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Mystery Blanket Club 2022: post 5, July

WELCOME TO THE FIFTH INSTALMENT OF THE 2022 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB! We are now at the halfway point of the project, and although you will start to see repeats of some of the squares, there are plenty of new ones in store for you too, including three new squares this month.

There are some choices to make with options offered on some of this month's squares. So if you are unsure about which options you should be choosing, read my extra advice about this later on in the blog.

There are six squares to knit this month and all of the techniques that are used in them have been covered in previous vlogs, so there are no new tech vids this month. If you need to locate a video then there is a handy index below which lists the tech vids and the blog you need to go to access them.

So let’s begin with an intro from me which includes lots of extra advice about the squares you are knitting this month to help you on your way!

INDEX OF MBC22 VLOGS BY SUBJECT AND MONTH, to enable you to locate them more easily as and when you need them:

  • How to thread beads onto yarn MARCH
  • How to bead, the slip-stitch method MARCH
  • How to bead, the hooking-in method MARCH
  • Razzle Dazzle: Chevron stitch MARCH
  • Diamonds: T3R and T3L MARCH
  • Diamonds: T2R and T2L MARCH
  • How to attach a rhinestone stud to knitting MARCH
  • Squares 15 & 16, Lanvin: lace stitches APRIL
  • Square 36, Suave: P1tbl, K1tbl, c9b, c9f APRIL
  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge MAY
  • How to knit the decorative slip-stitch stripe MAY
  • How to pick up stitches using a long tail & ‘m1’ MAY
  • The fairisle technique MAY
  • How to knit the decorative beaded loop stitch MAY

I SPOKE ABOUT THE CONFUSION OVER SVELTE AND CHAISE LONGUE IN MY INTRO, but I just want to clarify the shade numbers and quantities you should have in your kit.

Chaise Longue is shade 001 and you should have three balls of it in your complete kit.

Svelte is shade 004 and you should have three balls of it in your complete kit.

Unfortunately the confusion came from page 2 of the June Mail Out when the shade numbers for these two yarns were listed incorrectly. In the July Mail Out this has been corrected.

IN THE JULY MAIL OUT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE A CHOICE OF EITHER OPTION ONE OR OPTION TWO FOR SQUARES 9 & 10, FLAPPER. This is the third time that you have had to choose an option to knit in this blanket so far, so I thought it might be a good idea to talk to you now about the options and what I recommend you choose going forward.

Square 4, Cartier (June Mail Out): you will need to choose the same option for Square 46

Squares 9 & 10, Flapper (July Mail Out): you will need to choose the same option for Squares 40 & 41.

Squares 22 & 23 (still to come): you will need to choose the same option for Squares 27 & 28.

Squares 37 & 38, Dapper (May Mail Out): you will need to choose the same option for Squares 12 & 13.

It is perfectly fine to mix your options, in other words, you don’t need to stick with only Option One or only Option Two all the way through the project. However, it is important that the design is balanced, so when you make these choices I recommend that you follow my instructions above about which options you should choose.

I MENTIONED IN MY INTRO VID ABOUT BUTTONS, and as I have had some queries about them, I am going to give you some information about where they will be used in future squares so that you can plan if and where you are going to add them to your own blanket.

OPTION TWO squares: in the squares you have been given to knit so far, buttons have been used in Option Two for Squares 9 & 10 Flapper and Squares 37 & 38 Dapper.

In future squares you will use buttons on Option Two squares 12 & 13 and 40 & 41.

OPTION ONE squares: if you have knitted Option One for all of these squares, then you can add buttons to Square 4 (and they will also be used on Squares 22 and 23, Squares 27 & 28 and Square 46 which you have not been given yet). I will include an image in the August blog of where to position them on Square 4.

Alternatively, if you are knitting all Option One squares and don’t want to add any buttons to them, you can omit them completely from your blanket.

MIXED OPTIONS: if you are mixing your options then it might be a good idea to leave the buttons until you have completed all the squares in the whole blanket and then decide where to sew them on.

IT HAS BEEN MENTIONED TO ME THAT THE RHINESTONE STUDS COULD POSE A PROBLEM TO YOUNG CHILDREN AND BABIES if they are chewed or swallowed. So I would advise that you do not use them on your Mystery Blanket if you consider this to be a potential risk.

Alternative suggestions for what you could replace them with are French Knots or knitted bobbles. Kindly note that it is the individual’s responsibility to decide whether or not to use them in this project.

THE TITLE OF THE 2022 MYSTERY BLANKET is still being guessed by many of you. But these lovely people have now got it right, Alison Allen and Barbara Hathaway, so well done to both of you, the mystery is solved!

However, if you are still guessing take a look at the names of the squares you have been given so far and see if you can make any connection between them. The clues are all there!

In the meantime, here is another letter which may just be enough to help you guess it. The letter I am giving you this month is “E”:

_  E  _  _  / _  R  E  A  M  S

Please send your guesses to Sue. There are no prizes for the correct answer – it is simply a bit of fun each month. And if you do guess it right, with your permission we will include your name in the next blog.

THERE ARE SIX SQUARES TO KNIT THIS MONTH, with some options to choose:

Squares 6 & 7, Razzle Dazzle (encore!) – striped chevrons, hooked-in beads, stocking stitch stripes and a rhinestone detail (same for both options):

Square 5, Zig-zags – textured zig-zag pattern with slip-stitch beads and twisted stitches (same for both options):

Squares 9 & 10, Flapper (Option One) – textured stripes, fairisle, hooked-in beads and a decorative beaded slip-stitch detail:

Squares 9 & 10, Flapper (Option Two) – textured stripes, hooked-in beads, decorative beaded slip-stitch detail and buttons:

Square 39, Lalique – lace pattern with garter stitch stripes (same for both options):

On each pattern page there is a list of Pattern notes and tips that are worth reading before you start to knit each square. These bits of advice will help you and give pre-warnings as to what look out for in the pattern instructions. Also take note of the description under the title of each square as this tells you what the stitch structure is.

You can use the tech vids from previous blogs to help you knit your squares. But here are a few extra tips to assist you:

SQUARES 6 & 7, RAZZLE DAZZLE (ENCORE!): this is a repeat of Squares 43 and 44 from the May mail out which are knitted as one panel. It is important to realise that you knit Square 7 before you knit Square 6 as they will be added to the blanket in reverse order with Squares 7, 6 and 5 added in from top to bottom. If you look at the Piecing Diagram on page 4 of your mail out, you will see that this gives the blanket a wavy edge (created by the Chevron stitch) along both top and bottom edges of the blanket.

Videos to watch for assistance with these squares:

  • How to bead, the hooking-in method (MARCH blog)
  • Razzle Dazzle: Chevron stitch (MARCH blog)
  • How to attach a rhinestone stud to knitting (MARCH blog)

When you have completed Squares 6 & 7 you will need to block them to the correct measurements. This is the same as Squares 1 & 2 which were blocked to 18cm across in width and 36cm down in length. In the last Pattern note and tip on page 7 it tells you that the halfway point of this panel is Row 22 of the chart where you were instructed to add markers to your knitting.

SQUARE 5, ZIG-ZAGS: this is another repeat of a square you have knitted before, Square 5, which was also in the May mail out.

Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

  • How to thread beads onto yarn (MARCH blog)
  • How to bead, the slip-stitch method (MARCH blog)
  • Diamonds: T2R and T2L (MARCH blog)

To maintain neat and even stitches, make sure that when you are twisting them you slip them carefully without stretching them too much.

When you have worked the last row of this square, the stitches are not cast off but are left on a holder or spare needle so that they can be joined to Square 4. This is done using a three-needle bind off. If you are not sure how to do this, put it to one side and wait for the August blog in which there will be a vid to demonstrate this technique.

IMPORTANT CHANGE TO SQUARE 4, OPTION ONE: I have just noticed that you will need to undo the last row (Row 59) and reknit it as a decrease row as follows:

Row 59: Pickles, K8, K2tog, [K14, K2tog] twice, K8 (47 stitches).

This will result in the same number of stitches as Square 5 which means they can be joined together stitch for stitch using a three-needle cast off.

Option Two already has 47 stitches so this is fine as it is, and does not need amending.

SQUARES 9 & 10, FLAPPER (OPTION ONE): these two squares are knitted as one panel and are similar in their structure to Squares 37 & 38, Dapper, but there are subtle differences, more noticeably in the colour palette, but also in the fairisle sections.

It is important to point out that you don’t need to choose the same option for these squares that you chose for Squares 37 & 38, Dapper.

Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (to knit the next square) (APRIL blog)
  • Squares 37 & 38, Dapper (both options): how to knit the decorative slip-stitch stripe (APRIL blog)
  • Squares 37 & 38, Dapper (Option One): how to pick up stitches using a long tail of yarn, and how to m1 (make one stitch) (APRIL blog)
  • Squares 37 & 38, Dapper (Option One): the fairisle technique (APRIL blog)
  • Squares 37 & 38, Dapper (both options): how to knit the decorative beaded loop stitch (APRIL blog)
  • How to thread beads onto yarn (MARCH blog)
  • How to bead, the hooking-in method (MARCH blog)

The two-colour geometric fairisle pattern uses Sea Green and Svelte and has Clear beads added in on chart rows 6, 12 and 18 – these are a bit tricky to see in the image on page 14, but easier to see on the chart on page 18.

As with Dapper, there are instructions to increase the number of stitches to accommodate the changes in stitch structure, and these stitches are decreased back out again in stages so that you end with the same number that you started with, which is 48 stitches. Just watch out for them as they happen several times throughout the square and are important to do otherwise you won’t have the correct number of stitches to work certain parts of the pattern.

Keep an eye on the changes to needle size too as they switch between 2.50mm and 3.25mm. These needle size changes will help maintain the same width across the whole square.

When you have completed Squares 9 & 10 you will need to block them to the correct measurements. This is the same as Squares 37 & 38 which were blocked to 18cm across in width and 36cm down in length. In the last Pattern note and tip on page 15 it tells you that the halfway point of this panel is Row 75 where you were instructed to add markers to your knitting.

SQUARES 9 & 19, FLAPPER (OPTION TWO): this is very similar to Dapper, Option Two from the May mail out, but the terracotta and peach palette has been swapped for greens and blues.

As mentioned above, you don’t need to choose the same option for these squares that you chose for Squares 37 & 38, Dapper.

Videos to watch for assistance with these squares:

  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (to knit the next square) (APRIL blog)
  • Squares 37 & 38, Dapper (both options): how to knit the decorative slip-stitch stripe (APRIL blog)
  • Squares 37 & 38, Dapper (both options): how to knit the decorative beaded loop stitch (APRIL blog)
  • How to thread beads onto yarn (MARCH blog)
  • How to bead, the hooking-in method (MARCH blog)

The structure of this square and the different sections of patterns are exactly the same as Squares 37 and 38.

SQUARE 39, LALIQUE: this new square is a delicate lace pattern repeat in broad stripes of Gold Pearl and Silver Ghost. Garter stitch stripes in a mixture of Baby Silver, Mint and Vintage Pink are nestled between the bands of lace.

Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

  • Squares 15 & 16, Lanvin: lace stitches (APRIL blog)

You can choose to knit this from worded instructions or from a chart. Both will give you the same result, so which one you decide to use depends on how you prefer to work.

As mentioned in last month’s blog, I am using the abbreviation ‘yo’ (yarn over) for all the increases in lace patterns. This is a reminder of how they are worked between different combinations of stitches:

between a knit and a knit: bring yarn forward between the needles and leave it at the front of the work, ready to knit the next stitch

between a purl and a purl: take yarn anti-clockwise round the needle so that it is at the front of the work, ready to purl the next stitch

between a purl and a knit: leaving the yarn where it is at the front, the yarn will go over the needle as you knit the next stitch – so you basically do nothing!

between a knit and a purl: bring yarn forward, towards you, between the needles then take it anti-clockwise round the needle so that it is at the front, ready to purl.

There’s one last thing I want to mention about this square. It’s the third Pattern note and tip on page 24 of your July mail out which points out that ‘yb’ (yarn back) and ‘yf’ (yarn forward) is a movement of the yarn before and after slipping a stitch, and are not increases. You move the yarn back as you slip the next stitch then bring it forward again to work the next stitch after the slipped stitch. This means that the yarn sits behind the slipped stitch rather than in front of it.

IT WON’T BE LONG BEFORE WE LAUNCH APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2023 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB! My brand new ‘mystery’ knitting adventure will begin in February next year and run for ten months. I am busy working on the design and getting the colour palette and yarns sorted for it, so in next month’s blog I will be able to tell you more about what I have in store for you. We will have an Early Bird special offer for everyone who signs up within the first month. And there will be the option, if preferred, to spread the payment for your membership over 2-4 months. So if you are enjoying this year’s KAL and think you might want to join me again next year, pencil the end of August firmly into your diary for the launch of our 2023 sign-ups. I am super excited about my new project and hope you decide to knit along with me again next year!

AND FINALLY FOR THIS POSTING, THE FIFTH 2022 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 FIVE (JULY): this month’s winner is member 317, Sara Rose from Bilton, Rugby in Warwickshire in the UK. Well done Sara! Please choose a prize from the following selection:

  • Your choice of one of the Rainbow Purse knitting kits: Neon, Hot or Cool (take a look at them in our online shop)

 

  • A £20 voucher towards a Debbie Abrahams Mystery Club membership: 2023 Mystery Cushion Club; 2023 Mystery Blanket Club
  • A ‘mystery’ bag of five knitting related goodies.

We will notify Sara to let her know the good news!

This time of year is always very busy for me as new kits and workshop events are starting to be thought about and planned into the diary for the next twelve months. And with Autumn now firmly in our sights, it won’t be too long before we launch our annual Festive Mystery Knit Boxes and Festive knitting kits for this year – it’s a very exciting time! While I am busy working on all these lovely things, I hope that you continue to enjoy knitting up your blanket squares this month. And if you have any stories or photos about your ‘mystery’ knitting that you would like to share with us, please remember to send them in to me – I always love to hear about how you are getting on with your projects! Until next month, keep yourselves super safe and well and let’s hope that wherever you are in the world we can all enjoy some glorious sunshine while we knit our way through July! Debbie x

 


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