This week I want to focus on the kind of knitting that you can do when your head is full of thoughts, full of grief, full of sadness but you want to keep busy.
The log cabin blanket. If there was any project that has all you need to be comforted while keeping your hands busy while the rhythm of the needles provide a soundtrack to get your thoughts untangled. And when you've finished you can crawl under it.
The basic principle is simple.
knit a square
cast off until you have one stitch left
rotate your knitting to the right
pick up the stitches on the left side of the square
knit until you think the next rectangle is big enough
Obviously there are numerous videos online that will show you how to do it in detail. There are different basic patterns you can use. There are colour pallets to consider. Like with everything you can make it complicated.
But in my opinion you really shouldn't. It is just those 6 steps and some left over yarns in the same weight. And hours of uncomplicated comforting knitting.
One of the most positive things about it is the fact that you can stop at the size of
- a coaster
- a pillow case
- a baby blanket
- a feet warmer
- an adult blanket
- a house blanket
... well you know what I mean. There is 0 guilt here. It is done when you are done. I just love that. This pattern is so easy on us.
So grab some leftovers and just start. Do not think. Just follow the 6 steps and see where they take you.
This is my natural sheep breed collection. I have balls of very special yarn from the plains of Mongolia (thank you Lia), the isles of Scotland (thanks Sazz) & Shetland and natural Icelandic yarns (thank you Ragga). I think all of them come from islands to be honest. Except the Mongolian camel yarn. A lot of gifts but also some souvenirs. But most of them are single or double balls and that's it. Making them into a blanket will connect all those memories and friends.
I will knit only garter stitch because that is the most comforting stitch and it will show off the yarn most if I keep the knitting basic.
Here you can see it grow from a 'Stino the Dino' pillow, into a lap-warmer.
If my head is full I love a good basic knit. The only thing you can (but don’t have to) think about is what colour or yarn is next. If you are the overthinking type and you feel that is too much pressure you can just put your yarns in a basket or bag and blindly pick one.
For some of us the hardest thing about this is letting yourself off the hook and just go for it. Don’t think. Just be.
This is a log cabin blanket that I made years ago. It’s al Texel sheep yarn from the isle of Texel in the different natural colours. I used different stitch patterns inspired by island life. Ripples for the sea, berry stitches, grasses. Coincidentally my friend at the time was turning the same idea into a pattern so I didn’t and just kept mine for me, then the chair, then the cats.
Another log cabin blanket. Knit out of beautiful coloured Japanese yarn as a baby blanket for my son. I knitted it in stockinette stitch and picked up the stitches around the edge and added a garter stitch band to stop it from curling up. I then knit a triangle and sewed it onto one of the corners on the back. It functioned as a hood and I could wrap the rest of the blanket around the baby.
And here’s the progress on my latest log cabin blanket using my natural sheep collection. I am using a needle 4 (mm) and holding two threads of fingering weight together. This means that I can also use the dk yarns that I have held by themselves. I have started off with all the natural Shetland sheep colours. A rainbow of naturals that you can turn into even more colours by marling them (using two threads of different colours together).
Hope you are inspired to try this mind soothing knit project.
In our online community we have an ongoing Log Cabin Kal for anyone who needs some extra slack cut. It doesn't have an end date. That would be too stressful for this type knit. Come on over and see what other people are making. It's a loving and inclusive bunch of people. Everyone is welcome!