The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For

When I finished my Lizard Ridge, I’d already packed up my iron and I couldn’t steam block the border and seams. In addition to that, I wanted to get into our new house and arrange the bedroom before I actually used this beautiful blanket.

Stats:

Pattern: Lizard Ridge

31 skeins of Noro Kureyon used for this blanket, that’s 3400 yards of Noro. The border is handspun CVM Romeldale in a 3 ply. I used 775 yards for that. I worked on this project on and off for just a few months shy of 4 years. It really is one of my crowing moments in my knitting/spinning career.

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There are 6 strips rather than the 4 the pattern calls for, and each strip contains 6 blocks. Construction wise, I knit a block, cast it off, then picked up stitches for the next block for each strip. I then wet blocked all strips. For the seams, I picked up the same amount of stitches per block on each strip, then I used a 3 needle bind off for a stable seam and a seam that would create a bit of a border between the strips. For the border, I picked up stitches on each side, and increased at the beginning and end of every other row. I did not cast off, but left each side on a cable until all 4 sides were complete. I then did an icord bind off for the edge, which really does make it look professionally finished.

Today I steam blocked the entire thing to make it lay flat, and then put it on our bed.

I am so fortunate that Mr. Ink shares my love for color, unusual items, and art. We don’t feel this overwhelming need for the traditional, and when I shared with him my vision for our new house, he was on board completely. We shall fill our new home with color and art and things which are beautiful to us. It won’t be traditional, but it will be what soothes our souls, and that makes it home to us.

And we started with Lizard Ridge.

The light

Yesterday I finished the border knitting of the Lizard Ridge, and began the long task of the applied icord bind off. I snapped this shot after turning the first corner.

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It made me so happy to see it all coming together like that, and it also confirmed the icord bind off choice. It really looks so lovely and finished!

I worked on it all evening, and a little this morning, and then I snapped this shot:

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It doesn’t look much different than the last shot, but that’s corner #3, which means I only have one more side left! The end is in sight, I’ve seen the light at the end of this tunnel, and, quite frankly, I am a little confused as to what I’ll knit after it’s done!

(As a side note, I also think I am going to run out of yarn one last time. But, it’ll be so close to the finish that I can probably just finish up with the singles already on the spindles currently.)

I Could Show You…

A fully seamed Lizard Ridge. But, I am not going to. I think I am now going to save it for after the borders are complete. But, here’s what this morning looked like:

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That’s me, under the Lizard Ridge, working on the last seam. It’s done now, and I have picked up stitches for the first border piece.

What I am ready to show you is my current spinning project. I’ve been working on my Inglenook Smaug batt. It’s on my wheel at the moment.

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As per usual, the yarn is just beautiful. I divided the batt into two width wise, and will spin it in one long color change. It will go to one side of the batt and then back again.

Most of this was spun on evenings I was hanging out with Miss Bug watching Buffy and Angel. The weather is warmer now, and I seriously doubt she’s going to want to do that anymore unless there’s an outstanding circumstance like sickness, rainstorm, or she’s grounded for some reason or another.

The Drama

Sometimes knitting creates drama. Most of the time it’s a lovely and relaxing thing to do, but sometimes it’s drama.

I finished my lizard ridge strips, and it was time to seam them together. Now, it took me a total of 4 years to finish each of these strips, so I’ve had ample time to think over the seaming. And, the idea of that much mattress stitch didn’t please me at all. I also felt that perhaps the blanket would do better having a seriously stable seam.

So, my idea was to pick up stitches on the side of each strip, and then 3 needle bind off those stitches to keep a stable seam. I knew that this could mean that I’d have some of my grey yarn showing in between the strips, but since I’ll also use the same grey for the border, that didn’t seem problematic.

So, I started on the first two strips. I identified that I needed to pick up 52 stitches per block, and I picked up stitches using a stitch marker in between the blocks just to make sure I stayed on track. I picked up all 624 stitches, then did a 3 needle bind off of 312 stitches. I took a moment after it was done, held it up, and realized I’d oriented one of the strips incorrectly. This meant that the stripes didn’t line up. Wide stripes were paired with narrow stripes.

I had this moment where I thought “Can I live with this and just do the rest correctly?” But the answer was absolutely not. So, I ripped the entire thing out and put it down for a day or so.

Then, I got back to it, being more careful than before. I now have 3 connected strips, and they look amazing!

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Here’s the deal. I took up the lizard ridge blanket with intent to finish for a very specific reason. I knew that we’d be moving fairly soon, and it seemed that moving a finished blanket would be a good deal easier than moving a bunch of unblocked partially finished strips and all the extra yarn still needing to be knit into additional strips.

I thought I’d have plenty of time for this endeavor, and while I was completing knitting quickly, and spinning yarn for the border, I wasn’t feeling rushed. I’d anticipated moving sometime in June perhaps? Maybe over the summer? I really wasn’t entirely sure, but it was still sometime in the future and I had plenty of time.

So, we worked on our house projects, Mr. Ink and I, separately and together, and I knit on Lizard Ridge in my spare time. And then, we made the decision to start looking at houses, since we knew we’d be on the market for one soon. We looked, and we saw some houses that would work for our lifestyle, but weren’t in an area we adored. And we saw a whole BUNCH of houses that were disasters. And we saw houses that we adored, but got snatched right out from under us because the market is really tough on buyers right now. And then…..we found a home that fit our needs perfectly in an area we didn’t expect to be living in, but we also weren’t opposed to. This moving thing? Is going to happen far sooner than we anticipated, because I purchased that house, because I just couldn’t live with someone else owning it.

But now? Not only is Lizard Ridge not complete, I have so little time to work on it because my time needs to be spent packing instead!

My new goal is simply to get all the strips attached together. If I get some border work done, that’s great, but getting those strips connected will still be the best way to move the blanket. I REALLY wanted it finished to put on our bed in our new home, but I just don’t think that’s going to happen at this time.

The Good News and The Bad News

The good news:

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My “last” lizard ridge strip is done.

The bad news. It’s not my last. If i want a queen sized topper, I need another strip.

I want to say I am desperately disappointed about this, but I am so far into this blanket now that it doesn’t bother me a bit to knit another strip. My obsession runs deep.

Lizard Ridge Reboot

Recently, Rachel of Dyeabolical yarns finished her long term project, Lizard Ridge. It was so inspiring to watch her finish it in fairly quick order even though I know that blanket has been on her needles for quite some time. After all, it was her Lizard Ridge blocks that originally inspired my desire to knit one.

Well, I’ve been working on a Lizard Ridge blanket since 2011. Every once in awhile I get it out and make some progress, but progress has been stalled on it for quite some time. However, with a potential move in the nearish future, I figured it would be a great deal easier to move a finished blanket than it would be to move all these small parts and small skeins of yarn.

Yesterday I pulled out the blanket, finished the last square of a strip, soaked it, and blocked it.

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This is a really big deal! The second strip is almost done as well, just a repeat away. However, the dog will be here tonight, and it is absolutely impossible for him to leave blocked knitting alone. So, despite being able to complete the strip today, I won’t get a chance to block and then seam these two together until sometime this week.

Here’s the thing. I’ve got 4 strips going at the moment, all of them almost done. However, I’ve thought about this regularly, and I think I’d like to make this into a queen sized throw for the top of my bed. After all, there’s nothing like bright bold color to inspire creativity in me. I am thinking that the 4 strips won’t be enough. That’s a bit discouraging, but I am just going to seam the 4 up, and see where I am after that.

But for now? It’s time to enjoy the weather and the melting snow and get out there on my bike! Not much knitting today, as We’ve got Mr. Ink’s birthday celebration tonight as well. All good fun times of a weekend!