I am at a stage in life now when friends and family members are starting to have babies. Last year I made a baby blanket for my new nephew (the pattern is Bounce by TinCanKnits and I used 5 shades of Anchor Bay).
This year I am making a blanket for my new niece. I am using another TinCanKnits pattern, Vivid, and I am using Anchor Bay yarn again (partly because it’s wonderful, and partly because I had a fair amount of yarn left over from my nephew’s blanket). Whereas Bounce is knit in rows, Vivid is comprised of many separate squares that are seamed together at the end. I’m using grey, purple, cream, and the two yellows from my nephew’s blanket. This is my planned layout:
The blanket squares only take a few hours each and are super satisfying to knit: the centers have just enough lace to be interesting without being overwhelming, and the borders of each square are calming garter knit in the round. By weighing my squares and doing some quick math I calculate that I should be able to get all 5 squares of each colour out of 1 skein.
I’ve just finished my fourth square: 1 each in grey, purple, cream, and light yellow. Do you think I can get this done by Christmas?
I usually have a hard time getting large projects done. Having a deadline helps with that because it helps me push through that stage where I just can’t stand to look at the project anymore. That’s what it was like with my nephew’s baby blanket. I bought the yarn (Anchor Bay by Cascade) and pattern (Bounce by Tin Can Knits) and got started. The first colour sequence went satisfyingly quickly.
The second set of stripes went a little more slowly, and by the time I got to the 3rd stripey section I was ready to put the blanket down for a while.
Only, at that point the baby was due in less than a month. So I powered through and made myself work on it when I had time. I live far away from my family, so one of the main ways my nephew will know me is through my knitting. Knitting is important. Knitting is love.
I finished the knitting a week before my Sister-in-Law’s due date. That’s when I realized I had a massive problem: 80 ends to sew in.
Here again I wanted to throw in the towel. I thought about leaving a decorative fringe on one side of the blanket, but realized that could be dangerous. So I took a deep breath, turned on a movie, and got to work. It took me several evenings to sew all the ends in, but like everything else in life, if you work on it consistently it will eventually get done.
The yarn I used is a 50/50 cotton/superwash merino blend and is meant to be laundered like normal clothing. This is a huge reason I chose this yarn. Babies make messes, and cleanup needs to be as easy as possible. Once I finished sewing in the ends I screwed up my courage and put the blanket in the washer and dryer. It didn’t shrink or felt. In fact, it looked great coming out of the dryer…except that a few of the yarn tails had worked their way to the front. I didn’t see a long-term solution to this problem, so I left things as they are. With any luck this blanket will be chewed on and dragged around so much that a few visible ends will be the least of anyone’s worries.
I like to keep my stash on the small side. My husband and I live in a 1 bedroom apartment and we share a closet. We would like to be minimalists (or at least not maximalists). So my yarn lives in a cedar chest my grandfather made for my grandmother. I also have a set budget within which to make my yarny purchases. So when my LYS announced a sale I was not about to pass up a chance for a *small* stash enhancement. I was only supposed to buy a few things….
Oops. I may have accidentally bought All The Yarn.
In my defense, I’ve wanted to spin a Rainbow Roll for quite some time and they are now discontinued. And I’ve been thinking about making a Portage cardigan, and this 50/50 Merino Cotton blend will keep me warm without broiling me.
I have no excuse for the 2 fingering weight yarns I bought on impulse. They are both from The Fiber Seed on the Sprout base, colours Polar Vortex and Rainbow in the Dark. I don’t really think they need an excuse.