[Repost of material originally appearing on 28 July 2006]
On the North Truro Counterpane, it really is an ideal summer beach project. The pieces are small and quick to finish. I’ve memorized the triangle and square units (I still have to refer to the pattern for the big hex). The soft cotton handles nicely in hot weather. I can sit and knit a pile of pieces during the day, then sew them onto the growing blanket in the evening. Or now that I’m home, I can knit pieces one by one and sew them on as I finish them. Note that I’m not bothering to block these. I suppose I should, but given the sheer number of units, doing so would be unwieldy. In this case laziness wins. As far as my rate of production now that I’m home and back to knitting only an hour or two in the evenings, I’d say that I can complete about one meta-motif in a week. Not a fabulous rate of progress to be sure…
I’m considering posting the graphs for the units here if enough people are interested. It won’t be a finished pattern, as I will not be doing the calculations for yarn consumption needed for various size blankets, nor will I make a yarn recommendation (the stuff I used is an anonymous coned Webs special, roughly between DK and Sport in weight). So having said that – here’s my progress.
Between beach work and finishing up at home (in and around the Baby Surprise and other projects) I managed to complete two more meta-motifs, and start a third. I’ve got eleven now. The blanket is sitting on a 6×8 foot rug, so it’s just about 5.5 feet across its widest dimension. I am still aiming for something to put on my queen size bed (about 7.5 feet x 8 feet) so I’d say I’m a little over a third of the way there.
The biggest drawback of a project like this? No. It’s not that it takes a geological age to finish – even more if you only work on it seasonally like I do. It’s the *)#$-load of ends to darn in after sewing all those pieces together.
With each meta-motif using 13 units (1 hex, 6 triangles, 6 squares), plus one plain triangle between units, so far I’ve got 28 ends x 11 meta-motifs (more or less). That’s 308 so far even though I’ve been leaving tails long so I can use them to sew the motifs together and avoid introducing even more to end off. I’ve not been fastidious about ending them off right away because I do sometimes need to go back and use an available tail for that purpose. Although I’ve been nibbling away at that greater total, I fear that even when I’ve finally finished the thing (invented half hexes and companion units to square off the edges plus a coordinated lace edging to finish all) I’ll still have at least another summer of just darning in before I’m truly done with my Truro.