Monday, February 25, 2008

The Blanket Project

First, may I just say that I'm finding it very amusing that almost every time I type blanket, I actually type blankey. It's a silly thing but it has made me grin every time I've done it while typing this post (on my pc of course, I'd never do anything so silly as to type a post directly into blogger and then loose everything because of error bX-h59pth!

So, to the blanket project. It's a good friend's 40th birthday this summer. I stayed with him in Germany last September and while I was there knit him a scarf as a thank you present. He loves it and shortly after I came home I remembered that he would be 40 in July. At the same time I had been starting to teach my brother to knit and he was working on a baby blanket from one of the Debbie Bliss books. Basically it's a patchwork blanket made up of lots of 10cm squares, so a good starter project. I decided that I could do the same blanket but make it bigger to give to H. for his birthday. And then did no more about it. Last week I realised that if I wanted to get it done in time for his birthday I would need to be knitting at least two squares a day every day between now and the end of July. Aaagh. Better get a move on.

That estimate was based on four baby blanket sized ones sewn together, which would be about 140cm x 160cm. I'll probably try to actually make it a bit bigger than that so that it could be used as a cover for a double bed which is, I think 180cm or so. Of course I'm not so good with the square so at the moment I have slightly more regtangular shapes than square but I think once I've blocked them they will be almost square.

I had some wool for this project already, I'm using the Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran so I started in on it and knit a few dark brown and a few cream squares. Here are the first two brown ones, sorry, the colour doesn't come out too well.

I was thinking of doing it mostly in those earthy tones as I also had some nice green. And then I realised I also had a dusky pink and a navy. And I was already thinking it'd be nice to do a brighter colour for the border. Did I forget to mention the border?

Well, last week at knitting class I found out what moss stitch is. I really like the way it looks and it seems to be simple enough so when thinking about the blanket I thought it might be nice to finish it up with a border of moss stitch all around the stocking stich squares. That would probably give me the extra width I want as well.

All well and good but then I called into This Is Knit yesterday to see what other colours they had (I've had a strong feeling I should have red in this blanket even though it may not go so well with my earthy tones and even though I wasn't sure this yarn is even available in red). I bought a few balls of different colours and am fast moving away from cream, brown and green to proper multcoloured patchwork. I now have a lovely purple, wine, dusky blue, lighter green and red. Yes, they do it in red and it's a gorgeous shade. I'm knitting up a few squares in each colour so that I can see how they work together and am thinking I might be able to do up a simple spreadsheet of coloured squares to keep track of the whole thing. I'm very excited about this and have since come up with another idea. I'm positively shocking myself as I've never really thought of myself as particularly creative. I'm normally very much a follow-the-instructions kind of girl.

At the moment my plan is: knit a baby blanket sized blanket as per the Debbie Bliss pattern. Then knit a border around that. Then knit enough squares for three more baby blanket sized ones and use them to make the blanket out to the size I want (but not as simple as just knitting four small blankets and sewing them together). Finally, to knit a border around the whole thing in moss stitch. Now, I just need to decide on the colours. I also thought it might be nice (and easier) to sew all the squares together using one colour wool rather than sewing each square with the same colour wool as that square. So, I'll need to decide on a colour for that. Maybe that's where my red could come in. It's all very exciting and a good contrast to the frustration of the jumper! :-)

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