by the numbers

1:  one book that made me cry yesterday

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Thies Raven.  A wonderful true story of a man who did a little bit more than he had to during the Berlin Airlift of  ’48.  I think that the reason I was so touched by this was the relief I felt at the realization that there have always been people with compassion.  I’ve been feeling a little dubious about the future lately.  When I was a kid it seemed that things were getting better and the future was bright.  The Cold War was ending, racism was being fought, David Suzuki was helping us save the trees from acid rain.  Lately I’ve been feeling like the storms of troubles meant that the future was, at best, partly cloudy.  Here came this book about a time long before my birth of people being good people, of compassionate people at the right place, and I felt a little sunnier.

40, 000,000:  forty million AIDS orphans

Knit-A-Square wants you to make a few stitches to help these vulnerable children. “Crocheting and knitting for charity, especially for children in need, is not only an act of love but makes a difference. There are many millions of abandoned children, AIDS orphans and child-headed families in southern Africa, who live in dire poverty. They lack love, shelter, food, education and warmth.”  Knit a bit, make them warmer.

105,000: Knit-a-Square’s target for 2010

Even one makes a difference.  And it mails as letter mail.

10:  Ten Squares I’ve knit this Week

Remember all the fun I had throwing dye parties for my family and friends as a birthday present to myself? Well, I have figured out a use for the worsted weight that we did at the family dye party.

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Family Dye Party

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I have always been attracted to stripes, but haven’t knit many for myself.  I have a plan to knit a striped raglan with my odd balls of yarn, but I haven’t had time yet.  The chance to play with colours has been so addictive.  I love playing with the colours.  What does it look like with the lime green as the background?  What about when the pink is the background and the stripes are lime?  Simple, nearly mindless knitting that nevertheless fascinates.

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4: Four Patterns that knit on the Diagonal

Wonderful because you just knit ’til they’re the right size, then start decreasing.

Reverse Mitered Squarethis is the one that I can’t stop knitting.  I love the look of the stripes in garter and the sharp angle they take.

Diagonal Weave – This looks like so much fun and yet so simple.

Diagonal Ripple – Textured and tactile.

Grandma’s Favourite Dish Cloth – I took the pattern and adapted it to have no holes and be warmer.  Here’s how to do it:

No-Holes Dish Cloth, aka Easy Square

Cast on 4 stitches
Row 1: Knit 4
Row 2: Knit 2, kfb, knit across the row.
Repeat Row 2 until one side measures 20 cm/8 inches.
Row 3: Knit 1, ssk, knit to the end of the row.
Repeat Row 3 until you have 4 stitches on the needle.

Bind off.

For squares going to KAS, leave a 1m tail for them to use to sew them together.

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2: two inspiring blog posts worth reading:

Sewing Circle – the colours alone are worth the click, but the thought that homeless flood victims are getting these quilts…sigh

Discovering the Joy of Sheer Existence – see. love.


4 thoughts on “by the numbers

  1. robyn says:

    love that you’re doing this! i started crocheting squares a few weeks ago – my new One Hundred goal is One Hundred Squares by the end of the year. i’ve got a box almost ready to go to The Ghana Project, and then i’m going to fill a box to send to Knit A Square. i’m hoping to use the Reverse Mitered Square pattern for October, thanks to your sharing it!

  2. Kim in ID says:

    Your squares are so lovely! My daughter and I began knitting for Knit A square this week, and you’ve inspired me to get more creative.

  3. Jen says:

    I wish I could spend the day as a fly on your wall. You come across with such a lovely personality and I think I could glean so many ideas from you. In our case my husband is the homeschooler and I am the one who works in a university library for now.

    I enjoy your blog tremendously.

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