    Bec xxx

  37. I love the picture of Koda. Good thing he doesn't realize that he could be OVER that little fence in a heartbeat! *grin*

  38. Hi!

    I'm on my eighth square on the knitalong. So far I have done: garter stitch, stockinette stitch, seed stitch, mock rib, point de blé (wheat stitch? - don't know if it translates direct from the French), point de riz contrarié, point mousse roulé (like a horizontal rib effect) and I'm now doing 'alvéoles' which are basically 4 by 4 squares. Have been distracted from my blanket today though due to acquisition of sock yarn and burning desire to knit my first pair of socks!

  39. I'm not doing your knit a long but I am knitting a blanket for Sophie's 3rd birthday... I had told myself if I knitted 3 squares a day from the day I started it it would be finished by her birthday but due to time, motivation, attention span, babes, I can only manage 1-2... I hope to add to it after her birthday in April.

  40. I have finished crocheting all my squares, now I just need to start sewing them together. I used different colors of yarn, my daughter picked them out, and then one color for the outer row on all the squares. I'll use that yarn to sew them all together. I haven't had time to pick up my crochet hook all week and it's about to drive me nuts! I'm itching to get back to it.
    What a cute picture of Koda! I don't know much about airdales, we have a mixed breed shepherd/collie/coyote who is very laid back and relaxed, and my daughter has a beagle. Beagles are crazy, but lots of fun.

  41. Oh, I'm excited to have found your blog! I've just learned to knit a few months ago and am going to try this blanket pattern.... squares won't be too difficult!

  42. I found your blog when looking for homemade laundry soap recipes. I really appreciate all of your ideas. I am a 29 year old mother of two small children, with my husband, we live in Utah, USA. I try to do many of the things you encourage, sew, knit, bake from scratch, garden, ect. and it's really great to find a site that helps me feel like it's all worth it! Thanks, jamie

  43. It's shaping well Rhonda. Here's a link to the one I made for my daughter - go to 14 January 2009

  44. Your picture of Koda made me smile. We had two airedales...hard headed dogs but so much enthusiasm for life! I miss them!

    What is a "chook"....a chicken?

    ~Debbie (from Pennsylvania/USA)

  45. What a lovely way to use up scraps of yarn!

  46. My blanket is going well, although I'm not counting up the squares until I've got a good pile otherwise I'll get discouraged! I've been taking my crochet on the bus to work, and both today and yesterday I managed to get a couple of squares done. I think mine are probably smaller than yours though, as they are only about 6" across. However, it does make them very portable!

  47. Oh I'm so inspired! It's lovely! Are you using any certain type/weight of yarn? Thank you!



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