2018 Geek-A-Long: The Princess Bride

After four years of requests for it, the Geek-A-Long has gone EXTREME!!! You can knit this square while jumping out of an airplane! You can knit it while doing Parkour!

Actually, you really shouldn’t be knitting while doing either of those things. Skydiving and Parkour don’t seem like ideal places for pointy sticks. How would you keep your yarn from getting tangled? Still, this square is as extreme as Power Thirst.

Since the moment the Geek-A-Long appeared on the interwebs, there have been intrepid knitters that wanted to up the difficulty level with extreme double knitting. Regular double knitting makes a mirror image on both sides. Notice how the knots are on opposite sides of the Dread Pirate Roberts’s head.

The original Princess Bride square from November 2014. Unrelated: my hardwood floors looked SO GOOD four years ago. They don’t look like that now. Thanks, Mabel!

Extreme double knitting knits the same image on both sides. It requires a more complex chart, and is harder to do. Or maybe harder is the wrong word? It takes more concentration anyhow, and that’s hard for me.

Cool, right? There’s no wrong side. What’s not to love? Also, why haven’t we done this before?

If I’m keeping it 100%, I can’t say that I would choose extreme double knitting if I weren’t doing it for you. Like, if this were just my own personal blanket, I wouldn’t do it. I have no problem with a wrong side. I kind of like one. Also, I’m lazy and this is more work. But most of all, I wouldn’t do it out of spite.

I want to make a disclaimer here, that 99.9% of the extreme double knitters I’ve encountered are awesome people. A few names actually spring to mind, especially the folks on the Geek-A-Long Ravelry Xtreme Double Knitting Thread that go above and beyond to share their passion and expertise with others. This is not about you, because you are cool. What’s not cool, is how often we get told that what we are doing is not good enough, because we didn’t knit our blanket in extreme double knitting.

Seriously we get that A LOT. Mostly on Facebook, but also in private Ravelry messages or via or contact form. It’s sort of par for the course around here to get people emailing to ask where we have the extreme charts and why aren’t we making them extreme charts. And my personal favorite:

If this were ACTUALLY a nerdy blanket, it would be extreme double knitting.

Basically, by early 2014 we were pissed off at the notion of extreme double knitting. For every 1,000 extreme double knitters, only one is an ass-hat, but that’s the one who emails us. Essentially, out of spite, we didn’t offer extreme charts for four years, because no one gets to tell me what is and is not nerdy enough for my blanket. But this year isn’t about me. So, I’m letting go of my hang-ups and for this year only, I’ll publish an extreme chart for any square that has letters or numbers. I don’t know how many that will be since you are picking the squares by vote this year.

Also, Jac would like me to note that the reason why we didn’t make additional extreme charts when this wild ride originally began back in 2014, was because she didn’t want to scare off new double knitters with those crazy charts. Double sided knitting wasn’t as popular five years ago, and it’s cousin Brioche wasn’t either. I’m not saying that the Geek-A-Long community made double sided knitting cool again, but I’m not NOT saying it either.

Did everyone else just hear Justin Timberlake start singing, “I’m Bringing Sexy Back?”

Imafiberfiend nominated The Princess Bride to this year’s blanket saying,

The Princess Bride
Who doesn’t love a tail about a farm boy and his princess? Danger, excitement, humor, rats of unusual size… As you wish!

So this week, extreme double knitters, As You Wish.

There are three charts in this week’s download. The usual double knitting and crochet charts, as well as the extreme chart. On the extreme chart, all stitches are charted. The odd number stitches are right side stitches, and the even number stitches are wrong side stitches. If you’ve never done extreme double knitting before, and decide to go for it this week, remember to still bring both yarns forward before purling, and back before knitting, even if you are using the same color for several stitches in a row. Don’t pull your yarns tight or you might get some puckering on your square. I didn’t differentiate knit from purl stitches on the chart. I find that makes it dizzying to look at. So don’t forget to purl every other stitch.

AND our Super Bowl/Groundhogs Day sale on Fandom Yarn ends tonight*. If you’re planning to knit my new Jackalope Jane Cowl or need to stock up for your GAL blanket, now is the time to do it!

*And by tonight, I mean tomorrow morning whenever Jac gets around to taking it down.

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download The Princess Bride – As You Wish pattern here. Instructions and charts for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to Instagram your squares at us @lattesandllamasyarn with the hashtag #geekalong!

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.

~ Megan-Anne
The internet is a strange place to live.

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