I really wanted to write and post this yesterday. I could
have done if I’d written some of this in advance but I was feeling rather
superstitious about doing that as I was working on finishing the last project.
When the lockdowns first started and we weren’t able to meet
in person, myself and my two knitting friends decided we needed a knitalong
project, especially one that was appropriate to the situation. This is how we
came across a crochet pattern named virus. I think it is an old crochet pattern
that someone had written notes for, it was hard to follow at first but once you
worked out it was a four row repeat, the crochet went easier. I used entirely
yarn that I was given from someone else’s stash that came to me via one of the
I had no plans at outset what yarn I was going to use but it
turned out very well and a decent size.
The pattern is Virus Shawl and the yarns are all Sunday Knits Nirvana3-ply. The yarn is labeled 90% merino. 10% cashmere but it did not feel like that when I was working with it but does feel nice in the finished project.
While this CAL was going on I came across another project
related to the virus. Designers Arne and Carlos produced a square design each
day starting in the middle of March although I didn’t start until near the end
of the month. But more on this project later as it was the last one I finished.
After I finished the virus shawl, I had a hankering to make something
else COVID/Pandemic/virus related. I chose a hat pattern which featured the
virus shape. The pattern had originally been published as a MKAL and as I am
not consciously searching for knitalongs anymore I had not noticed its release.
I used leftover yarns – some old Red Heart Soft to start the hat and then
Plymouth Encore in white and light green for the pattern.
All three projects used yarn either from my leftovers or from the yarn I
had been given from someone else's stash. the blanket was a great stash
buster in that respect.
Back to the squares. I do not know if Arne and Carlos had a
plan when they started publishing the patterns. It was labeled as a MKAL and
they did not state how many squares would be published. Also during this time they
both became sick from COVID, especially Carlos and I do not know if this made a
difference to their plans. They stopped producing patterns after 27 and then
showed how to sew them into nine-patch cushion covers. I did not want cushion
covers but 27 squares would not fit into any sort of realistic shape for a
blanket. At the end of May they produced three more square patterns for a total
of 30. A much better number which could be sewn into a 5x6 rectangle. There was
still a problem with this, I did not feel like sewing the squares together and
it still wasn’t very big. I finished the last square on 21 August and did not
pick them up again until 29 October. I am glad I waited all that time because I
am very happy with the end result. I decided to place the squares in the order
that the patterns were published to save angst of arranging and rearranging the
squares into an order that everyone could agree on. I picked up stitches along
the side of each square (except the outside edges), worked garter stitch for
four ridges and then joined to the next square by picking up stitches and
binding off. The strips were then joined in the same way. And then I picked up
stitches all around to work a border. I had enough of the blue to work two
garter ridges, after that I worked four garter ridges. When it came to bind
off, I wanted something decorative but not picot. A quick Google search came up with the
knotted K2tog bind off. It was perfect. No angst about a too tight or sloppy
bind off. The opposite really as it is a loose finish which doesn’t show on the
blanket but if I was going to do it again, I would work the proceeding row in a
size smaller needle.
I really wanted to finish this by the end of the year and I
achieved that yesterday morning. I had sewn in the ends and blocked each square
when I finished it so I was left with sewing in the ends from the borders when
I had not been able to weave them in as I went.
I made a change to just one square. The square that says All Together, was designed as Alone Together. Although that was a popular sentiment at outset I did not want that in perpetuity.
This is a photo of it finished but also a photo of the
border in progress with the cat claiming it as her own.