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Traveling Knit Afghan – Square One by Two of Wands
Here is my take on the Traveling Knit Afghan – Square One designed by Two of Wands and made by yours truly!
You may have heard of the Traveling Afghans, but please let me tell you about them too!! 🙂
What are the Traveling Afghans?
Alexandra Tavel (aka Alexi) from Two of Wands has masterminded this idea, and with the sponsorship of Lion Brand Yarn, it is now a reality. Here is the gist of it. A year-long project (yes, one year!) in which 49 different designers (yep, 49!) from 7 different countries will work together to make two afghans, one in crochet and the other knitted!
Starting in January 2020, every two weeks, a new designer will receive the afghan. They will create a 10”/25.5 cm square and add it to the afghan. If it is a crochet square, it is added to the crochet afghan. If it is knit, it will be added to the knit afghan. Then, they send the afghan off to the next designer. And so the afghans will be traveling the world for one whole year! 😀
Check out the landing page for the project to get the full itinerary for both afghans!
Can you see the designs for each square?
This part is really cool! The design for each square will be available for free online in each designer’s blog or platform. This way we can all follow along with the project and create our own afghan! With each pattern, the designer will also share a story about their path as a maker, allowing all of us to grow a little closer together while trying new stitches and techniques.
However, this project will require some patience. Remember that the afghans are actually traveling from designer to designer. This means that we will only have access to the square after the designer receives the corresponding afghan! 😉
Check out the complete list of designers participating in this project!
What will happen to the afghans?
Once finished, several makers and groups that are following along have pledged to donate the afghans. There isn’t much information on this yet since the year has just started, but it will be developed further along.
Has it started yet?
In January, Alexi started off the afghans by making the first squares for the knit and crochet afghans. You can find both patterns here as well as tutorials and links for every technique she used!
Ok, I’m in! How can I participate?
The obvious way to participate in this giant worldwide CAL or KAL is by making the squares. However, since this project is about inclusivity and getting makers together, there are other things we can do. Supporting the designers by following their blogs and social media is definitely one way to do it.
But… there is another way to participate which to me, is definitely the most interesting – even if not the easiest. By hosting a CAL or KAL with local makers! This way, you truly get to interact with other makers and share your stories.
Check here for more details on how to participate and FAQs at the end of the page.
Ok, so now that I’ve told you about the project, it’s time to officially state that I’m participating!! 😀 YAY!
I will be making the knit afghan. Why the knitted one you ask me? Well, I don’t think I’ll be able to do both due to time constraints, so I decided to pick one. I couldn’t really decide, so I asked on a poll on Instagram and the knitted version won. Besides, I do need to practice knitting more and this is the perfect opportunity to try new techniques.
However… after seeing the list of designers for the crochet afghan I’ll admit to having a serious case of the “I’m about to change my mind”…
The yarn recommended for this project is Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease. I still haven’t been able to get my hands on some Lion Brand yarn so I’ll be trying out something different.
For my afghan, I’m supporting “local” yarn by using 100% Australian Wool. The yarn is called Morris Norway, a 10-ply yarn from Morris & Sons, which calls for the same size of knitting needles and crochet hook as the pattern. For the first square, I used the color Beige. The thick woolly yarn has a beautiful drape and together with the basketweave stitch it really makes for one squishy and warm square!
All the materials and other information needed for the pattern are listed in Two of Wands blog post.
Traveling Knit Afghan – Square One by Two of Wands
Here is the pattern for Square One of the Traveling Knit Afghan.
When swatching for the square, the first thing I realized (I knew it already, but still…) was that I am a very (but I mean very) loose knitter. I had to go down to 4.00 mm knitting needles to get the right gauge. Nevertheless, the yarn with the basketweave stitch took that needle size very well. It still maintained all the stretchiness you’d expect in a ribbing pattern.
I found the written instructions very easy to follow. There are tutorials for every technique and stitch available just before the pattern, but knowing the basics, I didn’t even need to check them. I would definitely recommend this pattern for a beginner. The stitches just flow out of your needles. And after a couple of rows, it becomes very meditative. You’re just “zenning” away. (I may have “zenned” a little too much… I just noticed a wrong stitch! Duh!!)
Final thoughts on Square One
The pattern is really beginner-friendly. It is easy and it makes for a beautiful texture. I do have one recommendation, which is to have a row counter next to you. 😉
And don’t forget to block it. I have yet to block mine as you can see in the pictures. (Still waiting for blocking mats.)
I hope you join this initiative and I can’t wait to see everyone’s squares! Use and follow the hashtags #travelingafghans #travelingknitafghan #travelingcrochetafghan #mylifeinyarn and #lionbrandyarn as well as the new @mylifeinyarn Instagram account created by Lion Brand to see updates on this project and more!
See you at the next square!