Imagine if this were Log Cabin-ized

Imagine if this were Log Cabin

In dreaming and scheming about your project for the Log Cabin Make-along, there are a couple of ways to think about it: choosing from existing log cabin patterns (some of which are noted in Ideas and Considerations), or applying log cabin to other sorts of things. Whether you use the original Log Cabin block or any of the variations taught in MDK’s Log Cabin Field Guide (ninepatch, etc), what it leads to is squares. Those squares can be knitted at any scale and joined into bigger squares or rectangles or T shapes, so the most obvious and straightforward thing is simply to make a square or a rectangle. That might mean a washcloth, a blanket or a scarf, but it certainly doesn’t have to. A small square can be a kerchief while a big airy square can be a shawl (folded into a triangle or otherwise). Add a button to a rectangle and it becomes a little wrap. But there are also loads of garments that are as simple as squares/rectangles sewn together in various ways — the most rudimentary being two squares sewn together with gaps left for head and armholes — and there’s no reason the fabric couldn’t be log cabin. Think how great any of these would be if you knitted them to the pattern’s dimensions but in log cabin patchwork fabric rather than plain stockinette:

TOP: Inversion by Jared Flood is one of countless two-way cardigan patterns in the Ravelry database, pretty much all of which are composed of joined rectangles and/or simply a big T shape with strategic seams. In the case of Inversion, it’s just two rectangles. See also Purl Soho’s Prewrapped Wrap (free pattern) for a T version, or the magnificent Veronika cardigan

BOTTOM LEFT: Easy Folded Poncho from Churchmouse is a creative reinvention of the rectangle and a perfect blank canvas for some patchwork

BOTTOM RIGHT: My First Summer Tunic from Berroco (free pattern) — referenced with mods described in this Knit the Look post — takes the “two squares equal a box top” idea and adds drop-shoulder sleeves.

NOT PICTURED: World’s Most Basic Fingerless Mitts pattern by Me right here right now: Knit/crochet a 7″–7.5″ square in the log cabin style of your choice (aka a washcloth! there are six options right in the book). Fold in half and seam into a tube, leaving a 1.5″ gap (the thumbhole) 2″ from the top edge. Repeat for second mitt. (In other words, imagine these are a log cabin square seamed to fit as pictured.)

Of course, if you’re willing and able to think it through, there’s no reason you couldn’t go so far as to work simple armhole and/or neck shaping into your log cabin block, for something as rudimentary as a Sloper (minimal armhole and neck shaping) or Loopy Mango’s cropped pullover (no armhole shaping, minimal neck shaping on the front) — or as fancy as you’re capable of plotting out!

Really, the sky’s the limit. What are some of your favorite patterns or projects made up of squares or rectangles? And do you know what you’re making yet?


PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Make-along: Ideas and considerations

21 thoughts on “Imagine if this were Log Cabin-ized

  1. I have 3 ideas or maybe 4 in mind. One is the norah gaughan log cabin shawl. All the samples i found on line show it in one color. I wanted to do some harmonious colors in whatever I do. Would love your opinion. Thought it might be to jarring in multicolor.

  2. Thanks for reminding me! I’m trying to commit to a “finish an old project before starting a new project” routine, and I think I’ll be able to start along with you!

  3. I’m leaning toward one of your first sketches that was the “two rectangles with armholes and a neck” concept in a muted greige with blues palette. I’ve debated doing this, but decided I need a really creative, fun project to get through bleak January. My yarn choices are BT Shelter or Loft, but leaning toward Loft for a little more drape.

  4. The cropped pullover is calling to me, though not with superbulky yarn. Do you think it would work with no neck shaping–boatneck style?

  5. Would the peguono pattern be too much of a cop out??? lol also eould it be best to log cabin with yarns of a similar weight or do you think you can mix up the gauges?

    • Penguono is basically a giant modified log cabin — was just thinking about that recently. I think he has several patterns that are of the same basic DNA, picking up along edges and continuing to knit.

      You could play around with mixing yarn weights, but you’d need to knit them all at the same gauge (same sts/rows per inch) for them to work out even.

  6. hey that yellow t shirt with in the first photo would also be adaptable to a log cabin (see the seams in the center of the chest). You could just make two squares the size of your torso, seam them together except for sleeve holes, and end up with a cap-shoulder t shirt.

  7. I am itching to get started! Trying hard to respect January 1 start date. Have pile of yarn and I may need to hide it in a drawer to keep me away from it. Really looking forward to this odyssey.

  8. I have the yarn at the ready and I’ll make a blanket inspired by weaving by the Ewe people of Togo. I’m clearing most of my needles to be able to start in January.

  9. Pingback: Log Cabin Make-along: Meet the Panel! | Fringe Association

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