Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I like my bands in business suits, I watch them on TV

The other night on the bus I saw a high school boy carrying a wooden coffee mug tree. Exactly the same as the ones we made in Year Seven. Exactly the same except for a few small details, like for example the rungs that the mugs are supposed to hang on didn't appear to be pointing down like mine had somehow managed to do. In the same class I also produced a hexagonal metal spinning die with drastically uneven sides. My woodwork and metalwork skills were kind of wonky.

So, the baby blanket. The first I have attempted. I based it on this very basic pattern, but I didn't love the garter stitch. I tried stocking stitch, but the edging wasn't anywhere near tough enough to stop it from curling badly. So, I thought I could make the blanket a bit more classy (and smooth/soft) by substituting basket weave. It started ok.

The pattern involves knitting on the bias, which, as I had recently found with knitting the insanely popular (and rightly so) Clapotis, makes a nice drapey fabric, and I could see how it was supposed to make a nice snuggly blanket too. By the time I got to the halfway point, and turned the corner, I could see that the overall shape was going to be more of a diamond than a square.

I'd only tried blocking once before (a lace scarf) without much lasting success, and this yarn was acrylic which is less inclined to change its shape than wool. But I gave it a go anyway. I pinned it out into a pretty nice square, and left it to dry for a day or two. But when I unpinned it, it really didn't stay much more square than before.

Mum suggested steaming it with the iron held just above the fabric. This certainly helped - see how I've stretched the sqares out one way on two of the corners (left)
and the other way on the other two (right), in an attempt to make all the corners closer to being the same shape. I was pleasantly surprised that the effects of the steaming remained after I rewashed the blanket, but I don't really expect them to survive repeated machine washing.

Fundamentally, it's just not square. See? Bit tricky to fold.

I thought long and hard before I handed this over to the intended recipients. I hoped they would lean to the side of appreciating the charm of its wonky-ness, more than being put off by the not-squareness. (Guys, if you were just being nice, thanks anyway!)

Acknowledging one knitblogging inspiration.

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