As this year draws to an end and another looms on the horizon, I’ve found myself thinking about what I have accomplished in 2009. I have to remember to give myself credit for goals met and jobs well done while identifying projects or areas of my life that still need a little work. I find it helpful to give myself an honest ‘kick in the butt’ from time to time.
One area I feel very good about is my support of Knit-A-Square. I’ve met the goals I’ve set for myself while making some new friends along the way. I am happy to report that I have knit even more squares than I had committed myself to making! There is a very good reason for this success – I knit a lot of Plain Jane squares.
A ‘Plain Jane’ square is a simple garter stitch square (knit every row). A garter stitch square may not sound like much but it is the foundation of the blankets lovingly assembled by the dedicated members of the Soweto Comfort Club. There is quite a bit of power in those simple squares. So many squares making their way to South Africa from so many corners of the globe. When bound together these humble squares become works of art.
The Plain Jane square has many advantages:
- They are inexpensive to make. Shop your stash and work squares from your odds and ends.
- New knitters gain valuable practice while contributing to something worthwhile.
- They are quick to make and give us a feeling of accomplishment when we don’t have a lot of knitting time.
- KAS squares make a perfect project for school knitting clubs. (They make a good reason to start a kids’ knitting club too.)
- They are easy to make while chatting with family and friends. No one can doubt that you are paying attention to the flow of the conversation.
- They are not demanding; easy to make while watching television. (For me they are my excuse to sit still and watch television!)
- Squares give us a chance to knit when our brains may be too tired to focus on a more complex project.
- They are totally portable. The perfect project for all those times we find we have to wait. No need to carry a pattern.
- They are well behaved and lay flat, rather than curling up.
- They make an excellent canvas for adding fun crochet motifs like letters or animals.
I’m the first to admit that knitting Plain Jane squares can get a little boring. There are ways to shake it up a little and put a new spin on the Plain Jane.
- Knit with 2 strands of yarn. When I do this I get a very spongy, soft and elastic square. In fact, my double stranded squares impressed my daughter so much that she actually asked me to knit her a blanket. This is the first thing she has ever requested I knit for her.
- Turn finer yarns into warmer squares, and faster knits, by using the Navajo Ply Method to make a triple-ply yarn, from one ball, as you go.
- Try your hand at a mitred square. If you’ve made mitred squares before give a reverse mitred square a try.
It is an interesting coincidence that Knit-A-Squares’ December challenge is to make garter stitch squares. December 1st, World AIDS day, kicked off the challenge. Great minds think alike!
Thank you to all who are making squares. It gives me such a feeling of joy and hopefulness to see each square added to our gallery. Thank you.
Spoiler alert: the next designer square, offered by Lucy Neatby is absorbing, a lot of fun and a bit of a challenge. It’s also totally Lucy and I really love it! (I’m the lucky person who is knitting the sample square.) I’ve been knitting several rows on the Lucy square when I have time to concentrate and whipping out Plain Jane squares in between.