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Team Blanket No. 6: For Pittsburgh


I would like to join in if you need more knitters. Please send me the pattern and I will dig up the yarn



Wow! That’s a question for the ages. It’s up there with who shot JR, will I really die if I swallow gum, and why (oh why) did Billy Joe McAllister jump off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Here’s what I do. First I check to see if the designer gives us any indication of his or her plan. That gorgeous Station Wagon Blanket in Field Guide 1 says to cast on with the long tail cast on and count that row as the first row. So that’s what I do.

Other patterns say things like, cast on 20 stitches then knit two rows (one ridge) in the same color, change colors and knit two rows (one ridge) in another color. They’re clearly not counting the first row.

Others give us no indication. They just leave us hanging to figure it out for ourselves. There are a few sign posts to look for. If they give you a specific cast on to use, that will help. A long tail cast on, a knitted cast on, the dreaded cable cast on (ha ha), etc. will actually create a stitch on the needle. A backwards loop, e-cast on, or thumb cast on, just gives you a loop–not the whole stitch.

Then there are the other times where you are picking up stitches. For example, on a log cabin. Even though you are simply pulling up a loop (for the most part), you are pulling it up through an existing stitch so it’s a little different than just casting on a loop (like a backwards loop cast on). Those usually count as the first row of the ridge. They absolutely count as the first row if you are picking up with the right side facing you.

So I guess the answer is there really is no answer. Like marinara sauce, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, there is no such thing as the “best” although my Dad makes a killer PB&J that may actually be the best. There is only the “best” for you. And no one will accuse you of being raised by wolves if you decide to knit something in a way that makes you happy.

To paraphrase Larry Flynt, “Relax! It’s just knitting!”

P.S. Ask me how long it took me to find my garter stitch zen.
P.P.S. Just make sure that, within whatever project you are working on, you make a decision and stick with it. Be consistent.
P.P.P.S. I’m sure there are a ton of people out there who now believe that I was actually raised by wolves because they have strong feelings about counting garter. I would love to hear from them.
P.P.P.P.S. Looking forward to the next Pandora’s box you decide to open. Why don’t you put a post that says something like “I hate circular needles.” That’ll definitely get a conversation going!


Whoever you are, I love you! Thanks for the answer(s) to life’s important questions.


Thanks for all this. And PS to all the Greyston family - sorry for your loss. The world will miss your founder Bernie. A lot.


When I use the long-tail cast-on, I always count the cast-on as the first ridge on the RS.

But the good news is, it doesn’t matter for sewing up or appearance if the squares vary on this! (Phew!)


Please send me your email address and I will send you the pattern. Thanks for your interest.



That is great, I’m at



for anyone who needs yarn, WEBS has a sale on Ella Rae classic superwash
$5.99 a skein for 219 yards


This is good to hear, but I hope that those of us who are fortunate enough to have Actual Yarn Stores nearby will buy their yarns there rather than on line. Many LYSs are hurting for business, and we should frequent them if we can, to help keep them in business. (Note: I feel the same way about local, independent bookstores vs. I was one of the founders of a knitters guild; we have business members (LYSs, designers, etc.) and we do a lot to promote their businesses and get people to buy their yarns at the shops. They respond in kind by donating door prizes, giving guild members discounts on classes, etc. Sorry if this feels like a rant – I LOVE WEBS and have bought yarn there (in person), and I’m so glad they exist. But I want to keep LYSs alive and vital, too.


Your point is well taken. I am not advocating a position one way or another but just providing information


Obviously we have a point of view on this.

We feel that the distinction is not online versus brick-and-mortar, but community-serving/enhancing versus Just Selling Stuff. There are lots of small businesses (ours is one, we can think of many others) that happen to exist online but are enriching and supporting the knitting community as well as individual knitters. The MDK Shop supports everything we do here, including all of the free daily content (for which columnists and other contributors are paid) that we publish.

By all means support sellers, wherever they are, who are supporting you as a knitter, and the community of knitters. It’s a big tent and there is room for everyone who has something of value to contribute.


I 100% agree about brick & mortar LYS’s. Mine just celebrated 14 years in business!! Amazing for such a tiny town. But more importantly, to me as a new inexperienced knitter, for the advice, support, and encouragement I get when I drop in for social knitting or take a class from her. As Ann points out, it’s a big tent and there is room for everyone. Which I take advantage of!!


Just wondering what address to send completed squares to. Did I miss that somewhere in this thread?


Kay, that’s a good distinction. Both online and brick-and-mortar are often Just Selling Stuff. As you know, I adore MDK and I can’t imagine my first cup of coffee every morning without it. AND, I have occasionally bought stuff from you – glad to support all of your efforts (and glad to receive delicious yarns and patterns!). I think the business members of our guild fall into the community serving/enhancing category – after all, they are business members of a knitters guild! (I was going to write “res ipsa loquitur,” meaning “the thing speaks for itself,” but apparently in legal parlance there is an implication of negligence, which I don’t intend.) Thanks for the thoughtful reply.


I should be able to do at least one, if not two, squares. I have yarn on order and am trying to get ahead on my holiday knitting before it arrives.


I need help. I’ve made several squares for other teams, but for whatever reason I am having trouble getting started on Miter 2. After picking up the 18 stitches and adding 18 more, when I start to knit I am on the RS. The directions clearly tell me The first row to knit is on the WS. I’m tired and unable to figure this out. Thanks in advance for your help.


Please email me at for mailing address. Thanks for your quick work. Can’t wait to see your squares


I find it helps to put a pin on the right side to know where you are. Can you post a picture of your work it is hard for me to visualize


Hope to finish my first square today. I ended up buying Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash and it’s working up quite nicely. I plan to finish this and another and post them on Monday or Tuesday – fingers crossed they dry quickly.


That is just beautiful, Tina. What a lovely set of colors.