Tami, from Tami’s Amis blog, kindly was asking about my sock yarn blanket from Wednesday’s post. I had to check my Ravelry project page for details. I began it October 6, 2008, so we are over 2 years of knitting time! I don’t work on this all the time, naturally. I worked on it almost constantly the first year when it was still small, even the summertime. It’s knit in one piece – you start with one mitered square, pick up stitches, and knit another mitered square, and so on & so forth – so after the first year, the thing started getting big. It’s shown on a full size bed, but I’m actually making it somewhere between queen & king sized (I figure somewhere down the line, we’ll buy a bigger bed, and there’s no way I’m knitting a second version of this thing. If I’m going to knit an heirloom, I’m going to knit it right the first time).
(photo taken Oct 21, 2008, if you can’t read the date on the photo)
After a while, the thing got so big, and so hot & heavy (even with sock yarn), that it got to be a pain working on it, especially if I was planning on knitting one square. It took 20 minutes just to dig it out of the basket where it lives when I’m not working on it, and then another 20 minutes to pick out the next sock yarn, and then 20 minutes to pick where the yarn was going, and then 20 minutes to actually knit the square. So… it started sitting, more than being knitted.
I have to admit, I only work on the thing now when I have a lazy day of knitting planned.
I started off using scraps – I had a lot because all I knit my first few years were socks, and I still make a ton of socks or sock yarn shawlettes every year. After about a year though I was getting low, so I started joining in swaps. That quickly got too expensive (shipping to the swap person, and shipping back home to you), so I started hosting my own swaps. I’d have to go out & buy yarn for the swap half the time, and that got expensive, now. Now, I’ve gotten smart – if I’m buying 50 gram sock yarn, I tend to buy either 1 or 3 skeins of it – 1 to use in the blanket & swap out the leftovers, or 3 so I have enough to knit a pair of socks or whatever, and have tons of leftovers to swap out. And I host the swaps myself so I don’t have to pay shipping (I’m cheap/frugal/whatever).
Please, please, don’t ask me how much it’s costing me to knit this thing! Really, in the beginning, it was practically a free project since I was using scraps, but after all the swapping, shipping, buying yarn just to use for the blanket, and don’t forget dying yarn specifically for the blanket (oh, I forgot to mention that part didn’t I?), I’m honestly afraid to add it up. Others have said the blanket cost them upwards of $500, and I don’t doubt it. Don’t ask me how much time I’ve spent on the thing – it’s 30 full squares across, plus 29 squares in between the full squares, plus half triangles on each side, bottom, and will be on the top. It takes me 20 minutes to knit a square on average & 10 for a triangle. And when it’s all done, I have to add the border.
Here’s the most current photo of the blanket that I have right now (some knitting done since then):
Link up: Fibers On Friday