Hello and welcome to a special blog, which is a virtual exhibition of blankets knitted around Yorkshire and the world during our 2020 Christmas Eve Blanket Knit-a-long.
My desire for this project was that it would appeal to, and be enjoyable for, a range of knitters from the new & inexperienced, who might be lacking in confidence, to the prolific lifelong knitter who is looking for a challenge.
The knit-a-long started on 15th August 2020 with the aim of finishing for Christmas Eve (or not!).
The final pattern for square number 20 was sent out on Monday 7th December and the finished blankets began to appear on Facebook almost immediately. Some knitters even made more than one blanket!!
We would have loved it if we could have all gathered together to admire each others work, but that was not going to happen, so we have created this exhibition instead for anyone to enjoy.
Knitters have kindly given me photos of their work and written a little about the experience of taking part.
Come on in and have a look around…
All done but for a few ends to sew in. I’m going to put a fleece backing on mine to make it extra snuggly and it’ll make it look tidier on the back too.
I have enjoyed the experience very much and learned a few new stitches. Some I liked more than others but all good practice. I’ve adapted a few of the squares and used up old yarn from stock so lots of positives.
Really enjoyed making Xmas blanket, the kit was a surprise gift sent to me by my daughter.
To me it is so much more than a blanket for Christmas, but it’s a reminder of 2020 and the positives that came from such a difficult year. On my Facebook page I am sharing it as an advent “calendar”, one part each day, with a short reflection on each design. The completed blanket picture of course will be saved for Christmas Eve!
It was great be part of a friendly group on Facebook making it a proper Knitalong together, seeing each other’s progress. I’ve missed being able to attend workshops in 2020 and this has filled a gap.
As an experience knitter I liked that I could add little extras to the blanket without deviating too much from the original design. I love the finished result so much and I am most definitely keeping it for myself, to be used throughout the year and not just at Christmas!
Thank you so much Judith and team. Have a lovely Christmas and here’s hoping for a better year in 2021.
Best Wishes, Jo xx
Here is my finished blanket.
I have learnt a lot, how to follow a graph pattern, fair isle and intarsia. Why it’s important to block your work.
Think there was really only 1 square that I didn’t like and that was the one with bobbles on it.
It’s been an interesting journey and I look forward to the next project.
What a fab experience this has been.
Before I started I was a very basic knitter, and now I feel so much more accomplished.
Judiths videos were a fantastic way for me to learn.
There are quite a few mistakes in my blanket but I am seeing them as part of the learning process and as in life is so much more realistic to accept our imperfections!I
highly recommend this project.
Thanks for designing such a beautiful blanket to knit. I am so pleased with it. Lots of feedback on how beautiful it is.
First time I have joined a KAL and loved the support and encouragement from fellow knitters.
I also learnt that I wasn’t the only one who occasionally struggled and went wrong. It was also nice to help less experienced fellow knitters. I have been knitting for 40 years!
Can’t pick a favourite square as I love so many. Only one I am not so keen on is the advent rings, it’s hard to decipher what it is meant to be.
I would do another KAL but not a blanket, something different. It also helped to get through lockdown!
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing this and learned so much!
Thank you xxx
Yay, my Christmas Eve Blanket is finished and I’m feeling a bit bereft! Really, really enjoyed this project although one or two of the squares tested my abilities and my concentration! My favourite squares were the Twinkling Star, the Fairy in the Heart and the Snowflake although I did enjoy the cable squares even though the Heart Cable caused me a bit of angst! I’ve learnt so much and will no longer fear colour work. I’ve also learnt more about tension and how different stitches can affect it.
I couldn’t have completed this project, Judith, with your help and videos. Thanks for all your hard work in getting this project to fruition. Onwards and upwards to the next one!
Now going to snuggle up by the fire wrapped in my blanket (even though we’re a week away from Christmas Eve), finish off Santa’s sherry and mince pie and probably fall asleep!!
From a chance glance in your shop window in Thirsk to a lovely way to spend the lockdown. Thank you so much for sharing your talents.
I loved the project and the support on FB. The blankets are for my 2 grown up children and I am very excited to give them to them at Christmas. Thank you for your design and inspiration and I look forward to another project maybe next year.
I am really enjoying knitting my blanket. I had no intention of finishing it for this Christmas so am not worried that I have only knitted 7 squares!
I have realised that although I quite like colourwork it is the cabling that I prefer. I have had the confidence to branch out and am currently trying a Celtic Knot square.
I love the variety of having a different pattern for every square. It is also satisfying to be able to finish a square fairly quickl
Thank you for designing such a lovely blanket. Your videos were superb and the patterns very clear too. Learning about and trying blocking was a revelation!
“ This project couldn’t have come at a better time in 2020. Originally I had only thought about doing the textured pattern squares just using the striped wool as a blanket for myself ( a work in progress – 14 squares still to do ) but then decided to challenge myself to do the blanket as a Christmas present for my sister so it had to be finished for a deadline!! It also forced me to learn some new knitting techniques which I otherwise would have missed out on .
I didn’t think that I would reach a point where I was waiting in anticipation for the next e-mail to arrive so that a new square could be started but I did – and I quickly learned that if I followed the instructions , that is – watched the instruction videos first, followed the pattern to the letter, that it would turn out ok.
Thank you Judith for the huge personal and often unseen effort that you invested in this project to get it off the ground which has kept many hands and minds occupied over the last few months.”
I’m so happy I’ve finished this blanket.
When we started I was so nervous as I learned to knit and purl when I was a brownie and I’ve never progressed beyond a scarf.
Thank you Judith for your encouragement and telling me about the rescue rows that saved many a square.
So so proud of myself. Although there are plenty of mistakes and one square I couldn’t do it’s such an achievement for me.
I’ve learnt new stuff and my colour work skills are so much better and I’m so much faster.
Absolutely love my blanket so thanks to you and the gang for putting in the hard work for us to be able to do it. Merry Christmas 🎄🎄🎄
Hi Judith, have so enjoyed this challenge.
I have been knitting for thirty years but I still learnt a lot in the last few weeks.
My favourite was the first star we did so I did it twice. Hope to give it to my mother in law for Christmas. Thanks for all your effort.
I have really enjoyed being a part of this project.
One or two squares proved more difficult than they should have been but I wasn’t defeated.
Thank you Judith for all your help. Merry Christmas everyone 🎄🎄
The Christmas Eve Blanket… what a brilliant little project!
I have really enjoyed seeing my blanket gradually come to life. I had only seen it in pictures and videos before starting and I haven’t been disappointed.
The patterns and charts were clear and easy to follow and the accompanying videos were down to earth tutorials explaining the trickier parts of each square as well as other useful tips and instructions on blocking, sewing in ends, the use of stitch markers etc. Being a self-taught knitter, I think I picked up something new every week to improve my knitting skills. I have learnt new stitches and definitely improved my Fair Isle technique which has all been very satisfying.
The squares were varied and just the right size to be a challenge which left me eagerly waiting for the next pattern when each square was completed!
Being part of the Facebook group added another dimension. I found it fascinating to think that lots of other people I didn’t know, in lots of different places were working on the same project as me. I loved seeing the other color choices, ideas and progress as we went along.
My blanket is now ready to snuggle under and I feel ready to take everything I have learnt to move onto other projects with added confidence.
Thank you so much to Judith @Needlecase for all the work that you put into creating the project and making it work so well. Knitting has lots of positive benefits and it has been perfect for this very unusual year!
Sadly, I am yet to finish my blanket.. hoping it will be done by the end of the Christmas break!!
Currently on square 13, so not too bad – it’s been difficult finding time to knit too much after an exhausting day working and looking after my mum, getting her to hospital appointments etc.
I have (and still am) enjoyed the project, it has given me something very different to focus my attention and I have learnt so much.
Thankyou so much for your hard work in putting the project together for us all to enjoy.
I did it!! So pleased with myself learning the new stitches and replicating your beautiful design.
This project has been great fun and came just in time to boost us during a pretty rough year. Waiting for the pattern to come through each week gave us all something to look forward to and a task to complete to keep us busy during Tier 3 restrictions and the 2nd lockdown!
I’m pleased as punch with myself for mastering (most) new stitches and doing colourwork for the first time. I managed most of the colourwork although I will admit cheating with the deer heads and “f” in family! I think I prefer the different stitches to colours!
Thank you so much for all your effort preparing everything for us and for being at the end of an email of Facebook message when we had problems. I have thoroughly enjoyed completing my blanket and am very pleased with the final result. I think I have enough of my rainbow colour to add a narrow border to finish off.
Thanks again and have a fabulous Christmas!
Merry Christmas Judith thank you for all your hard work making this project happen I have so enjoyed it all and have saved the most difficult square (I think😊) till last really hope to get my blanket finished in the new year and look forward to any project you can put together for us all ❤️
Good morning I have attached some photos (above) of the blankets that I made for my sister and 2 nephews and her post on Facebook upon receiving them I have thoroughly enjoyed this project – I have learnt lots of new skills for example I had not previously done any cable work and my colleagues at work have enjoyed their daily updates in progress!
The boys are so pleased with their Christmas blankets and have said they will be their best presents! Refreshing considering both love their game consoles! I have a feeling I will be making more next year.
Dear Judith, here is a photo of my finished blanket.
Not perfect by any means but as a whole not too bad. I feel I’ve learnt a lot as I’m not an expert knitter.
Struggled mainly with the colour work squares although these did become easier with practice. Tension was the other big problem. Afraid my squares are definitely not all uniformly the same size.
My favourite squares were the cable knits which I feel have turned out quite well. It’s been a great escape in these lockdown days and I’d love to take part in another one. It’s definitely been a challenge and overall I feel pleased with the achievement despite the mistakes.
Thank you so much. Happy Christmas and a healthy 2021.
Here’s my photo!
As you can see I have been going really slowly – only because I never seemed to find time to sit down and do the knitting!
I am enjoying it so much though, and have learnt loads. Also as further lockdowns loom, I’m sure I’ll have lots of time in the New Year to carry on.
I have actually also completed Square 5 and half of Square 8, but thought the first row looked nicer at this stage.
I pop into Knitting Pretty (where I got the kit from Di) when I can.
Thank you very much for all the effort that evidently went into producing the kit, and I hope that by next Xmas my completed blanket can finally go on my guest bedroom bed!Seasons Greetings and kind regards,
So so close but need to stop now and get Christmas organised also a new puppy to toilet train !!
Maybe over Christmas I can complete the last square and finish sewing up .
I have enjoyed learning new techniques, struggled with varying tension, and enjoyed the Facebook sharing and chat .
Here is my completed blanket. I loved the project and would get excited as each new pattern arrived.
Finished in the nick of time! We won’t talk about the second one which still needs another 16 squares!
Tension is clearly something I need to work on as some are clearly squarer than others but thoroughly enjoyed this whole experience.
All the more pleased as it was a chance trip to Thirsk in August that kicked it off. I live in Cambridgeshire so would never have known about it otherwise. If I placed all my twisted heart attempts together, they would have made a blanket all their own! That was a tough one finally finished aloe in a room with no music or tv for maximum concentration.
Favourite visually was the last snowflakes one closely followed by Rudolph heads.
This is a Christmas gift but I can hardly bring myself to part with it so the only answer is to do another one! It has been much admired by friends and family who have watched its progress from that first square and I will miss the excitement of checking for my e-mail each week.
We never met in person but the enthusiasm of this Facebook group and weekly videos was a great substitute and it felt like we actually did.
Well not quite, but soon!!
One more square to finish and then an edging. I’m very happy with my work and loved the experience of my first knit along project.
Favourites are the textured squares – cables, cable hearts, puff stitch particularly and favourite visual one is the dancing star and variegated snowflakes.
I have been knitting since I was 7, taught by mum who was such a keen and fantastic needlewoman. But I have learnt new techniques through this and other ways to do things that I think mum didn’t need to know about. She passed away earlier this year and the blanket is for me in memory of her.
She lost virtually all her sight through macular degeneration over the last 8 years and it was her greatest sadness that she couldn’t knit, quilt or embroider any longer. But I did help her to knit a small blanket for her great grandchildren as they started arriving in 2015.
My three children treasure those, unevenness and dodgy sewing up included and won’t hear of any repairs. She would have loved the feel of this blanket and what little she could have seen through faded peripheral vision.
Judith, thank you for putting this together it has given me great focus over the last couple of months x
Below is an update from Liz
I have finally finished by blanket, complete with a double crochet border
Thought you might like an updated picture
This one turned into a team effort as Liz , Johanna and Sharon helped Ros out with the last 5 squares.
Allowing her to finish it in time to go into quarantine for her Mum, Lena who is in an older persons home.
What excellent friends!!!
Thank you. I’ve really enjoyed it.
I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful project.
I have to admit I initially dithered about whether or not to undertake the project as I alway have so many projects on the go !
However I took the plunge and went to see Diane at Knitting Pretty and ordered the kit.
I really enjoyed receiving the emails and completing each square as well as looking forward to certain ones, in particular the ‘family’ and the ‘house 2020’ square.
I feel my confidence with fair isle has increased and I’ll definitely be doing more of this. I already have plans to make cushions from some of the square patterns too.
The finished blanket has been much admired by family and friends and it will be treasured for years to come.
Thank you also for the Facebook group which I enjoyed being a part of and found the posts from other members to be encouraging and inspiring.
I’ve already signed up for the Brioche knitting course in January.
Many thanks again
I am totally blown away with the number of people who have chosen to take part in this.
I will update this blog as the finished blanket updates come in, which I’m sure they will throughout 2021.
Hope to keep knitting with you all in the future 🙂
And here they are…
Nearly finished it in 2020!
This is the first time I have taken on a challenge like this and I have learned lots of new techniques and enjoyed the process.
Congratulations, Judith, on thinking of ten each texture squares and colourwork squares on a Christmas theme.
It has been great following how others progressed along, and when I struggled to know I was not alone!
This is a second blanket from Vanessa
Knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners , Essential DK. Tequila Sunrise. Original intention was to do alongside the Christmas blanket knit along but that plan soon fell by the wayside!
Uses the textured squares of the blanket pattern with some stitched together showing the wrong side of the square and some the right side. Somewhat off piste but I like the finished article which is all that matters.