Technical Tuesday: Knit Chevron Blanket

There must be something in the air lately because I am in a real chevron place at the moment. I have been looking at Grumperina’s Jaywalker sock pattern and these chevron baby blankets!

All the patterns I could find for these blankets had been crochet. Now, my crochet is no better now than it was when I first started knitting, but I wanted a knit pattern! Now it seems there are several out there! As soon as I stumbled across the first video, I knew it was meant to be. I am going to have to make one sometime soon.

I completely understand that even if I cannot crochet, the same is not said about others. The next video is for the crocheters! You will find this is a completely croch-hate free blog!

I actually got the chance to meet Michael Sellick and part of the Crochet Crowd gang at the Creativ Festival. They were super friendly and Mike gave me some great advice! I was wildly jealous of their booth, definitely go on over to the Crochet Crowd website and check them out! They’ve even got some knitting content even though crochet is their main topic.

Snow in the Spring

Finally time to reveal my super-secret project that I have been working on for so long! It was a baby blanket for Liane. I normally don’t knit things for people, especially not for events, but I saw this blanket and couldn’t resist. It was so beautiful I had to grab the pattern and cast on. It is really hard to work on something so intricate without the recipient seeing it. I had to be quite judicious with my knitting time.

Blanket Snow

I bought the actual yarn itself while I was with Liane, we were looking at the Purple Purl for gender neutral yarn so she could make some booties. I looked at it and thought it would be really good for this particular blanket, because it was gender neutral, but on it’s own it was too dark. However paired with white for the snowflakes… it would be perfect.

Snowflake Closeup

I did try to find a white yarn that had a little bit of a sparkle to it, but nothing presented itself to me in a timely manner. The best thing I could find was a fine thread of sparkly yarn that was to be held double with your working yarn. It wasn’t too bad, but the sparkly thread could have been a bit softer; as it is for a baby I thought softness and super wash were very high priorities.

Steek Snowflake

If you’ve checked my Ravelry page for this project you will notice I started this in January. That is 100% correct. It wasn’t too bad to knit because I love colour work, but hooooooly cow, do not knit if you’re not on the ball. The chart is 80 rows and something like 150 stitches and it isn’t a memorable pattern. When I tried to print out the chart it came out as two pages and way too small to read. I had to open it on my computer and put two overlays on the chart. I just added a line above and below the row I was working on. After a while, I ended up moving the second overlay down a little bit so I could partially see the row I had already worked; this way I could tell when I was getting off pattern. I also zoomed way in so I could only see ten stitches at a time, then I would scroll to the left. It was nice and big and much less confusing than looking at the whole chart itself.

Blanket Snow Full

I really enjoyed this blanket, but the knitting gods preserve you if you lose your place or get off pattern. I was really lucky because I only knit the chart from my laptop and those overlays didn’t move unless I moved them. If it were a post it note situation, I don’t know what would have happened.
Now that I am done this blanket, I am going to work pretty hard core on my grandmother’s sweaters; I have one back and two sleeves done. That is 3/8 of the way there… someone remind me not to write out a fraction of how far along I am until I finish the next two sleeves. As I typed it I felt like, ‘what?!?! I’ve been working on them for so long!!! This can’t be right! I have to be further along than this!’ At which point I went to lay down with a cold cloth over my face.

Grandma's Sweater 02252015

I am going to get through this sweater! It might be the middle of summer by the time I finish it, but I will get it done!!! A few rows here and there add up to quite a bit!

Mine, Mine, Mine…. Not Mine?

I have been insanely busy this week again, but that has been on par for the past couple of weeks now. I think I am just going to have to get used to it! I’ve finished one of my Valentine’s Day socks and started the other. I’ve been working on another project too. It’s not a new project per-say, but it is new to me!

Valentine Sock

As promised, my finished sock! There isn’t really much to tell about these; they go fast and are lovely to knit! I absolutely love how the pattern knits up and am really looking forward to the second sock!

This reminds me, I have started to dye the replenishment yarn for the Creativ Festival coming up and I did a little bit of experimenting. I dyed a few random skeins of sock yarn for myself. Just trying out new colours and the like. I can’t wait to knit them up!

FFS Scarf

Next is my not-so-new project. It is a scarf that a friend of a friend’s sister had been working on. Unfortunately she passed away before she could finish it and her sister wants to see that the scarf is finished. It’s an interesting pattern and it didn’t come to me with a pattern for further instructions.
I have started to finish it off in the only way I can think makes sense and that is to do the 2X2 ribbing again and start the cables. I’ve only got one 50g ball of yarn and I am not sure how far this is going to go. The yarn is kind of obscure too, I did a Ravelry search and could not find the brand! I was going to check if there was any place I would be able to beg, borrow or buy, but it isn’t looking likely. Until I get there, I am not going to worry myself about it.

FFS Scarf 2

I also helped Liane finish her baby blanket this week as well. She ran out of yarn while she was doing the cast off, ripped it back and started to cast off again, and ran out of yarn just before the end. I ended up doing some clever knitting magic to finish the blanket without ripping it back or buying another entire skein of yarn. Less than a yard of yarn was needed so I would not have bought another skein

Baby Blanket Liane

At some point during the blanket’s tenure I wove in all the ends on the wrong side. The blanket was one inch from done and apparently I have an OCD that prevents me from leaving things alone that are that close to being done. All that needs to be done now is a good blocking!

Functional Friday: 60 Quick Baby Blankets

I am horrible for writing reviews out of order, the Mochimochi books are a classic example of that. The book I am reviewing today has a predecessor called 60 Quick Baby Knits, but I doubt I am going to be buying that one anytime soon. One of my good friends is pregnant, due in May, and I anticipate the future will only hold more of my friends requiring tiny baby knits. I ended up going with the blanket book because clothing is always very dependent on taste and the style of the mother. Blankets, on the other hand, are always in demand.

Spine

I chose this particular book because I had heard really excellent reviews about it and when I went to buy it, I hardly looked inside. I am really pleased with this book and I don’t think I could have picked a better one if I had spent hours in the bookstore trying to decide.

For starters, there are 60 baby blanket patterns in this book. Chances are, you are going to like at least ONE of them. Upon flipping though, I stopped counting my favourites when I got to ten and had only looked at 12 patterns. There is something for everyone in this book. There are blankets heavy on texture, cables, patterning and even some that are just plain garter stitch. Regardless of what level you are at in your knitting career, you will be able to make these blankets.

Googly-Eyed Gator

Like the name suggests, the patterns are not overly complicated, but there is a really good range of blankets you can do without thinking. However, if you want something more complex you can find blankets that would take your attention. One of the patterns is Fair Isle and heaven knows you need to be paying attention to that! I’ve been rediscovering my Fair Isle skills with Sara’s mittens and I feel a bit rusty.

Finely Woven

The last thing I want to mention is the sample yarn used in the book. All the samples are made from superwash and Cascade 220 or 128. It’s very clever to make them from superwash, because really, what new mother has time to hand wash a blanket. Secondly, Cascade has a billion colours and it is usually a staple of most knitting stores. Since there are so many colours to choose from, most of the blankets are made with bright and happy colours. It definitely screams cheerful nursery, even from a distance.

All About Aran

Overall I am really happy with this book and I feel like you are going to see quite a few of these blankets happening before May. They are going to have to be gender neutral though; I’ll make it work some how. I take this as a challenge to play with colours.

Shut the Front Door

Wednesday again! The days are flying by, I can’t seem to get enough knitting time in so I can have a finished object for you! I did get quite a bit of work done on the snuggle sack I was working on, I also managed to begin converting yet another disciple over to the dark side.

The snuggle sack! I don’t feel bad posting this here because I know the person this is for does not read my blog! She will still be in for a surprise when she gets it.

Snuggle Sack 2

I’ve passed the little yellow stripe in it and I do like the look. The stripe breaks it up a little bit and makes the fact that the blue above the yellow and the blue below the yellow are not the same. That’s right, I am using different yarn for the top and bottom. When I started this, I didn’t really have a great plan, I actually intended to pick more yarn up, but just didn’t have the time. Since I was ready to keep knitting on the snuggle sack, but didn’t have the yarn, I improvised. I just held the satin yarn double and kept going.

Snuggle Sack 1

It was interesting enough to start because I was already knitting from that ball, I didn’t want to detach, wind it into a separate ball and re-attach. I ended up finding the other end of the yarn on the inside of the ball and using that. I am knitting from both ends of the yarn towards the middle! I if I don’t finish it before I get there, I will have some odd complications. It’s like Russian roulette, but with knitting.

Now that you’ve seen how dangerously I like to live, you will be able to properly pity my friend Liane. I’ve started to teach her to knit; it was SO meant to be. When she messaged me and submitted that she would indeed learn to knit, she mentioned that she did not have any needles or yarn. I obviously have the answer to this problem; my stash is not getting any smaller or younger. I had some acrylic yarn in a camouflage pattern I had picked up before my first nephew, Ethan, was born. I wanted to make him something cute, yet camo; however, my mom veto-ed the idea and I was left with the pastel baby colours  that assert their dominance on all the really soft and fluffy yarn. I ended up with one skein of camo yarn and Liane, who’s fiancé loves camo. This was perfect! Just enough for a toque (for the US readers it is essentially a beanie.. winter hat… thing).

I know I have expressed my thoughts about how a hat is the perfect first project, but I am going to say it again. HATS ROCK! Alright I am done, I think I might have had too much coffee today…er.. well… this week, but the important thing is enthusiasm and passion! I think a camo toque should impart both in Liane and she will truly convert. She actually has an aptitude for it and picked up knitting rather quickly.

In conclusion, I would like to share that I am now on bloglovin and starting to fumble my way around. It looks like a great way to find new blogs to read, maybe once I have a firmer grasp on it, I will cover it in one of my functional Friday posts.