Ok, announcement time! If you had a theory about the next Fringe and Friends Knitalong based on my former teasing, you may still be right … eventually. But for this next one, I’ve decided it’s high time to do something I’ve been talking about forever, plus this time I want to base it on a technique rather than a specific pattern (or even a garment type). How many times have I said I want to knit a big stash-busting blanket? Except there’s the minor drawback that I don’t actually want to knit a whole blanket. However, I am endlessly intrigued by Log Cabin construction. So this time around, I’m inviting you to join me for a little log-cabin free-for-all! Keep reading: This is even more exciting than it might sound!
WHAT IS LOG CABIN?
In a nutshell, log cabin is a method of knitting — based on traditional log cabin quilts — where you knit modularly, picking up stitches along one edge of a square and continuing to knit, then proceeding to build off the other edges, so the work expands organically rather than being seamed together, and without any intarsia. (Although there are cases where you might knit large blocks of log cabin and then seam those together.) It’s patchwork for knitters.
My friends Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner over at Mason-Dixon Knitting — two of the smartest and most entertaining knitters I know — have very strong feelings about log cabin, so I’m teaming up with them for this one, and the starting point will be their fourth Field Guide book, Log Cabin, which contains an overview of how log cabin construction works, with assorted variations and three patterns, from which boundless things could be made. You are welcome to follow any of those, or any other log cabin patterns, such as, say, the Albers Cowl or the Mitered Crosses Blanket or the Log Cabin Shawl. But what I love about using log cabin as the basis of this is that YOU CAN MAKE ANYTHING you might dream up. In addition to the myriad ways there are to knit log-cabin style, just think of all the things there are in the world that you can construct from squares or rectangles — washcloths, pillow fronts, blankets, wraps, sure. But also cowls, box tops, shrugs, ponchos, ruanas. You could inset a panel in something, or knit a yoke and sleeves and join it to two big log-cabin blocks for the body. Truly, there is no end of ideas, and I can’t wait to see what you all might think up!
On top of that, whatever you make could be monochrome, ombré, tonal or rainbow-colored, in garter or textures. (More about that later.) And in addition to being rife with possibilities, this is a totally beginner-friendly idea, and makes room for those who want to make garments as well as those who do not. You could even be a quilter or crocheter or weaver and still play along! It is 100% up to you! And of course, you’re not required to work from stash, but that is one of the great benefits of this sort of knitting/crafting.
Between now and kickoff, we will be peppering you with ideas and food for thought, but the best starting point is the pocket-sized Log Cabin Field Guide, with its tutorials, and two posts on the Mason-Dixon blog: Start Small and Things Get Interesting.
We’re all headed into the thick of holiday bustle and holiday knitting, and we want to do this during selfish-knitting season, which means you have from now until the end of the year to conceptualize, swatch, paw through your stash for yarn and color palette ideas, and formulate a plan. And we’ll cast on January 1st.
That’s also when I’ll announce the rest of the panel, but you’ve probably already guessed Ann and Kay are on it!
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
To knit along (or crochet- or quilt-along) simply use the hashtag on Instagram or wherever you post: #fringeandfriendslogalong. You’re welcome and encouraged to share your planning between now and then, but try to refrain from casting on until the official start date if you want to be eligible for prizes and all of that.
Sure, probably! We’ll have details at kickoff time. ;)
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I think this is the most excited I’ve ever been about a FAFKAL, and I’ve been mighty excited about them all. Like I can’t stop thinking up ideas, and have had to forbid myself from opening up my stash bins and starting to gather yarns until I’ve crossed off certain other more urgent matters from my to-do list. But you will see me scheming here soon. How about you — are the wheels already turning in your mind?