Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blankets Galore

When my grandmother-in-law passed away last year, she left behind the beginning of a crocheted afghan and two skeins of green yarn, Bernat Vintage in the Fern colorway, with which to complete it. As the first of the skeins was already being used in the afghan, I assumed that the blanket up to that point was created using the start of that skein. With that in mind, I figured out the stitch pattern and started in where she left off.

When I reached the end of the first skein, I realized that what was left would only create the same length and width of fabric to match what I had just created, and that I wanted a blanket larger than twice the size already completed. In my stash, I found a skein of dark green and a skein of white that were also Bernat Vintage. Both colors worked well with the lighter green color, so I figured out a configuration that would use up these partial skeins and still look symmetrical as a blanket. I did a thin stripe of white, a thicker stripe of dark green, and another thin stripe of white. Finishing that, I took up with the Fern colorway again and figured on finishing off the skein to finish the blanket with a stripe of the lighter green to match the size of the first section of the blanket.

I crocheted on, hoping to finish before the end of Christmas break. I was sitting in my mother-in-law's dining room, crocheting away when I reached the end of the last skein but with significantly less repeats of the stitch pattern than the first light green section, and it hit me: there had been another partial skein she used at the start of that first section. I didn't have enough yarn now to finish the blanket.

I eyed back over the remnants of the last skein and noticed a price sticker from Meijer. I decided to take a shot at finding another skein, hoping against hope that they had not discontinued the colorway. My husband rushed me to the local Meijer, where, fortunately, they had copious skeins of Fern. I bought one and finished the Multigenerational Blanket without additional heartache. It became an extra Christmas present for my husband (slightly belated) and now resides in our combination blanket chest and coffee table in the apartment. I think we did a pretty nice job, all considered.

The next blanket on the agenda will be my brother's Christmas present, what I have deemed the Maize and Blue Stained Glass Afghan. I purchased all necessary yarn and, to make it feel more manly, I "wrapped" it inside a manufacturing bag I gained at an expo in Chicago. Becuase yarn is a less-than-thrilling present for a non-fiber-enthusiast, I decided to make a sketch of what the final blanket will look like. I pulled an old sketchbook out of the desk cabinent and opened it up, ready to find the next blank page and realized it was a sketchbook used for one of my undergraduate drawing classes, circa 2003. I how it was 2003 because there are sketches of baby bottles, a safety seat, and my son when he was a newborn. Talk about a flashback.

I managed to finish the sketch of the blanket, a log cabin style with intarsia and assorted mono-colored rectangles that vary slightly in stitch patterns. At this point, I'm thinking a mix of garter and a lace pattern I found called Corn Stalks (maize, get it?). The family seemed to like the look of the blanket and I think sketching out the idea really helped to solidify it in my mind. I plan on getting started within the week.

Despite how much my brother has been wanting such a blanket, I went back and forth about making it. I have an ever increasing list of projects I want to tackle and really wanted to do one for myself. However, I'm more of a gift knitter, so the blanket won. To make me feel like selfish knitting is on the horizon, I updated my ravelry queue with some of the projects I want to knit with the yarn from my stash I want to use for them earmarked for those projects.

In the meantime, I'll work on the blanket slowly and start in on the Cogknitive Podcast's mother bear KAL/CAL. For the months of January and February, the KAL/CAL participants, including me, will work like mad to make bears for the Mother Bear Project. I have two bear feet crocheted so far. Wish me luck.

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