Doing the Maths

loubug squares1

My oldest UFO, “Queen’s Mate”, started with naïve enthusiasm (and a comedy level of planning) a few *cough cough* years ago. It has been left to gently compost in a bag for the best part of a decade, with a reluctant annual airing and occasional stab at getting another square done. I declared war on this project bag of guilt a week ago and I have (technically) now finished it.

Yes, there was a large 22 square hole in the centre. No, I didn’t enslave elves into knitting for me. Ok, maybe I kind-of cheated a bit. But surely it isn’t cheating, just good maths…


Step 1 in operation “hell or high water” involved taking apart the tacked sections and, after almost a decade of storage, I thought that they needed a bit of freshening up. As a seasoned knitter I would not even contemplate creating a large blanket out of black and white without checking that the black would not bleed into the white. Looking at the bag of squares (with a faint sick feeling), I realised that my note-taking on fibres had been gung-ho at best, with a side order of “kid in a candy shop” yarn buying and fibre mixing. I crossed my fingers and bunged them in two different colour 30 degree washes. Lucky for me, my budget hadn’t stretched to pure fibre!

Step 2 was to lay the freshly dried squares out in a grid and work out where to begin. Twenty-two squares is a lot of work, but I decided to stop focusing on negatives and focus on the 42 finished squares. Very Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! A faint memory stirred, Trillain’s mice commenting that if 42 was the ultimate answer then the grand question could be “what is 6×7?”


Strike-a-light I am a genius! The huge hole in the centre is no more! Bye bye chess board, hello checked blanket! The joy of this is that I could still complete it to the original 8×8 grid (and do so in 3 sets of 7 square strips) if I so desired in the future. I won’t bore you with the 6 hours of sewing up (most of which had me either in a stress position or with my bum waving in the air), thank goodness for boxsets!


It has definitely gone down a treat with the cat (who set up camp on it while I was still sewing it up and now only moves off it for dinner). Lucky for him that I have long accepted that everything I own will be covered in ginger hairs!

Anyone else done some UFO slaying? Anyone else used creative maths to help it along?



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shellssells
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 13:39:31

    Fabulous and congrats! I’ve got a lizard ridge that has been on the needles since 2011. While that doesn’t seem that long, with the inspiration I had going into the project, it just seems a shame I didn’t manage to get it done long ago. So, I brought the project to work, knowing full well I would never knit on it at home, and spend a small portion of my lunch time knitting a few rows. I must say, serious progress is now being made and I am hoping to put that project to bed by the time we are moving into summer.


  2. KnitWit
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 10:09:56

    Little and often is definitely the way to go…I’d get nothing done if I tried any other way! It somehow seems more exciting, as things get seemingly done out of nowhere. Good luck with your project! KnitWit


  3. KnitWit
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 10:11:24

    By the way – I’ve seen this black and white blanket for myself, and the photo doesn’t do it justice! Each square is a different yarn and a different knitting/crochet technique. It is genuinely impressive 🙂


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