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Mystery Baby Blanket Club 2019: post 2, October

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE OCTOBER MYSTERY BABY BLANKET CLUB BLOG! And as the second instalment gets underway, the guesses are beginning to come in thick and fast for the title of the blanket. Most of you have been correct with your answers so far (see list of correct guessers further on in the blog), but some of the members are still not quite sure what it is. So read on for more clues, plus lots of tips and advice to help you with this month’s squares…

THE OCTOBER PATTERNS (MAIL OUT 2) WERE EMAILED TO ALL OF THE MEMBERS ON 1ST OCTOBER. And the printed patterns for those members who added this option to their package were posted on the following dates: overseas on the 23rd September; UK on the 27th September. So if you have not received your printed patterns yet, they should be with you very soon.

A REVISED COPY OF THE SEPTEMBER PATTERNS (MAIL OUT 1) WAS EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS FOLLOWING SEVERAL CORRECTIONS TO THE INSTRUCTIONS. If you did not receive this email then please let us know and we will send it to you again. Members who receive printed patterns will find that the September brochure has been reprinted and included with the October instalment.

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT WE HAVE ADDED A BOX TO THE RIGHT-HAND COLUMN OF EACH NEW PATTERN PAGE (pages 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14), which lists the needle size/s needed to knit the square:

We made this change following comments from some of the members who were having difficulty finding the needle size information on the page - although we have still included the needle size information in the main body of the pattern as well.

THE 2020 MYSTERY BLANKET IS STILL OPEN FOR SIGNING UP IF YOU FANCY TAKING ON A BRAND NEW CHALLENGE NEXT YEAR! I have been very busy over the past few weeks finalising the patterns and yarn order for the blanket, and I am very excited about what I have in store for you! The design focuses on lots of lovely textured stitches and stripe patterns in a soft palette of over twenty shades of some of Rowan’s best-loved yarns including Felted Tweed, Softyak and Baby Silk Merino DK. It’s a tantalising journey of an exploration of colour and yarn fibres, with a broad palette ranging from soft sandy neutrals and tweedy greys to brilliant shades of turquoise and green. Here is a sneak preview of some of the colours in the design, but this is only half of the palette - the rest are going to be kept a secret until the Club begins in February...

If this sounds like an interesting project to get involved with next year then you can sign up to the 2020 Mystery Blanket Club in our online shop. It’s quick and easy to do and payment can be taken by Paypal or debit/credit card. There is a signing up deadline of 31st December and limited memberships for the Club. So make sure you don’t miss out by securing your place today!

THE TITLE OF THE MYSTERY BABY BLANKET has been guessed by many of you so well done to everyone who is on the correct guessers list. They include Kelly Symons, Catherine Pope, Gail Coles, Tara Jamieson, Barbara Quissell, Julie Waters, Linda Howarth, Meredith Thompson, Barbara Hathaway, Kate Plantholt, Jan Osman, Michele Reznick, Jackie Clapham, Kelly Coll, Valerie McNulty, Maureen Gibling, Caryn Hart, Barbara O’Brien and Kate Wood and her mum Sue Wood, (apologies if I have missed anyone out).

However, if you are not on this list and still guessing, here’s another letter to help you. This month the letter I am giving you is “U”:

_  _  _  _  / _  _  U  /  T  _  /  T  _  _  /  _  _  _  _  /  _  _  _  /  _  _  _  _

Any ideas?!? Please send your guesses to Sue at sue@debbieabrahams.com. There are no prizes for the correct answer – it is simply a a bit of fun each month until you guess it!

THESE ARE THE FIVE SQUARES THAT YOU WILL KNIT THIS MONTH:

Square 4: Sleep Well My Love Again – intarsia squares with Swiss darned motifs

Below: Colourway 1

Above: Colourway 2

Square 5: Candy Cable 2 – striped cable pattern

Below: Colourway 1

Above: Colourway 2

Square 9: Lullabye – cable pattern

Below: Colourway 1

Above: Colourway 2

Square 29: Moon – intarsia motif with small bobbles

Below: Colourway 1

Above: Colourway 2

Square 30: Soft Chevron – chevron lace pattern

Below: Colourway 1

Above: Colourway 2

The list of Pattern notes and tips for each square are worth reading before you start to knit. But here are a few extra tips to help you with your squares this month…

SQUARE 4, SLEEP WELL MY LOVE AGAIN: this square is similar to Square 15 from Mail Out 1, but the colours of the intarsia squares and the embroidery have been changed. Comments were made that the embroidery on the chart for Square 15 was very hard to see, so we have given the Swiss-darning symbols a heavier tint and line so that you can see them more easily.

You might remember that I suggested you use yarn bobbins to knit the four intarsia squares as they give the yarns extra weight which helps when you cross them over in the middle of the row. I find that the Pony bobbins are the best ones to use as you can fit quite a lot of yarn onto them despite them being quite small.

Caryn Hart from Pennysylvania, USA, forwarded on some interesting tips about how much yarn to wind off for intarsia, and also an ingenious way to keep the yarns untangled when you knit intarsia – which does not involve bobbins! Read Caryn’s wonderful tips later on in the blog to find out more…

SQUARE 5, CANDY CABLE 2: this striped cable pattern is the sister square to Square 3, but some of the colours have been swapped round. And also be aware that the cables twist in the opposite direction – so that’s to the left instead of to the right.  

On the chart for Colourway 2 we have lightened the tint of the Denim yarn as it was very hard to see the gridlines and symbols on Square 3. However, if you are still struggling to see them, take a look at the chart for Colourway 1 as apart from the colours it is exactly the same.

SQUARE 9, LULLABYE: this is the second cable pattern you have been given to knit this month, but this time it is in one colour and the cables twist in both directions. Just make sure that you read the cable instructions very carefully on Row 5 and their subsequent repeats. I would advise that you check your cables are correct at the end of these rows as it’s easier to undo one row than knit on and then have to undo several!

SQUARE 29, MOON: like Square 1 from Mail Out 1, this intarsia pattern has small bobbles inside the motif. For this square you will need to wind off several small balls or bobbins of yarn to knit each section of colour. I wound off two bobbins of yarn C and one of yarn A, and in addition to this a couple of short lengths to knit rows 15-17 and row 31-33. If preferred you can carry the yarns across the back on these rows to avoid joining in the short lengths. But remember that this is an intarsia pattern so any carrying across the back should be kept to a minimum.

SQUARE 30, SOFT CHEVRON: this is exactly the same as Square 2 from Mail Out 1 so this should be a nice easy one to knit up! Just remember that it uses a smaller needle size than the suggested main needle size of 3.25mm, so make sure you grab the right pair from your needle case!

CARYN HART FROM HAVERTOWN, PENNYSYLVANIA, USA SENT IN SOME VERY HELPFUL TIPS FOR INTARSIA KNITTING. This is what she found out about yarn quantities and keeping yarns untangled when knitting intarsia patterns:

Caryn says: “I did some of my own research and found a website that explained a good way to calculate the amount of yarn needed for intarsia:

http://artemiswolf.blogspot.com/2015/02/photo-tutorial-how-to-measure-yarn-for.html

You might want to share this with your knitters.

I also noticed a knitter who used a shoe box or some similarly shaped box, poked holes in the side, cut slits to the holes, and put balls of yarn inside the box. This way you don’t even need to use bobbins in some cases. I used this method for your 'Sleep Well My Love' square and it worked great!”

Thank you Caryn for this great advice. Intarsia can be a difficult technique to attempt if it is new to you. But hopefully these tips will help make it much easier and consequently more enjoyable to do!

MYSTERY CLUB MEETINGS ARE STILL TAKING PLACE ONCE A MONTH IN BEESTON NOTTINGHAM. The last meeting was held on 11th September at Sarah Doherty’s house in Beeston (Sarah used to own the knitting shop ‘Yarn’ in Beeston). You can see my report about the meeting in my Mystery Cushion September blog:  https://debbieabrahams.com/blogs/news/mystery-cushion-club-2019-post-4-september

Above: the group at Sarah's house at the September meeting.

The next meeting is on Wednesday 9th October from 4:00 – 6:00pm and I will be joining the group for those couple of hours. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Sarah for more information and hopefully I will see you there! Email: info@yarn-in-notts.co.uk

Thank you for taking the time to read my October blog and hopefully the tips and advice will help you whizz through your squares this month! As Summer turns most definitely into Autumn here in the UK, it’s always an exciting time for me in my studio as it’s full of designs and plans for the coming year. There’s plenty of new things in the pipeline for 2020 and I will tell you more about them in next month’s blog. So don’t forget to come back and see me again here on the 1st November for all the latest news, tips and advice! Until then, happy knitting everyone! Debbie x


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