Motley continues to grow.  I’m just about done with the center area now:


Some people have expressed incredulity that I’d consider working fingering weight on US #8s (5mm).  However it’s working out just fine for this purpose.  This is a blanket, not a sock that benefits from tight knitting, nor is it a garment on which a looser fabric would present show-through problems. Instead, even with the large needle size, thanks in part to garter stitch, I’m getting a nice, cozy and cushy thermal weave texture. 

However the main reason I chose such a large needle size relative to the yarn is because I’m using up dribs and drabs of yarns in a variety of weights, from light 3-ply fingering like ancient Kroy 3-Ply and Wildfoote, to standard sock yarns (Regia, Opal, Fortissima) all the way through some of the heavier sock yarns that are almost sport weight (Marathon, Koigu).  I even have a couple of small ends of lofty DKs that knit down to sport gauge.  That means that the “native gauges” of the yarns in this piece range from about 32 to 24 stitches in 4 inches (10cm).  Breaking the rules and working them all on what normally would be grossly large needles evens out differences in gauge and lets me use them all together.  Yes, some of the stripes are denser (or more airy) than others.  But they all present as uniform in width, and as a whole – work together.

I’ve got to finish out the current stripe (at far left) and add another at far right.  Then I’ll be up to the next step – filling in the edge triangles left and right to achieve a nice, even rectangle. 

There are two methods I could use to do this – either pick up one stitch and knit an isosceles triangle, joining the two shorter sides to the existing blanket, using the same method I employed to knit each strip onto the growing whole; or I could pick up stitches along the edge of each “zig” and knit out, using a center double decrease to achieve the triangle shape.  I’ll probably experiment with both, although I am leaning to the first method for visual congruence with the rest of the piece.

Once I’ve filled in the edge triangles, I’ll probably work a narrow solid color strip all the way around the outside, using mitered corners, to unite the piece.  After that all bets are off.  I might stop there, or I might add some sort of zig-zag or dagged edging, also worked in multicolors.  There’s only one problem though.  I started with a bag of leftovers that was about the same size as half a standard pillowcase.  I’ve used most of them, and don’t have a nice range of colors left.  If I do a multicolor edging, I’ll have to BUY yarn to complete my stash-consuming Motley!

Whichever methods of framing and finishing off this piece I choose, I will be writing this up as a method description, complete with approximate square yardage per weight estimates (for fingering) so that those of us who happen to have a bag of leftovers the size of a 25-pound turkey can put them to good use on their own stash-busting scrap blanket.

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