Posts Tagged ‘illusion cube’

Surprisingly finished.

July 22, 2013

The Illusion Cube blanket is more than I thought it’d be. I knew the design was dead clever — 56 individual hexagons, each knit to look like a cube.

IllusionCubeCloseup

I knew the colors would be surprisingly lovely. Eight colors, each pair knitted twice in slightly different combination.

IllusionCubeFinished

Sure, each cube had about six ends to weave in and snip, making the back side a bit bumpy.

back side of Illusion Cube blanket

But I’m still delightfully surprised and pleased with the finished product.

I knew when I started this project, that this would be a gift for the child of neighborhood friends. Daisy was born when I was about 3/4 of the way through the cubes, the much-anticipated and greatly loved sister of big brothers Ben and Mookie and blessed child of Kerrie and Steve. The Yarn Harlot has said that knitting is “the best container for love.” I hope Miss Daisy is wrapped in love, in the form of this blanket and the less physical but no less tangible love of friends and family, for years to come.

Finished Illusion Cube Blanket over porch railing

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Coming Together Quite Nicely

July 15, 2013

Once I’d learned how to align the two-colored hexagons in the Illusion Cube blanket, the sewing together progressed pretty steadily and easily. I’d sit and sew a bit, then stuff the whole thing into my bag until the next time. I’d grab my bag when I left the house, just in case I found myself waiting somewhere with a few minutes to spare.

Think you don’t have time to knit? Think again. How often do you sit in a waiting room of some kind? Or on the bus or subway? Or while waiting for someone to join you at a coffee shop? Ever sit behind the wheel (parked, of course), waiting for a child to emerge from a building or a sports practice? All prime time to grab the needles and make a bit of progress.

Speaking of prime time, think of the minutes — or hours — in front of the TV.

But back to the blanket. I’m loving the colors and emerging three-dimensionality of it.

Illusion Cube blanket in progress with 3 rows stitched

Piecing it all together

July 11, 2013

By the time I’d finished each piece of the Illusion Cube blanket, I’d knit more than the required 56 hexagons. There were a few mistakes along the way — duplicates of color combos, short-sided “cubes” (at least two of those). But finally, I was ready:

56 knitted hexagons for blanket

Sewing it all together seemed pretty easy-peasy as I started. The blanket is stitched together in quasi-stripes — based on the border colors of the hexagonal pieces (don’t you love that word?!). I was so pleased with the first 1 1/2 rows that I captured the progress in a photo.

Beginning row of stitched blanket

Wait a minute — THAT doesn’t look right. The colors were lovely but something about the stripes caught my eye — and not in a good way.

Blanket pieces sewn together at wrong angles

Fortunately I hadn’t gone too far with the second row. So I snipped and un-sewed, laid the whole thing out on the table, and placed each piece in the correct spot. And started sewing again.

THAT doesn’t look right…. (take 2)

June 23, 2013

As I’ve noted before, there’s no such thing as a knitter who doesn’t make mistakes. Learning to spot mistakes and figuring out how to correct them is something every knitter must do. If you don’t, you’ll end up frozen — confronted with a mistake that you’re unable to fix and unable to continue your project.

In the course of knitting the pieces — all 56 of them — for the Illusion Cube Blanket, I’ve made multiple mistakes. Sometimes I’ve spotted the mistake right away and been able to correct it with relatively little effort. Like forgetting to switch colors and realizing that I’ve knit four rows of periwinkle instead of two.

Another kind of mistake sneaks up on you. You think you’ve finished a cube just fine until you look carefully and realize there’s something not quite right. Like this:

AppleMagentaCube

It wasn’t until I took a photo of these two cubes, made with the same colors but in different combinations, that I spotted my mistake. Do you see it?

CubeShortSide-20130622-112705.jpg

There should be 5 stripes of the alternate (non-border) color on each side of the cube. In this one, I’d only knit four.

While sorting and counting the cubes I’d completed, I discovered a couple more that had mistakes.

CubeMistakes-1

But, I hear you asking, what do you DO when you find a mistake? Do you have to correct it? Or in this case, make new cubes with the proper number of stripes?

The answer depends on your preference. There are no knitting police or inspectors who will check your work and mark you down for errors. What do YOU want to do about it? How daunting is the correction? How will YOU feel when you look at your finished project — will the error seem glaring to you even if no one else can see it without your pointing it out? Do you care?

For me, for this project, I decided to knit new cubes with the proper number of stripes and correctly matched borders. After all, when you’re knitting 56 lovely striped cubes, what’s 3 or 4 more?!

 

 

One by one by one

May 26, 2013

The first time I saw the Illusion Cube Blanket in the WEBS catalog (which regularly occupies space on my bedside table), I put it on my mental “to do” list. I love the variety of colors — 8 in all — and the geometry of each individual cube and of the overall piece. With the completion of my most recent baby sweater and my neighbors’ second child on the way, the opportunity was at hand.

Selecting the colors was fun.

YarnColorsButtons

Plus I found a terrific bumper sticker.

KnitHappens

The blanket is a compilation of separate “cubes,” two of each color combination with alternating borders. Like these — magenta and green.

IMG_1923

Some of you will recall from math class that 8 individual items paired twice will yield 56 possible combinations. Right? Yeah, I didn’t remember either. But that’s how it works out — 56 individual cubes that will be sewn into a single piece. Blankets can be daunting because of their size and because it’s not uncommon to reach a point where you knit and knit and, as if in some sort of time or space warp, the piece seems to stay the same size. Not so with this blanket. There are 56 chances to finish a part. 56 chances to bind off. And 56 chances to weave in the ends on each piece.

CubeSpider

That’s a lot of ends. According to my calculations, 448 ends. But who’s counting?

Next year already

May 22, 2013

As a Boston Red Sox fan, “there’s always next year” has been my defense mechanism fan philosophy for decades. Each spring, I relish the return of the MLB season. The game radio broadcast is the aural wallpaper of my home: the play-by-play commentary, the background sound of the crowd as voices rise, fall, and cheer, the pause between pitch and swing, between hit and defensive play.

cubefirstinning

Baseball season is also prime knitting season. The slow pace of the game is the perfect complement to whatever is on my needles. On weekday evenings and weekend days, I knit at Michael’s baseball games — glancing up regularly to watch a play or pitch, usually (but not always) when he’s involved. I learned long ago that my kids don’t really care — or even know — that I’m watching their game or performance, so I feel no guilt if I miss a line drive or strike.

cubesixthinning

There’s a new life in the neighborhood, so I’m making a blanket, the Illusion Cube Blanket, something I’ve had on my radar screen for several years, just waiting for the right time (and the right human). Takes me about six or seven innings to knit a single “cube” depending, of course, on how exciting the game is or how often I put down the needles and cheer or how much I chat with fellow parental fans.

More than Buttons

March 4, 2013

Finished the wee baby sweater (Puerperium Cardigan) except for the buttons and figured I’d pop into Webs on the way out of Northampton, arriving 10 minutes before it closed, so I’d be forced to make a quick choice and then be done.

I arrived thinking the store closed at 5 but discovered closing time was 5:30, so I had plenty of time to look around.  Clearly, I had time for more than buttons!

YarnColorsButtons

There’s this pattern I’ve had a hankering for off and on over the past few years. I think the time is right.

Oh, and I just had to buy this (and may need to go back to stock up on a few for some knitterly friends).

KnitHappens

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