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Beige and black...

A while ago, I started hanging around with a Bad Crowd. (Admittedly, I hang around with several Bad Crowds. And I'm usually pretty happy with this state of affairs.)

Anyway, I phoned one of the members of this particular Bad Crowd several weeks ago. (It's the ringy dingy. I can't stay away from it. It's even more addictive than that screen and the board with all the lettered buttons on it.) The Border Collie blanket was nearly done at that point, and I mentioned it.

As luck would have it, she is also involved in a nonprofit that holds a fundraising silent auction, and she mentioned to me that her group would gladly accept any blankets I cared to donate.

No. No. Absolutely not. I don't have time, I don't have energy. Nice try, but it's less than two months until the auction, and do you realize how long these things take?

Unfortunately, the damage had been done. My traitorous brain latched onto the idea, and within a week, I had the concept, half the yarn, and a new nickname for this so-called friend: The Eeeeeeeeevil One.

This is why:
taci blanket on lawn

The group that TEO is involved with is the Toronto Early Music Players' Organization, sometimes referred to as TEMPO or T.E.M.P.O.

Well. Early music. Including mediæval/mediaeval/medieval stuff.

Hmm. Medieval. That's like parchments. And illuminated manuscripts.

Like this one. And this one. Or the ones here. Or on this page. And here. Did I mention this page? DIAMM itself looks as if it would be an amazing source, but I'm afraid to go in there alone. I might not find my way out again.

(Oh, and TEO may be amused by one of the items that came up when I image-googled for "medieval music manuscripts". It's oddly appropriate.)

Anyway, as I looked at those images, I saw things that would work beautifully in a medieval music-inspired blanket. A mottled beige background for the parchment, black squares for the blocky medieval notes, and an edging of a richly colored variegated yarn in a simplified reflection of the illuminations.

I had my inspiration.

I toyed with a few different layouts, and finally decided that a fairly simple setup would work best. Five rows, to go along with the lines on the modern musical staff. (Or the spaces on the older medieval staff.) Five columns, to make a square. I realized that the black squares would be the most visible, so I wanted them arranged fairly evenly, and I decided that the best way to do that would be to put one in the center, and then use knights' moves (2 up, 1 across) to locate the others. I distributed the beige squares (three different colors) as evenly as I could in the remaining spaces. I then joined the squares with the darkest beige yarn. I did a single row of beige sc around the edge, then a row of black sc, then multicolor dc, then another row of black.

Details of the corners:
Round 1 (beige): 3 sc into corner (=3st)
Round 2 (black): 1 sc into first sc, 2 sc into each of next 2 sc (=5st)
Round 3 (multi): 1 dc into first sc, 2 dc into each of next 4 sc (=9st)
Round 4 (black): 1 sc into each of next 3 dc, 2 sc into each of next 4 dc,
1 sc into each of next 2 sc

At that point, I looked at the blanket, and saw that it was done. Surprised me. I had planned on at least one more row of edging. But it was done.

The blanket is made of acrylic yarn, so it's machine washable and dryable (gentle cycle, tumble dry low).

The squares were all 8 rounds, and the yarn is all worsted weight from Caron:
One Pound - Cream (589) - one skein, 7 squares (buttery color)
One Pound - Off White (514) - one skein, 7 squares (very light beige, looks nearly gray in the photos)
One Pound - Lace (585) - one skein, 6 squares and joining/edging (medium light beige - about the way I like my coffee)
One Pound - Black (503) - one skein, 5 squares and binding (black)
Simply Soft - Embroidery Print (9811, lot 7971) - edging (rainbowish yarn, but rich rather than bright, and the colors don't run in a strict roygbiv pattern)

The finished size is about 50" by 50" (125cm by 125cm). It's smaller than my usual twin-bed-coverlets, but (like the Border Collie Blanket), it's a nice lap blanket.

One final comment: I usually nickname my blankets, and the names typically reflect the blanket construction or recipient in some way. This is the Taci Blanket. I knew that I was making it for TEMPO, and I knew that tempo is a music term derived from Italian. So I went looking for other words that fit. Illuminato, of course. Caldo, since the blanket would be warm. And aria, for musical airs, and the air between the blanket and the person. I took the initial letters and looked at them. ACIT. Nothing. I rearranged them a few times, and found taci. The imperative of tacere, to be silent.

Perfect. Be silent. Be silent, and listen. Be silent, and rest.

Be silent, and quiet your thoughts. And enjoy.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 28th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
That 'arty' look doesn't quite work as well as the last effort. It sort of looks like someone hiding from the camera and running away......
I like the blanket though. Boring colours made to look really attractive. Medieval is good.
May. 28th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Lol!
Yep. It put me in mind of the way my brother and I used to hide under blankets. (Actually, he still does that, I think.)

I've got another arty shot:
The tree in the background was the model for the border collie shot

I'm not entirely thrilled with it either. It's too straight-line: bush, blanket, tree. Unfortunately, if I move to the left, I start including the driveway in frame, and that is not very photogenic.

At some point, I should probably take a photography course, and learn how to work around these things. And I should scope out local parks for blanket photo shoots. (Dang. I can think of at least three places that would work really well in a park near my parents' home, but I can't think of any areas near here. I think I'm suffering from park visit deficiency.)
May. 28th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Lol!
I'm grinning again. Yes, for some reason, it reminds me of those 'blanky' shots of small children with a comfort blanket stuffed in their mouths, with their thumbs.
It needs that horizontal line doesn't it.. like a washing line or a thin branch that extends out..
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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