Here is a post to show you the rest of the squares, I was really hoping it would serendipitously turn out to be a square numbered post but it was not to be. There isn’t much else to say about squares apart from here they are so I thought I would witter a little bit about some other stuff in between in case you are fed up of looking at squares.
Fantastic by Julie Yeager
The camera is playing silly wotsits so I took these pictures on my phone but I seem to have not framed these very well, I’m sure they all fitted on when I took the photo but I deleted it off the phone when I imported them to the computer so I can’t check and the squares are all organised in piles now which took me ages to decide so I’m not moving them again to redo the pictures. A bad workman and his tools and all that…
Fall Blossom by Aurora Suominen
This week I have mostly been listening to Jingle Bells (played somewhat inexpertly but improving rapidly) on the clarinet. Normally that would drive me insane what with it being only February and having a tendency to acquire earworms but when it is Small playing somehow it just makes me grin and turn into that really annoying parent who tells everyone how wonderful their child is. I think it is because I have been trying to get him to learn an instrument for years, we did a little bit of piano but it doesn’t really work when your mother is your teacher. I think he finally agreed to have lessons at school chiefly to shut me up about it but so far (one week in!) he is really enjoying it and I love hearing him play something he has worked out from the music himself even if it is not very seasonal.
In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion by Margaret MacInnes
In an effort to try and sort out the chronic grumpiness before it becomes terminal I thought maybe I should try to think of some things that I am grateful for or that are positive about being here so as a brief interlude from the squares here is the view from the rock pool (translation for the people at home – a swimming pool made of sea near some rocks, not a rock pool full of crabs and seaweed and small children with fishing nets) that is walking distance from school where I can sit with my knitting or a book and throw the children in to play, (I have even been known to get in myself on special occasions) and is somewhere that I can’t imagine ever going after school at home.
There are bits of purple shells on the bottom and sometimes fish and it is quite nice there especially if you can find a time without too many other people! There, enough being positive back to the squares:
Lise by Polly Plum
There are only two of Cat’s Claw, I thought about making a third one to get thirty-six squares but it was probably the least interesting one to make because you have to do a big plain square for the middle and then do the claw bits over the top afterwards so I decided to do something different for my extra one.
Cat’s Claw my Margaret MacInnes
These are the odd squares, I’m glad there was only one Tropical Delight because it was really fiddly, I had to keep rewinding Hercule Poirot in my headphones because I missed a bit while I was reading the instructions, I do like the spiralling petals near the middle though. Eternal Braid is not in the original instructions but I wanted to add an extra square to make the blanket a square, 6×6 overall instead of a rectangle, 5×7. It looks a bit like an eye, it’s not meant to particularly in the pattern but I’ve been reading A Series of Unfortunate Events with Tiny and kept thinking about the VFD eyes so the colours sort of came out in that order.
Tropical Delight by Susan Stevens, Sweet and Fair by Julie Yeager, Moroccan Window by Heather Gibbs and Eternal Braid by Chris Simon
This is the suggested layout of the thirty-five squares. I have been messing around with them and they definitely fit the bed better with thirty-six but I also realised I will probably have to do a couple of extra rounds on each one to make it fit properly otherwise it will be a little bit short of the right size.
I spread them all out on the floor and proceeded to try to do an insane sudoku kind of thing where the rules are arbitrarily defined and also a bit fluid – I didn’t want any in the same row or column that are the same pattern and I didn’t want any next to each other that are too similar in colour. This is what I finally came up with. I put the four odd squares in the middle (that is why I needed an extra one instead of another Cat’s Claw) and then listed the others as more-or-less-round, approximately-square and vaguely-X-shaped, the X-shaped category is the loosest one because I need to borrow one from each of the other categories to make up the numbers. They are in diagonal rows by category, except for the ones in the middle and except for the two I borrowed which are on two of the corners. I think I have managed to follow the rules about rows and columns. I know the Cat’s Claws are diagonally opposite the other way but I couldn’t make it work otherwise. Oh bum, I have just noticed that some of the other X-shaped ones are in the same diagonal row where they shouldn’t be. I’ll have to swap those!
I keep thinking of the quote from Arcadia – ‘In an ocean of ashes, islands of order. Patterns making themselves out of nothing.’ If I try to lay them out randomly then I look at it and keep tweaking them until they follow some kind of rules again, I don’t think it’s quite what he meant but the words keep jostling in my brain. It’s a beautiful play, it has maths, fractals and chaos, landscape gardening, tortoises, a Broadwood piano, rice pudding and it is very funny. Tom Stoppard puts a lovely rhythm into his words, like Victoria Wood and John Finnemore. I think with clever writers it is as much the particular words they use as much as the sense of what they want to say that makes it a pleasure to listen to. Not sure what Mr Stoppard would think about being put in the same box as those other two though…
In other news, Tiny’s blanket is coming along nicely, I’m having the same sort of thing imposing rules on myself about the colours for the squares in this one even though they are supposed to be random. She loves it and keeps stealing it to play with which makes it a bit hard to carry on with. You can see from the selection of her artwork that is pinned to the end of my shelves why this particular pattern appealed to me to make for her. She does occasionally draw other things but I like these ones, they are nice and bright and remind me that God is watching out for us.
I told you before that I had trouble with startitis. I didn’t have any knitting on the go (except for a pair of socks but they don’t count and a couple of things that are hibernating and I will finish some time, they don’t count either) and this yarn was my birthday present last year which I have been itching to get going with, I will tell you about it properly next time. I managed to wait at least until I had finished the squares, I am pretending that doing the extra rounds and joining them all up and the border don’t count so that I am allowed to start a new thing, I mean the whole blanket is practically done, isn’t it?