HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE JULY MYSTERY BLANKET BLOG! And with just four instalments to go after this one the blanket is really starting to take shape. From now on there will be some repeats of squares you have already knitted. However, I still have a few new squares in store of you, plus of course that all important centre square. Any ideas of what that might be?!?...you’ll find out in the final instalment in November!
Seth is getting ready for his summer holidays with a new era in his life beginning in September when he goes to primary school. And at this point I feel that it’s the right time to move on and bring to an end his inclusion in my monthly blogs. So I will continue with updates on him until the end of this year’s Club and then he might pop up in the odd photo from time to time, just to let you know how he is getting on.
A few weeks ago we went to a country fair at my old primary school in Gosfield in Essex, which felt really strange as I had not stepped foot in it since I left over thirty-five years ago! Seth had a great time playing on the climbing frames and wooden bridges – and he didn’t say no to an ice-cream either! It was a truly enjoyable afternoon and a step back in time for me!
THE JULY PATTERNS WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON THE 1st JULY. And the printed patterns have been posted to the members who opted for them, starting with the overseas on Friday 21st June. So if they haven’t arrived with you yet, they should be with you very soon.
UNFORTUNATELY AN ERROR HAS BEEN FOUND IN SQUARE 29, WINTER SOLSTICE. It is in the written instructions for Row 29. It should read as follows:
P2, [K3, mb, K3, P1, K2tog, yfrn, P1, K7, P1, K2tog, yfrn, P1] twice, K3, mb, K3, P2.
However the good news is that the chart instructions for this row are correct.
Many apologies for this error but the signed off version that went to print was correct, however, very mysteriously it changed when it was printed...so this really is a 'Mystery Blanket'!
MY FIRST MYSTERY BABY BLANKET CLUB IS STILL OPEN FOR SIGNING UP, with a closing date of 31st July. We are offering 10% off the cost of the knitting kit if you sign up as a member. Plus you will receive a unique Mystery Baby Blanket Club woven bag and a woven sew-on label.
After the signing-up period has closed the Mystery Baby Blanket will become available to buy next year at full price from our online shop from 1st September 2020.
Above: choose 'Classic'...
Below: ...or go for 'Contemporary'.
You can purchase your membership today by visiting the online shop on our website: https://debbieabrahams.com/products/mystery-baby-blanket-club-2019
The Mystery Baby Blanket Club begins on 1st September 2019.
ANOTHER CLUB IS ABOUT TO LAUNCH ON THE 1ST AUGUST – THE 2020 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB! I can’t believe that it’s almost a year since we opened up the applications for this year’s Mystery Blanket – time has flown by so fast!
We are going to launch the Club with an Early Bird discount of 5% for everyone who purchases their membership before the end of August. After that Club memberships will be sold at full price.
In next month’s blog I will tell you a little bit about the yarns and colour palette, so make sure that you mark it in your diary to come back here for an exclusive glimpse into what next year’s Mystery Blanket holds in store for you!
THE TITLE OF THE MYSTERY BLANKET is still being guessed by some of you. So here’s another letter to help you if it’s still a ‘mystery’. This month the letter I am giving you is “L”:
_ _ N T E _ / _ ONDE _ L _ N _
Please send your guesses to Sue at email@example.com – there’s no prize for getting it right, it’s just a bit of fun!
THERE ARE THE SIX SQUARES TO KNIT THIS MONTH:
Square 13, Option One: Deck the Halls – fairisle pattern with hooked-in beads:
Square 13, Option Two: A Hazy Shade of Winter (reprise) – striped moss stitch pattern:
Square 29: Winter Solstice – cable, lace and bobble pattern (same for both options):
Square 30: Winter Rose – striped lace pattern with slip-stitch beads (same for both options):
Square 47: Sleigh Rides and Snowballs – lace stitch and bobble pattern (same for both options):
Square 48: Glisten – striped pattern with slip-stitch beads (same for both options):
Square 49, Option One: Let It Snow! –fairisle pattern with hooked-in beads:
Square 49, Option Two: In the Bleak Midwinter – striped pattern with hooked-in beads:
Here are some tips on this month’s squares. Some of them are straight repeats and others are slight variations on squares you have already knitted.
SQUARE 13, OPTION ONE, DECK THE HALLS: this is the same as Square 37 from Mail Out 3. You are advised to knit this option if you knitted Option 1 for Square 37.
SQUARE 13, OPTION TWO, A HAZY SHADE OF WINTER (REPRISE): this looks similar to Square 37 from Mail Out 3, however, the colours have been knitted in reverse so that they shade from light to dark instead of dark to light.
The whole square is in moss stitch which needs to be knitted as tightly as possible to ensure that the stitches sit neatly and evenly. Remember also that two ends of Kidsilk Haze shade 612 (White) are held together and used as one yarn – don’t mix it up with Simply White which is used as a single end.
SQUARE 29, WINTER SOLSTICE: this is the sister square to 15 from Mail Out 3, but all the cables twist to the left (c7f) instead of to the right.
A common problem with this square is keeping the number of stitches correct on the rows where you are instructed to hold the yarn at the front (wyaf) as you skpo (slip one stitch, knit one stitch, pass slipped stitch over). Don’t be tempted to take the yarn back between the needles as you do this otherwise you will undo the increase you are making.
SQUARE 30, WINTER ROSE: this is similar to Square 16 from Mail Out 4 but this time you are working the beaded lace pattern over a three colour stripe repeat. I got a lot of emails about Square 16 from members who had a similar problem to the issue I mentioned above with Square 29. To keep the number of stitches consistent all decreased stitches must be compensated by an increase, otherwise the number of stitches in the square will decrease overall. Let’s take row 3 as an example. It is absolutely essential that you keep the yarn held at the front (yf) as you ‘sl 1 knitwise, hook bead onto next stitch, K2togtbl, psso’. Don’t at any point while you are doing this take the yarn back between the needles otherwise you will undo the increase. It might feel a bit strange - the yarn will go over the needle in an unnatural way as it makes the ‘yarn over’ – but stick with it and you will see that it does work.
Another thing to watch out for while knitting this square is to keep the three colour stripe sequence correct throughout by making sure that you change colour at the beginning of each row. Steppe and Frozen are very similar so take extra care to make sure that you pick up the correct one as and when required.
SQUARE 47, SLEIGH RIDES AND SNOWBALLS: this is the same as Square 3 from Mail Out 1 – which seems a long time ago now, doesn’t it!?!
SQUARE 48, GLISTEN: this is the same as Square 2 from Mail Out 1. It’s the one with Aqua beads rather than Pewter beads (Pewter beads are used in Squares 6 and 44).
SQUARE 49, OPTION ONE, LET IT SNOW!: this is the same as Square 1 from Mail Out 1 – the very first square in the blanket that you knitted! You are advised to knit this option if you knitted Option 1 for Square 1.
SQUARE 49, OPTION TWO: IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER: this is same as Square 1 from Mail Out 1. You are advised to knit this option if you knitted Option 2 for Square 1.
I HAVE ONE MEMBER STORY TO SHARE WITH YOU THIS MONTH, AND IT’S FROM PAT TALBOT FROM LONDON, who has been very busy revisiting one of her favourite Mystery Blankets, ‘A French Romance’. Pat loved the design so much that she decided to knit a second one but used yarns from her stash. This is what Pat had to say about her latest knitting achievement:
“Here is my second 2016 blanket with some different colouring using up lots of my stash. I’ve also lined and bordered it. I really enjoyed it, thanks so much! I have backed all the blankets I have made. It makes them warm and comfortable and of course hides any joining etc. Now I am looking forward to the baby blanket in the Autumn!”
What a fabulous job you’ve made of it Pat! I love the lining, it finishes it off so beautifully. I am sure that some of the members are very inspired by what you have done and will want to line their blankets too!
THE MONTHLY MYSTERY CLUB MEETING WAS HELD AT SARAH’S HOUSE IN JUNE, which she very generously invited us to following the closure of her shop ‘Yarn’ in Beeston, Nottingham, last month. There was quite a gathering on what was a very rainy, wet, grey Wednesday afternoon. We sat in Sarah’s dining room, lovely and cosy and in great company for a couple of hours of knit and chat.
Above from left to right: Anne, Joan, Sue, Jenny (and Claire's hands in the bottom right hand corner!) were happy to get out of the rain and spend a couple of hours knitting and chatting.
Below from left to right: Joan, Sue, Jenny, Kerry (and Claire's hands again!) enjoying the meeting.
Claire was having difficulties with Square 16, Snow Thistle – the one with the ‘wyaf’ issues! So I showed her how to knit that row and hopefully put her on the right track with it.
Below from left to right: Mary, Sarah and Anne get stuck into knitting their blanket squares - you're doing well ladies!
Joan had made a delicious cake, so we enjoyed that with a much-needed hot drink as we shared stories and knitted our blanket squares. I was really impressed with how well everyone was getting on with them – many of them were right up to date and eager to get their hands on the next set of patterns!
The next meeting is on Wednesday 10th July from 4:00 – 6:00pm, and I will be joining the group for another very pleasant couple of hours. If you are interested in coming along too, please contact Sarah for details of where we are meeting, and I will see you there! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
AND FINALLY FOR THIS POSTING, THE SIXTH 2019 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB PRIZE DRAW!!! Each month a member is picked at random to win a Debbie Abrahams prize. So it is worth reading right the way to the end of each blog to see if you are that lucky member!
PRIZE DRAW SIX (JULY): this month’s winner is member 598, Brenda Tillman from Fruita, Colorado in the USA. Well done Brenda!
Please choose a prize from the following selection:
- A signed Debbie Abrahams book: Blankets and Throws to Knit/More Blankets and Throws To Knit/25 Beaded Knits/Kaleidoscope
- A Debbie Abrahams dvd: More Blankets/A Professional Finish
- Four packs of Debbie Abrahams Beads (size 8/0 or 6/0) from the selection on http://www.debbieabrahamsbeads.co.uk
- A £15 voucher towards a Debbie Abrahams Mystery Club: 2019 Mystery Cushion Club; 2019 Baby Blanket Club; 2020 Mystery Blanket Club.
Now I’d better let you get on with making a start on this month’s squares, and I will get back to my designing. I have a lot to do in the next four weeks before I see you back here - not only are there blanket patterns on my desk, but I am also busy getting prepared for my Losehill House knitting retreat at the end of July - which I know some of you are coming to. So until next time, keep knitting (we’re on the homeward straight now!) and most importantly, keep yourselves happy and healthy, Debbie x