Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Blanket Statement

It's been all about the blankets since returning from our trip. One for us, and one for a friend. First, the friend.

Rhonda asked me if I would knit something for a great-niece that she is expecting to arrive later this month. I don't always "take commissions" (as if I did this professionally!), but Rhonda is such a good friend to us. And I'm more comfortable with non-garment requests where I don't have to worry so much about fit. We sat down and discussed fabric and style, and I ran some ideas past her. The little one is going to be named Rose, a family name, so she wanted something that evoked ideas of rosiness. We settled on a pattern called Bounce from Tin Can Knits. I've already knit two of their blanket designs this year and was pleased with the results, so I knew this would work well. We settled on some Knit Picks superwash, which I'd also been using quite a bit this summer. The colors here are Dove Gray, Rouge and Carnation.

It's not a very complicated pattern. It's a 12-row repeat, with the first four rows garter-stitched in the main color (Dove Gray), and the other 8 done in a simple lace pattern. The edges are done in garter stitch (an easy thing to screw up) to keep the edges from curling. Unusually, this lace pattern has shaping on the wrong side, too, making the decreases that much more angled. The two-stitch decreases that create the rib lines also pull in the gray to make the whole thing look like it's draped with bunting. Or like icing on a cake. Especially with all this pink. I quite like it.

I made the crib size blanket, which is supposed to be 30" x 45", but in order for the 3 Rouge / 2 Carnation pattern I set up to come out symmetrically I had to add a few stripes, making it closer to 30" x 48". It's the biggest baby blanket I've ever made, that's for sure. And because superwash can behave unpredictably when wet-blocked, it did stretch out a bit. I was able to tame it during blocking, but it wants to be even bigger.

I've also been working on the Shady Marmalade Blanket that I started way back in June. The plan is to make a lap-sized coverlet, for two laps, that will go with our orange sofa. I'd only plugged away at it sporadically, but I've been focusing on it during these strange rain-soaked cool August days that have miraculously arrived. They're easy to work and I really don't have to think much while knitting them. If anything, their mindless ease has led to me ripping out unneeded rows as I've gone too far. I seem to have the gauge down better now, unlike earlier when I had several that were noticeably larger than the others. I've made 29 as of today. Only 34 more to go to hit my goal of 63 squares in a 7x9 configuration.

So, lots of knitting in these cool rainy days that in most years are so unbearably hot I can hardly think about knitting. I've also recently cobbled together some colors of a discontinued yarn to make Jeff a sweater. It should start arriving next week. I'm hoping that I can have it finished in time to take advantage of truly cooler weather. Like the immigrants convinced by Great Plains land speculators and railroad developers that rain follows the plow, I'm gambling that my knitting will bring on the autumn and winter. A surer bet, but still, you're welcome.

7 comments:

  1. That's Dove Gray? I thought it was aqua! I like Dove Gray and have used it a few times.

    Shady Marmalade is looking great, too! Can't wait to see what Jeff's sweater will look like...

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    1. Can't wait to see Jeff's sweater too!

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  2. I keep coming back to look at this - I love it so much! My sister's niece (really, my brother-in-law's niece) is having a baby girl in October, and I'm working on a little cotton sweater, suitable, I hope for late fall/winter in San Antonio, but, gosh, maybe she needs a blanket, too. Although every time I knit a baby blanket, I saw I'll never knit another one!

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  3. Is it considered knitting plagiarism if someone picks THE EXACT SAME COLORS for her next blanket? That is just beautiful.

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    1. There's no such thing as knitting plagiarism, Kris! Or, if there is, I'm in a lot of trouble...Knock yourself out!

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  4. I just love the colors.....it is a beautiful afghan for a man.....what brand yarn did you use.....

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