Saturday, December 19, 2009
We start believing now that we can be who we are
I haven't really knitted much for K, ever. A footy scarf several years ago and several beanies - some of which even fitted well. Oh, and a couple of felted covers for his camera and ipod. He doesn't tend to wear really warm jumpers and he's not convinced about hand-knitted socks. I know it's possible he might turn out to love them once he tries them. Now that I think about it, I guess I haven't tried to convince him, because I haven't found them that wearable myself, except in quite cold weather. But I think I have weird feet.
A couple of times earlier this year, especially in the chilly time just before we started turning heaters on, I came home to find him draped with this first blanket. And so I had the idea to make him a lap blanket, and to plan ahead over several months to have it ready for his birthday in November.
In the end I missed his birthday by a week or two. Unfortunately it's completely seasonally inappropriate at the moment, although the way the temperatures have been going up and down at odd times lately, you never know.
I had a hard time figuring out how to photograph it to show the size. In the picture below it looks tiny but it IS on a king size bed.
The pattern was improvised. I think it is a type of mitred square, it looks like a big version of the squares in the barn-raising quilt. I knew I wanted to knit the blanket all in one piece, in the round (this seemed likely to be the fastest and simplest way to achieve a blanket) but I wanted it to be square, not round.
Here is the simple method: CO 12 stitches, join to knit in the round, place four markers evenly spaced. Increase either side of each marker (I did yarn overs one stitch away from the marker) on every second round. The other rounds are knit (I knit the yarn overs through the back loop as I didn't want them too holey).
I also did a purl row every fourth row. I did this to try to keep the whole thing from curling. In the end, it needed a knit-on border to flatten it out so the ridge rows might not have been necessary.
I deliberately didn't use an even stripe colour sequence and I also varied the width of the stripes, as I wanted to use up a few different amounts of wool. There is quite a bit of the infamous Lincraft Cosy Wool that wouldn't felt. There is also a small amount of a mystery silver-grey crepe which I would have loved more of; some Woolganic; some Naturally Pride, and a few other bits and bobs. The edging is Cleckheaton Country Naturals.
To start with, the blanket was based around two skeins of handdyed wool from one of the Bus Depot Markets' special days. I don't know if these photos really show it well (the middle one maybe a little) but it makes up all of the large dark greyish stripes except for the outer one, and it has a wonderful mix of colours in the grey, like an oil slick.
I originally planned to work in a bigger range of colours (including a dark red) but as I got going it just seemed right to limit the palette to purples and greens with the grey. I often seem to have to simplify a project from my initial idea. This one springs to mind.