I finally got a picture of The Blanket with the glowing recipients. Here’s Laura and Terrill:
The photo also happens to have great lighting and rich color and shows off the detail of some of the squares much better than my shots did.
One of the keys to making this all come together was control over the yarn used. I picked out the yarn (and fully tested it as I mentioned before). I made sure the colors coordinated and were the same dyelot. So then, no matter how diverse the individual squares, there was a coherent whole.
I knitted some swatches in the size I was hoping for and weighed them carefully. Then I used a kitchen scale and my ball winder to wind off balls twice the size needed. This allowed for differences in gauge among individual knitters or crocheters. I asked for extras back and used them to join the squares (so I was glad to have all the colors) and also for the edging. I didn’t have to break into any new balls to finish it.
Blocking was essential to even out any variety in sizes. Using a wool yarn made the whole thing more forgiving and amenable to forced resizing.
I made small string tags that I attached to each square with the name of the creator on it. These tags stayed with their squares throughout the whole process (although they didn’t get dunked in the blocking wash, but were instead pinned alongside their squares on the blocking board). These allowed me to make a map listing who made each square. Laura really appreciated that.
In the end, the hardest thing was begging for all the squares. You can set deadlines, but people really do need to be badgered and reminded. Life creeps in. But it certainly made checking the daily mail lots of fun!