My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Monday, April 09, 2007

Blanket Madness

A very good friend of mine is getting married in September. Like the wonderful knitter friend that I am, I decided that he and his new family (he's getting a wife and a kid all in one :D) needed a hand knit blanket to warm their new home. When he was here Jay picked out this blanket from Big Needle Knit Afghans.
The pattern calls for 27 skeins of Lambs Pride Superwash Bulky. This is a little out of my budget. I know that this is going to cost a good chunk of change, but I don't think I can fork over that much. So, I began my search for an alternative yarn. I picked up a ball of Lion Brand Woolese Quick and Thick and really didn't like the result. It is a nice soft yarn, but it is fairly loosely spun and ends up fuzzy looking. I figured that if it was this fuzzy just after knitting, I didn't want to see what it would be after a year of use.

In searching online, I narrowed my choices down to Patons Shetland Chunky and Plymouth Encore Chunky. They have the same composition, cost about the same, but are spun slightly differently and have slightly different color selections. I called a few yarn shops around (all of them are at least 45 minutes away!) and finally decided I would bite the bullet and drive to Boulder to Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins. They have a huge selection, and I KNEW that they at least had Encore. Amazingly enough, they had both yarns I was considering. They also had Lambs pride in the superwash bulky! I couldn't find it anywhere online and they had it. After feeling it and noticing it was over $9 a skein, I ruled it out. The Encore was yarn was a little fuzzier and more of a raspberry red, so I bought one skein of the Shetland Chunky. I plan to swatch, unravel and figure out my yardage. I am using the cable pattern from the book, but am going to do my blanket in strips so that it is more portable and I feel like I'm accomplishing something as I knit. I will knit a swatch with the yarn held singly and doubled so that I can determine if I really like it better that way (the pattern in the book has 2 strands together). Once I figure out my gauge, and my yardage for 1 or 2 repeats, I'll figure out how many strips I need and then order my yarn.

Anyone know how much yarn I'll need to allot for the fringe?

So.... While I was there, I also saw the Plymouth Oh My display again. I had felt this the last time I was in the store (Mother's day of last year) and managed to resist buying some. It is the softest yarn I have ever touched. Remember that I handle angora and cashmere all the time. This stuff is divine. Last time, I didn't have a purpose for the yarn, other than that I loved it, and $20 for 4 balls for a tiny blanket seemed like too much. This time, though, I had already found out my cousin is having a baby shower next month. I had a baby to knit for, so I splurged on the yarn.

I finished this little car seat blanket in 2 days using 2 balls of blue and 2 balls of red. I probably would have bought more, but they only had a few balls in each color and these were the only 2 colors that looked boyish. It's ok, though, because it's just about right to tuck around a little one in a car seat, or for a small lovey to rub your face on when you're sleepy.

It was a really simple pattern that I adapted slightly from the one the yarn came with.
2 balls main color, and 2 balls boarder color "Oh My"
Size 10.5 36" Circular Needle

With main color: Cast on 47 stitches and knit in stockingette until you run out of yarn. Do not bind of.

With Boarder color:
Knit across top. Place marker.
Pick up 1 stitch for every other row along the side of the square. Place marker.
Pick up 47 stitches along the bottom. Place marker.
Pick up 1 stitch for every other row along the other long side of the square. Place marker. Do not turn.

Joining in the round, Purl 1 round.
Knit to within 1 stitch of first marker. Kfb, slip marker, kfb.
Repeat, increasing 1 stitch before and after each marker every knit round, and purling even on every purl round.

After 17 rounds, bind off purlwise.

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Blogger Terri Lynn said...

Hi Dawn,
If it was me, I would goe with the encore, it's a really nice yarn and I think the Knitting Habitat has it on sale this month, see their website! I didn't realize I think I talked to you while waiting in line for the Harlot's booksigning! I love your work and your blog is so cool! I will have to link you on my blog to visit you more often!

9:08 PM  

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