I've been working on a project all month, trying to get it finished in time for a baby shower this morning. And having to work on other projects around the baby's mom, one of my good knitting friends. I finished it just before midnight last night, and am about to wrap it up and head out. I'll schedule this post for later so as not to spoil the surprise. That is, if I haven't managed to already.
This is a variation on the Vivid Blanket I made a few projects back for a colleague who was expecting. I knew I'd have enough yarn in all those colors for a second blanket if I choose a different color for the garter stitch borders on each square. It fit so neatly into my schedule of gift knitting for this spring's births and retirements. Cue The Circle of Life! Or squares, as appropriate.
I'm not one to get wound up in the nonsense of genders and colors. The heart and the eye like what they like. Any neutral would go well with all these bright and pastel shades. I chose grey because that's my favorite neutral, and it makes the colors stand out just enough. And I think it's absolutely appropriate for a little girl. I have a few knitting and blogging friends who have touted the magic of greyness. I'm looking at you, Janelle and Snowden. I just think that grey is that perfect tone to set off the other colors. Not so somber and adult-like as black, but not as likely to show grubbiness as cream or white.
I knit a shawl between these two blankets which used a super-stretchy bind off that I really liked. So instead of using the bind off called for in the original Vivid pattern, I used the one from the shawl. Well, part of the reason was that I liked it. The fact that it was still in the active part of my brain and I couldn't be bothered to revisit the original pattern was another.
I'm torn as to whether this was a good idea. I definitely noticed a difference in the blocking. In the original, the squares shrank back in on themselves about an inch even after thoroughly soaking, blocking and drying. This new even stretchier bind off allowed the squares to keep their shape better. However, it took more yarn, to the extent that I was concerned whether I'd ordered enough of the grey. I ordered six balls, and in the end I used five and a half. Not exactly a squeaker, but I'd planned to have over a ball leftover.
This bind off also made sewing the squares and attatching th i-cord a bit problematic. It created a chain that almost looked like it was floating on a row of crochet posts. It left a little row of holes around the perimeter of each square. I tried versions of mattress and whip stitch to join them, but they ended up looking too "stitchy" -- like the joins of Frankenstein's monster's body parts. So I ended up using a tracing technique across seams, much like weaving in ends. I think it matched the overall effect well enough.
So excited for this little one's arrival. But not as much as her parents and big brother! Now to get this wrapped and get to the party!