2017 Geek-A-Long: Finishing

It’s join week! Time to get those squares put together. This year we decided to use last year’s crochet join again since we liked it so much. You can see the full tutorial here. I wanted to put that here, at the top, because I know it’s probably what you’re here for. We had thought we might do a new joint this year, but when we looked at all the squares laid out, we knew the crochet join would look best. Now that I’ve got the biddness out of the way, I’m hoping you’ll indulge me in a long, sappy end-of-the-year post. If it helps, I’ll pepper in pictures of the finished 2017 blanket, and I won’t think less of you if you just scroll through for those.

This is the hardest post of the year for me to write. I’ve been trying all day to figure out how to sum up a year of Geek-A-Long madness. There are over 3,000 members of the GAL group on Ravelry. Geek-A-Long squares have been downloaded about 50,000 times and viewed about a quarter million times this year. We’ve raised thousands of dollars for Child’s Play, and we’re four massive blankets deep into this thing. The numbers are cool, because they’re numbers. But they don’t really sum it up. I put them here because you guys should get to know them and brag about them since you did the stuff that makes them up. I think that as knitters we’re naturally disposed to bragging since we literally wear our work on our sleeves. So there you go. Get out there and boast, you’ve earned it!

Still it’s hard for me to really express how I feel about the Geek-A-Long, especially this time of year when I’m about to part with another blanket. I tend to wait til the last possible second to send it to Seattle for the Child’s Play Dinner Auction, because I just want to spend a little more time with it. I’ll get it there on time, but not a day sooner.

I sometimes try to look at the site stats, Ravelry, and run down the #geekalong tag on Instagram. I want to conceptualize how many squares/blankets are out there. This has been an enormous part of the last four years of my life, and as we go into year five, I think a lot about how different my life is now than it was four years ago. I haven’t found a way to really figure how many squares have been made, there is just too much knitternet for me to comb through it all looking for them. Still, I guess we can say many. There are many squares. I’ve seen some in the wild, at conventions mostly, and once just out and about I saw someone making one. When we started the GAL, Jac and I both had different careers. I was a social worker and on track to go to med school.

Yes, we are so short we have to bring folding chairs with us to the middle of nowhere to take our pictures.

By two years in we both had to make some hard choices about where Lattes & Llamas was going and what it needed from us. I dropped out of school, because, at the end of the day, this is where my heart is. It’s been a harrowing endeavor for both Jac and I, and you guys have been here with us every step of the way. Neither of us have particularly hidden that we’ve both struggled with depression, and the Geek-A-Long has been something that kept us grounded when things were especially hard. Not only that, you have all put up with us when we weren’t at our best, and have made us want to do our best when we got to the other side of whichever things we were dealing with. I know it sounds super cheesy, but you guys are like a family to me. So when I see a GAL square out in the world it reminds me that what I’m doing matters… at least to that one person on that day.

I’m insanely excited about the FIVE Year Anniversary of the Geek-A-Long. We’re bursting at the seams with surprises, and we’re going to info-dump all over you about them this time next week. We’ve also got one more prize for 2017, which Jac will announce in a couple of days. So stay tuned!

~ Megan-Anne
Here’s a fun random GAL factoid: The two most downloaded squares are the Caffeine Molecule and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a donation to Child’s Play Charity. Here is a direct link to our official donation widget benefiting the charity. Please help us raise $1,000 this year. No contribution is too small! Wanna make your donation go even further? Lattes & Llamas will donate $1 for every skein of Geek-A-Long Yarn purchased. Ask your local yarn store to carry GAL Yarn or get it through our website.