Saturday, September 1, 2007

Finally Loving It

One hundred fifty one stitches cast on for this little blanket. You may have used this wonderful yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I selected this color for my first grandbaby, and bought 10 balls of it online - a nice savings of about $2 per ball when purchased in quantity. I had already selected a pattern. I saw a lovely one from Oat Couture and persuaded my brother to purchase it in a town near his home and mail it to me. I was in such a hurry to get started! I had been waiting for what seemed to me an eternity to become a grandmother, and now it was happening!

I started the Prairie Blanket during a time we had family visiting; I knitted in the living room while trying to participate in relaxed conversation. For me, knitting and counting and trying to keep my eye on the correct line of pattern instructions, along with conversation and a glass of wine just didn't mix. A few days later, I frogged it, and began again, with the same result. So I put it away.

When I picked it up again after several weeks, I realized I needed a new pattern, and the search was on once more. I found a pretty blanket in Debbie Bliss's Simply Baby - you can see it on the cover. I thought, "I can do this, but without the colored intarsia pictures." This little blanket has a pretty moss stitch border and is divided into several panels. Some have colored pictures and some have hearts. So I determined that I would make the blanket with moss stitch hearts in every other square - sort of a checkerboard pattern. I began by reading the pattern carefully and then transferring the heart pattern to a piece of graph paper. "Piece of cake!" I thought. "This is going to be fun!"

Well, it wasn't! After a dozen rows into the heart pattern, I gave up. Just too much counting, too frequent stopping. The fine yarn has a little stretch to it, and the addi turbos are really slick. I was gripping and the yarn was slipping and counting was painful, and keeping my place on both sides of the blanket and going from left to right on the pattern and then from right to left....well, I just wasn't ready for that. I knew I would need complete quiet to work on this blanket; this project should be enjoyable, fun...and it was not.

Another frogging followed and I wrapped the yarn carefully around the ball. Picking up works in progress occupied my hands for a while. I even completed another little blanket I had started with a chunky yarn and worked in Basketweave pattern (page 16 in Barbara Walkers Treasury of Knitting Patterns).

I'm not certain just what it is about this pattern, but I really love it! It looks somewhat complicated but is really isn't; it evokes carefree country living, casualness and love...well maybe that's going a bit far.

It looks soft, and it is soft; dozens of little pillows will trap the warmth and keep baby cozy. That's one of the benefits of this pattern over one that is lace, for example, or just flat stockinette or garter stitch. I was pleased to finish this, and tucked it into the drawer with fragrant lavender to wait for the day when it would be wrapped and given away. I closed the drawer with satisfaction and it was then that I knew what I wanted to do with my very special baby blanket.

So you can see all the little tiny yellow "pillows" in the pictures of the blanket above. I have passed the point in this one where I gave up on the previous patterns. Finally I am on the right track; finally it feels right, finally it is moving along as I know it should. And finally, I am loving every minute of it!

I hope you are loving your knitting, too.


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