July 2, 2008
Here’s my latest finished knitting project, a blanket for Jessamyn’s new daughter Annabel. I first saw the pattern last fall in a Ravelry thread about knitting patterns that look like quilting; it’s by Cindra from Knits and Pics and Favorite Things (PDF of pattern is here). I put it in my queue but didn’t cast on until early April, which was quite proactive for me since the baby wasn’t due until the end of May. Good thing I started early, because I had a couple false starts. First, I thought I’d try doing it all in one piece rather than making strips of blocks and sewing them together. I got started down that path and soon realized that I didn’t want to deal with eight balls of yarn at once (it would have been ten if I hadn’t decided to alter the pattern to make it a rectangular blanket instead of the original square). I ripped that all back, got a shorter cable, and cast on for the first strip. All was well until I got to the second block and realized I’d goofed up and the blocks weren’t the same. More ripping back was necessary, as it would be now and again throughout the process, even after I figured out that making a chart of one block would make it easier for me to see where to change colors.
I used eight colors of KnitPicks Swish (several of which they discontinued while I was working on this project). I made a file in Paint ahead of time and planned out which colors were going to go where, but once I got knitting, I ended up changing things as I went along. By the beginning of May, I had four noodly strips knitted and was ready to block and sew. With the help of this tutorial from Knitty and my trusty Vogue Knitting book, I was able to do a decent job with the mattress stitch joining the strips. I didn’t always get my intersections lined up, but none were too far off. Then I got my longest cable and picked up stitches all around for the border. I hadn’t thought about the border while I was doing the center; it’s only luck that caused me to have one color I hadn’t used in any of the backgrounds on the outside blocks, so I started with that purple and added a couple stripes of other colors before finishing with the purple. This was back on May 24th.
For a short while, I was excitedâ€”I’d finished the blanket before the baby was even bornâ€”but then I decided I didn’t like the corners. I pulled and poked at them but they insisted on staying an odd pointy shape (which I hadn’t really noticed as I knit since the border was all bunched up on the circular needle). So I ripped the whole border out and redid it with fewer increases at the corners and I was much happier with the finished product. Usually when I finish a baby gift, I take pictures and give it away as soon as I can, but this time I knew I’d have to go to the post office before too long to mail off the quilt blocks for a swap, so I folded up the blanket and stored it away until last week when I finally finished the quilt blocks and go them ready to go. I’m not even sure when exactly I finished itâ€”sometime in the first half of June, I’m pretty sure. At any rate, it’s in Chicagoland now and Miss Annabel is barely a month old, so that’s all good.