Martin Storey KAL 2016: Halfway Through

You may already know, if you follow my What Colours Make facebook page, that I am taking part in the the Martin Storey Knit Along and knitting the blue colourway blanket. All the information for the KAL is available on Rowan’s website which is now at around the halfway point, Stage 4, with the release of the Lace Tree Square pattern last Thursday.

Martin Storey Blanket

If you have just gone “Oh no! I’ve missed it!” It is not too late to join in; it doesn’t matter if you are a little late in starting as the first four patterns are on the website and will remain there for quite a while and be joined by the next four, the trim and the make up layout diagram. Besides, in joining in now you can take a look around Facebook, Ravelry and here on my blog to catch up on what other people are doing and maybe customize your blanket to suit yourself: choose different shades, knit more of your favourite squares or less of your not so favourite squares. Check out the links at the bottom of this post.

Before I started knitting the first square I decided that I was going to make a smaller blanket: 25 squares instead of 48, giving me a blanket slightly larger than 100cm (40 inches) square. Perfect! At this stage I didn’t know how they would be laid out but would work this out as I went along.

My favoutite square so far was the first one, the Moss Heart Square.

Martin Storey KAL 2016 Moss Heart Square

I liked the colour and the design and it was really easy to knit once I established where the pointy end of the heart started with one purl stitch. After a few rows I could predict the pattern until I got to row 36 where I had to pay attention to the chart again for the top part of the heart. I decided I would knit 5 of this square and place one in the center of my blanket and the other four in each of the outer corners…….

Martin Storey KAL 2016 Esther Hartley's blanket layout draft

For the following 7 squares I would knit 2 of each but would then need to knit a further 6 to get me to 25 squares. I would decide which squares I liked best when I had knitted all 8 designs.

I also liked the second square, the Slip Stitch Nordic Stripe Square, quite a lot.

Martin Storey KAL 2016 Slip Stitch Nordic Square

I love slip stitches in knitting as it allows you to bring colours up to the row above while using only one yarn colour per row as opposed to fairisle where you have two or three different colour yarns alternating on one row. You may remember that I have used this technique to knit my Fine Art Aran Kandinsky cardigan (see link to earlier blog post below). Although this was knitted using only one shade of yarn I wanted to break up the variegated look of the yarn that you can see in the picture below on the right.

Still thinking about how useful slip stitches are, I also have some Mohair Haze stashed away to hopefully knit Karolin from Rowan Magazine 56………..

Karolin from Rowan Magazine 56

but I am also considering this lovely cardigan called Ottawa from Lisa Richardson’s Designers Collection………

Ottawa slip Stitch cardigan by Lisa Richardson

which is available a paid pattern download from the Rowan website. Both patterns are worked in an all over slip stitch colourwork pattern creating a really beautiful effect. Maybe I will knit a cross between the two?

Anyway, back to the blanket KAL, when working with two different shades of yarn don’t cut the yarn when changing from one shade to the other but bring the yarn you have finished working with to the front of the knitting and the yarn you are about to work with towards the back……..

Diagram Carrying Yarn up side of work

The yarn changes will be almost invisible and with no loose ends to sew in……..

Photo of Edge of knitting Carrying Yarn up side of work

The third square, the Textured Tree Square, looks lovely when knitted but you do have to pay attention quite a bit to the chart. I found I had to put a sticky post-it note on the chart along every row I was knitting. Not sure if this square will make it on the ‘knit 2 more’ list.

Martin Storey KAL 2016 Texture Tree Square

The fourth square, the Lace Tree Square, was also looking quite lovely until I got to the top of the tree on row 41. You are supposed to knit 2 together and then do a yfwd. This pulls the center stitch towards the right moving the centre stem to the right and making the top of the tree looking rather wonky……..

Martin Storey KAL 2016 Lace Tree Square Original

Green colored square from Rowan’s pattern, which I think is knitted incorrectly.

I didn’t like it so I decided I would omit the K2tog and yfwd on row 41. However, this meant the lace tree design was not quite in the center of the square so I ripped back my knitting to row 10 and started the lace tree pattern on row 13 moving the tree up so it was more centered. Here’s how my version turned out…….Martin Storey KAL 2016 Lace Tree Square

Of course, you may like the pattern exactly as it is and it is the way Martin Storey intended it to be, but then I do have to change things…..I just can’t help myself!

The blanket is knitted in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, a beautiful 100% super wash wool which comes in 60 different shades plus 8 variegated shades. So, even if you don’t like the 4 different colourways that Martin Storey has chosen you have a large selection of shades to choose your own.

If you would like to join in with this KAL click on the link below for all the relevant information including links to Ravelry, You Tube videos, tutorials, etc.

Martin Storey KAL 2016

And some other links you might like to click on:

Previous post on the Martin Storey KAL 2016 (after clicking this link scroll to the bottom of the post)

My ‘What Colours Make’ facebook page

Kandinsky Cardigan Blog Post

If you are already taking part let me know how you are getting on by leaving a comment below.

When I have completed my blanket I will post again so you can let me know what you think.

Thank so much for reading my blog.

Esther x