KAL Stage 3

10 April 2011 — I just published Part 2 of Stage 3 of the KAL — click here.

Hello lovely knitters, at long last I have Stage 3 directions for you for the Summer in the Country cotton blanket knit along.

That flu I had a week or two ago, well it resurfaced this week concurrent with someone else in the house having a three-day migraine headache.  I have been taking care of a person with a terrible migraine, a two year old baby, and myself the past few days and did not have time to write much at all — much less knit.

The other thing is that after I completed Stage 3, I started on a repeat of the rows from Stage 2 and for some reason everything looked all wonky.  Therefore I have been slowly tinking my way back through eight rows of knitting on my blanket.

I did promise a slow knit, so I am being good to my word on that.

I am doing much better now, and we are having a pleasant evening here at home, and I am writing to you.

First thing we have to do is, get ourselves into the right frame of mind for knitting on the Summer in the Country blanket … so I will set the stage.   It is a cool spring day, blue skies and a cool breeze.  Geese are flying over head frequently, honking as they direct each other along the way in their V-shaped flying pattern.

Today I have wholewheat, buttermilk honey rolls baking in the oven.  They come out of the oven just about the time you all arrive.  I’ve got some accordion music playing softly from an old-fashioned looking record player.  The windows are open, and we are all wearing warm sweaters and wraps because of the cool breeze.  The air is fresh and clean, the out of doors is alive with the sound of many, many birds.  Today we also hear peepers peeping, and their peeping is loud almost like a huge chorus of crickets.  Every once in a while we hear the deep baritone of a bull frog from down by the river.

Coffee and tea as well as hot cocoa are ready to hand in the little cottage kitchen, along with the rolls that just came out of the oven and an assortment of cheeses and strawberries (not local yet, but very plump and tasty).  I also have out some of my homemade apple preserves from way back in 2006, my first year on the farm.

Okay, let’s all get settled down with our goodies and knitting and get ready for a sweet time knitting together with good friends.

For Stage 3 of the blanket you get to make a choice.  First, I will describe what Stage 3, then I will explain the choice you can make.

Stage 3 is a seed stitch band worked across six rows of knitting.  When I first envisioned this stage, I saw the seed stitch band appearing to go over and under the cable columns creating a basket-weave effect.  The choice you get to make is option A) your seed stitch band just goes straight across the blanket in a strip, or option B) your seed stitch band appears to weave under and over the cable columns.

Follow the first set of instructions for option A, follow the second set of instructions for option B.

Option A Seed Stitch Band

A1. *K1, P1, K1*, repeat from * to * across all 241 stitches.  Work this row six times total.

When you are finished with the seed stitch band, work two repeats of the 12 rows in Stage 2 again.  Then, continue alternating Stage 2 with Stage 3 A until your blanket is as long as you would like it to be, other than the final 2.5″ seed stitch border which would be repeated at the end.

You will be busy with this for a while, so just keep working.  I will have a bit more work to do with those who choose option B, but we will all catch up with each other in the end.  I might create some embellishments for the blanket at the end, so be sure to stay in touch for that.

Okay, for everyone who decided to go with option B, here are those instructions:

Option B Seed Stitch Band with Basket-weave Effect

B1: SD ST across first 63 stitches, P3, K9, P3, SD ST across next 85 stitches, P3, K9, P3, SD ST across remaining stitches on row.
B2: SD ST across first 63 stitches, K3, P9, K3, SD ST across next 85 stitches, K3, P9, K3, SD ST across remaining stitches on row.
B3 & 4: Repeat these two rows once more.
B5: SD ST across first 63 stitches, P3, C9F, P3, SD ST across next 85 stitches, P3, C9F, P3, SD ST across remaining stitches on row.
B6: SD ST across first 63 stitches, K3, P9, K3, SD ST across next 85 stitches, K3, P9, K3, SD ST across remaining stitches on row.

When you finish those six rows, don’t do anything else until I issue the next set of instructions.  The reason I caution you is because of whatever when wrong for me at this point.  So, just work those six rows and then check back.

Thank you for joining me, and be sure to share photos with each other via your blog, Facebook account, or Flickr account.  Link to whichever venue you use from the comments here.



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  1. Welcome back. I’m ready for this next set of instructions and wondered where you were going to go to go with the pattern–and now I know. Sounds very interesting. Joan (the slow-knitter one)

  2. WOW! I am going to go completely out of my comfort zone, and go with option ‘B’. Thank you for challenging me, and I can’t wait to see how it comes out.

  3. Thanks Joan, its good to be back. 🙂 firefly

  4. Sorry to hear you were not feeling well – hopefully with the fine weather you’ll feeling sunny too!

    I still haven’t started the KAL but it sounds great so far – I think I will opt for option B – I like the idea of the cable continuing on top of the seed stitch.

    Hope you continue to feel better…


  5. WOW! Incredible! I am glad I chose the B option. It knitted up ratehr quickly while sitting by the fire today. I am going to start all ove this afternoon and make a second one up in sugar’n cream Tangerine. Wish me luck! lol

    • Marcy, I am so sorry there was a problem with your comments. I found them all over in the spam folder for comments on my blog. Not sure why, but I think I found them all and got them over in the right place and approved. For the rest of the group, please welcome Marcy who has been knitting with us all along, but her comments weren’t showing up so she was feeling lonely. Let’s give her some KAL love. 🙂 firefly

  6. I’m looking forward to the time when you will be 100%.
    I am getting ready for a fiber festival. It’s fun, but a lot of work as well since I am a vendor. (handspun yarn, handmade soap, knitted, crocheted & woven accessories, handmade beads & jewelry)
    I will feel 100% once it is over & the things I have made are stowed away until the next show.
    I look forward to Sunday when I will relax & return to knitting my Summer in the Country blanket in soft white cotton. It is just barely turning spring here in the country in northern Illinois, still cool, but I will dream of the warmth of summer while I knit. Thanks for the third part of the knit along. I also am opting for B; I think the cables might remind me of the little river wending its way along the edge of our woods.

    • Good luck with all of your preparations for the fiber festival, it must be overwhelming and chaotic at times. It is still cool here too, but I was just telling my husband last night that this period right now when we are right on the verge of warmth and green and flowers is a time of promise, and that promise is so sweet. That’s funny what you said about the cables, because the cables in the blanket represent the river we live on, a river that winds its way throughout this area and touches many lives. ~firefly

  7. Yum – hot cocoa, biscuits and apple preserves. Makes me want to knit! I’m going for Option B as well. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges from my needles and yarn.

    All this changing weather just loves invading the sinuses – hope everyone is on the mend.

    • Joan, where “The Pone” come from? I make pone bread, is there a pone bread pun in that name at all? ~firefly

      • There’s a nursery rhyme, “John John the piper’s son, stole a pig and away he ran.” When I was young, my dad changed it to “Joan Pone the ice cream cone . . .” and Joanpone stuck as my nickname (and became my screen name when computers and the internet surfaced). Friends have altered it somewhat – ex brother in law called me Joan Joan the cornpone – and friend Sandy used Joan the Pone. My brother calls me JP. And as an aside, after a family trip to Mexico, I have picked up the additional name, Tia Juana 🙂

  8. I hope you and all in your household are feeling much better! Thank you for the fun of having two choices of how to proceed! I am working on B, but it makes me want to make another blanket so I can see the other option also. I love your patterns for the charm and peaceful beauty you incorporate into them…how do you do that? lol : )

    • We are all doing much better, thank you. Hopefully some of the knitters who choose Option A will post photos of their work so we can see what it looks like that way. Thank you for your nice comments, Mary. 🙂 firefly

  9. i just got over something. don’t know what. maybe just allergies. glad you are feeling better.

    • Karen, thank you for posting a picture on your blog. It’s helping me decide which option : ). I’m probably overthinking this . . . LOL

  10. So glad you’re feeling better!! You’ve been missed. I can’t decide on the option. I love cables and the extra steps it takes to make them but I’m wondering if option B is going to look too busy. Any thoughts? Thanks for the warm and inviting setting to knit in. Warm regards, Cathy in Las Vegas

    • I chose to do the B option because I thought that it would make the knitting seem to go faster for me. I don’t knit too eagerly, especially in a large piece, if the pattern seems to go on forever. I thought that breaking up the seed stitch made it more interesting and made me pay more attention to my knitting and, enjoy the process and end pattern more.

      • : + ) I decided to go with B. I guess I’m a little bit of a visual person so looking at Messy Karen’s photo helped me decide. I’m loving it. THANK YOU.

  11. Here’s my stage 3 photo at the top of my ravelry link, using option B.


  12. Here is my completed step 3… I chose the B option.

    Cruise on over to Marcaritaville…


  13. Question: We’re to C9F…I’m curious as to why 9 and not an even number? I’m new to knitting so there is a ton I don’t know. What I’ve read or viewed(I have never done) about cabling has used even numbers. Just wondering how that works. Thanks.

    • This cable uses an odd number because of the bobble part. For the bobble to be in the middle of the cable, there needed to be an odd number of stitches. If you haven’t worked the bobble yet, it comes a couple of rows after the C9F. ~firefly

  14. Just posted a correction in red italics to the instructions for Stage 3, Part 2 — important to check it out. Here is the link: http://wp.me/P1piG-y9


  15. Hi,
    I dropped my knitting without knowing it and lost a bunch of stitches. I ended up having to tink back all the way to Stage 2 (again). I seem to gain stitches when I do the bobbles…I’m not sure why that is. The stitch count remains at 241 all the way through, right? Also, Have you figured how much yarn we may end using? What are the blanket’s dimensions?

  16. Beckie,
    I hope you are making good progress again. I know Firefly would have better answers for you, but incase she is still feeling under the weather, I’m going to jump in here and have a go at answering.

    It is so easy to gain stitches when you are making the bobbles. Yes, you are right that each row should remain at 241 stitches. There is a simple way to make sure that you don’t add stitches…put a stitch marker just before and after the center stitch on each cable. Paper clips work just fine…I often use them when I need a quantity of markers. Then, when you make each bobble, you will be able to be certain that you still only have one stitch between the markers when the bobble is complete.

    As for the dimensions, I’m a very loose knitter, and my blanket is turning out to be 70 inches across. When the first cone (690 yards) was finished, the blanket was 16 inches long. I am probably going to use 3 cones.

    I hope this helped. I bet I’m not the only one who would love to see a photo of your progress : )

    • Thanks for posting this Mary. I like the idea of using paper clips around the bobble stitch; I think that will help. And I’m checking each row, just to make sure I’ve got 241. Thanks again, Mary! Firefly, I hope everyone gets better soon! 🙂

      • Hi Beckie, and Mary too. We are all feeling better, and I appreciate you asking. I never knew it could be normal for a flu to linger around for up to eight weeks – uugh. Today was so warm and breezy here, as well as sunny. We went out for a nice walk around the yard, absorbing the sunshine and the warmth and having a lovely time listening to the frogs, and the birds, and the ducks, etc.

        I think Mary did a great job of coming up with a solution for making sure you don’t increase a stitch at the bobbles by accident. Most likely, by doing that, you will come to realize wherever your mistake was happening and that too will get resolved and then you won’t even need the extra stitch markers any longer.

        If, after following Mary’s suggestion, you continue to have any confusion around the making of the bobble, post a new comment about that and I’ll see what I can do to help you figure out what has gone awry.

        Meanwhile, you might also want to see if there is a video or illustrated tutorial at knittinghelp.com covering the making of a bobble.

        Good luck, and thanks for staying in touch!


  17. Firefly, I’m so glad you and your family are feeling better!
    Beckie, how is your blanket coming along now?
    Everybody….I *really* would like to see how your blankets are turning out. : )
    ~Mary in SD

    • Thanks Mary … and yes, everyone it would be great to hear about and see blanket progress. Believe it or not, I am just now finishing Stage 3, Part 2 … so quite a few of you are my little grasshoppers that have surpassed the teacher. 🙂

      • Hi all, I am finally finished with Stage 2, after reworking/restarting several times. I realize now where I was going wrong; I was following instructions from a video where making the bobble resulted in an added stitch; so once that was corrected, I was good. I’m finishing the last row of stage 2 and moving onto the option b of Stage 3. So my question now is, how relevant are the stitch markers in this part of the blanket? I have photos of my progress on Ravelry, BeckieKnitz. Thanks!! Happy May!

      • Hi Beckie, well done on your progress. Also, it is great that you are keeping the group updated on your progress and asking great questions. For me, I like leaving the stitch markers in because I have a lot of things going on in my environment that distract me and the stitch markers make it a lot easier to very quickly and easily know exactly where I am. But, as far as their relevance goes at this point in the blanket that is really up to your own personal wishes and whether they are serving any purpose for you at this point.

        Best wishes, firefly

  18. My friend has commented that the blanket is beautiful and so intricate. Thank you for your pattern design–it’s quite lovely and I’m truly enjoying knitting this large project–it just seems to move right along in stages that are easily accomplished. So happy that you all are feeling so much better. Take care.

  19. Hi all! I’m about to start Part 2 of Stage 3. I’ve got 5 skeins left and the blanket is only about 7 inches long. How do I figure out how many more skeins to buy? Each one is 200 yards. Is there a website that does this? I am not mathematically inclined…I need help with a calculator!

    Cheers and Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Hi Becky. What I would do is weigh your blanket on a digital scale if you have one, or can get to one (maybe someone at the post office would weigh it for you). Each skein of yarn you are using has a certain weight and length. If you figure out how much your blanket weighs so far, you can figure out the yardage you have used to make your seven inches of blanket. Then, you would decide how large you want your blanket to be in the end (this will determine how many times you will repeat the Stages 2 and 3). Once you know how long you want it to be, come back and leave a comment with all of this info: 1) how long do you want the blanket to be in the end, 2) how long is it now, 3) how much does it weigh right now, 4) what is the weight and yardage length on the yarn label of one skein of your yarn. Tell me all of that and I will help you figure out how many total skeins of yarn you will need. ~firefly

      • Thanks, I’ll do just that!

  20. I have finished stages 1 and 2, yes I know very late, and am looking forward to stage 3. I have a soft pink yarn and am not sure when I can put a picture on.

    • That’s great Ruth … have you found the Stage 3 instructions yet? ~firefly

      • Yes, thank you very much!

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