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Mary, Mary ... quite contrary blanket


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  • Lace

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ETA: 12/27/13 -- there was a typo in the directions for Rnds 82-87; each rep has 86 sts for a total of 602sts in each round. A revised pdf has been uploaded. Similar to my "Miss Ellie's Garden blanket/shawl", this one is a bit more spunky with it's bright colors (in worsted-weight cotton) and solid stitch-patterning; it's also a tad larger. The finished size of this heptagon is approx 66 inches across and is a joy to knit. Worked in the round and starting at the center, you create a spiral-petaled focal-point. Switching to #10s and spoke increases, you begin to work shades of pink in the petals. I have added a few rounds of striping between the color changes to avoid harshness and blend the colors better. The final rounds are lime green leaves with a touch of the bright prink at the very edge. The sample shown used: Knit Picks Shine Worsted in the following colors (and amounts): oColor 1 (center)Cream (30 yards) oColor 2 (first pink)Blush (132 yards) oColor 3 (second pink)Cosmopolitan (225 yards) oColor 4 (leaf border)Citrine (225 yards) This would also work up nicely in a solid color -- you'd need about 625 yards of worsted-weight cotton. Directions are both round-by-round and charted BASIC SKILLS NECESSARY basic lace-knitting skills ability to do a large design (this blocks out to 66 inches with a total of 602 sts) knitting in the round GAUGE 12sts x 16rnds = 4" stockinette worked in the round SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS one size -- heptagon/circle blocks out to about 66 inches SUGGESTED YARN 625 yards of Worsted weight PREFERRED BRAND/YARN Knit Picks Shine Worsted COLORWAY multiple (see above for notes)

Supplies Needed

  • approx 625 yards of worsted-weight cotton (sample used four colors of Knit Picks Shine Worsted ... see notes for amounts)
  • US #8 dpns
  • US #10 circs (24- and 40-inch)

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By Hand, With Heart
By Hand, With Heart
Hi, my name is Mary Gildersleeve. I began designing shortly after teaching myself to knit at the age of 8, primarily because I do not take commands very well and I also could not afford the fancy yarns back then. Knitting and designing were my constant activities throughout undergrad, grad school and family life until, in 1997, I finally went professional and established By Hand, With Heart ... traditional hand-knit designs with a modern twist. I now create designs for various knitwear outlets (including published designs in Knitters, INKnitters, Cast On), custom knit original designs, and self-publish my own patterns . I maintain a website ( where I discuss my work, my finds (reviewing books and supplies) and suggestions for teaching everyone this age-old art. I particularly love teaching all aspects of knitting ... from beginner to expert, from learning to read charts to designing your own. On most Saturdays, you can find me working at my LYS, Dog House Yarns in Culpeper. I am the exclusive designer for the cashmere-farm, Spring Gate Farm, located in Barboursville, VA. I earned an MBA from the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) in 1988 and a BA in Print Journalism from Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington) in 1983. I continue with my knitting education by attending seminars, voraciously reading all knitting books, magazines, and websites, and constantly honing my practical knitting skills. I was an active member of the Association of Knitwear Designers (which shut down, unfortunately). I am married, have 5 children (10 to 23 yrs) and keep busy homeschooling, working on the computer, writing articles, and knitting, knitting, knitting in rural Virginia. In 2008, a book I wrote was published "Great Yarns for the Close-Knit Family: over two dozen hand-knit designs inspired by a dozen fantastic family read-alouds"; a year later, another book I wrote hit the bookstores, "In His Image: Nurturing Creativity in the Heart of Your Home" (both are available on Amazon and other book outlets)..