2014 Geek-A-Long: Narnia

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I told you a while back that we would have my first, deepest, and most fan-girling love on the blanket this year. Week 42 is all about the lust I have in my heart for Narnia. Certainly for those of you that know me IRL, and even for most of you that just know me as Dr. Llama, it probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that I spent a great deal of my childhood in my closet reading the cover off of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I desperately wanted into Narnia. I really connected with the Pevensies. OK, I’ve never been evacuated due to war, but what made them so real to me was the feeling of being forgotten.

I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again. -C.S. Lewis

If I’m being totally honest, I put off writing this particular post pretty much until the last minute. Thinking about what Narnia means for me and writing about it, makes me feel exposed, even through the veil of the interwebs. My personal world was not in a great place when I “built a fort” in my closet and spent hours in there rereading the books and waiting for the cold breeze and sound of Mr. Tumnus just on the other side of my clothes. If you had asked me, even a very young Megan-Anne would have sworn that “yes, obviously, it’s just a story.” And that would have been a lie. Even now as I write this I’m not totally sure that I believe that. What’s interesting, is that those are happy memories all the same. Sitting in that closet, munching on snacks I was not supposed to have in my room, and compulsively checking to see if the back wall was still definitely there while reading, was a pretty great way to spend the day.

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You probably wouldn’t guess this, but I think I spent more time on this design than any other. For me, nothing was good enough. It still isn’t quite good enough, but I guess that’s the artistic condition in a way. I went through several overly complicated designs. As a rule, I always edit my work down as my first inclination tends to be to FILLALLTHESPACE. On this one I felt like the only way to do it justice was in simplicity. I didn’t want a “cartoony” rendition of anything, and in a 45×57 “pixel” workspace that’s tough to avoid. So I brought it down to just the Victorian street lamp, glowing in the dark and lighting the way into Narnia.  I feel good about that choice. In the end, I liked the “wrong side” better, and that’s the one that I’ll probably have facing on the blanket.

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© Megan-Anne of Lattes & Llamas, 2014

Needles: Size US6

YarnCascade 220 in 2 sharply contrasting colors.

Gauge: 10 sts over 13 rows = 2″ x 2″ square. Final square is 45 sts by 57 rows.  Please note that in the written pattern I instruct you to knit the rows above and below the active color chart.  These rows are shown on the chart as solid color rows above and below the design.

Download PDF of the color chart Narnia. Cast on 45 sts for each side of knitting (with two strands held together CO 45, for a total of 90 sts on needle).

Work 1 row of double-sided knitting (knit the facing sts and purl the back sts across). Note that the first row is a wrong side row.  You may choose to work the opposite color for the first stitch of each row (I do this), which will keep the edges closed. Alternately, you may choose to knit them without doing this and seam the sides when putting the blanket together. There is no “right” way to do this. It is really just what you are more comfortable with.

Follow color chart over next 55 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 1 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

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Don’t forget to tweet or instagram them at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag geekalong, so we can all oooh and ah together. We even have a fancy new GAL Participation Button you can put on your blog or your Geek-A-Long posts. You can grab the html out of the side bar or find it here.

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and you can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here. We’re even raffling off some sweet prizes for our members at the end of the year! You can learn more about it in the group or on the GAL Benefactors page.

~ Megan-Anne
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t think of switching it so that HHGTTG would be this week until someone on the Ravelry group mentioned it. You deserved better from me. I shall atone.

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