Thursday, May 19, 2016

Six Trumps Eight

A break between semesters and some stormy weather left me with plenty of time to swatch for my final baby blanket of the season. Is it still a swatch if you knit one fourth of the blanket to decide on the needle size? What about doing that twice?

The blanket I'm making is another Tin Can Knits design, by Emily Wessel, called Dogwood. I was drawn to the stylized dogwood blossom and the center-out construction. It looks rather complicated, but it's clearly charted and not difficult to follow at all. And I noticed that the stitch count per quarter is always 4 more than the round number, which makes checking in much easier. For instance, each side on round 23 has 27 stitches in it. I'm always looking for little patterns like that within the overall pattern. It's saved me several times already.

The original pattern suggests Dream in Color Classy, but my LYS had some Madeline Tosh DK in a color I liked, called Undergrowth) so I went with that. It's a silvery blue-green on the heavy side of DK, not quite the worsted called for in the original. I used 5mm (US8) needles as suggested, but thought the result might be too lacy -- if there is such a thing. I decided to finish it, block it, and assess.

I blocked it to 20"x20", which was a bit aggressive. It seemed a bit too formless and drapey, so there was nothing for it but to try another needle size. The second sample (on the left above) was made on 4mm (US6) needles as suggested on the ball band. I like it better. It looks darker in the photo above because it's still wet from its blocking bath, but it has more of a presence and structure, I think. This one is less aggressively blocked to 17"x17". I'll knit three more so that the final blanket will be 34"x34". I'm fine with this smaller size. I keep reminding myself babies are small.

I should have plenty of yarn now that I've downsized. If I get brave and creative, I might even consider adding a picot edging. Anyone have any suggestions for designs they like?

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