Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby Chalice Blanket

You’ve heard me talk about it, lament over the differences in skein color and ripping out to start over, etc.  Now the blanket is done and it’s even blocked!  Wahoo!

Honestly, once I bound off that last stitch, I was glad not to have to think about it for a little while.  I didn’t yet have blocking wires and I wasn’t going to tackle it with just pins…this is for our baby girl after all.  Putting it aside, recognizing it was finished, was enough for me.  When the blocking wires came in the mail I was excited to pull the blanket out again and truly finish this project.

Knit in Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Flashdance, this blanket was completed using almost an entire 3 skeins of yarn (almost 675 yards!).  The pattern doesn’t call for this much, in fact, I’m sure the actual baby blanket as the pattern is written is significantly smaller.  You all know I like to do things my own way.  Mr. Man would call that my need to control things….
I cast on 135 stitches and did a 6 stitch garter border along each side.  I knit somewhere between 200-300 rows, I lost count in there somewhere.  Each lace repeat is 20 rows.  When I was nearing the end, I took a gamble trying to decide how much yarn would be needed for the 10-row garter stitch edge.  I was lucky and had plenty to spare – but not so much I felt the yarn was wasted.
I previously shared the Baby Mitts I knit using the leftover yarn.  These two items paired together will be sweet.

After discovering that my skeins were significantly different colors, I opted to alternate skeins of yarn so there would be a bit of a gradient to the color.  I gave the skeins an order from light to dark and got started, a second time.  Although the striping is obvious to me (I know what I’m looking for), it actually looks intentional and like it’s just a characteristic of the yarn.  I’m very, very pleased with the results. 
When all was said and done I gave the blanket a good soak.  I really need to get myself some kind of wool soak so that my knits smell pretty, instead of sheepy, when finished. 

It took me 1.5 hours to block this sucker.  I was very excited to use my new blocking wires, which I’ve decided I should never have gone without.  The process was so much easier.  I’m a bit obsessive about straight lines and such so I probably was more aggressive than necessary and spent a lot of time adjusting and readjusting the pins.  It was worth it.

And now this blanket is finished!  It’s large enough to wrap around Squishy (who at 2.5 years old is tall for his age…) and still have plenty of wiggle room.   Even though it’s a lacy design, I think this will keep our little girl “snug as a bug in a rug.” 
I also need to take a moment and admit something to you all.  Have you ever been so excited about a project that when it’s finished you can’t do anything but just stare and wonder how you accomplished that?  That’s kind of how I feel about this blanket.  The pattern wasn’t difficult, the yarn was a pleasure to knit with, and I’ve been knitting long enough I was confidant I could make this blanket.  So why am I so enamored by the finished product?  Why can’t I stop staring at it? 

It’s somewhat like when I get new clothes.  They are purchased and brought home and then I have to try everything on and wear it again ASAP.  My mom will tell you I’ve done that forever.  It’s like that – you love it so much you have to see it again and again. 

So on Sunday night after it was blocked and dried, I sat and stared, and petted the blanket, and folded and refolded it.  And draped it around Squishy and then squished it and folded it again.  Part of my love of this blanket MUST be the anticipation that it will soon be keeping our little girl toasty warm.  I MUST have knit a lot of good juju and love into this blanket because it just makes me so very happy.

I’m almost always satisfied with how my knitting turns out.  Sometimes I wish I’d done better and sometimes the finished product is “ok.”  Hardly do I ever sit and obsess about something.  So with a week to go in this pregnancy, it’s no wonder I’m so thrilled.  Please excuse my lack of humility with this project.   I hope the rest of you get as much joy out of your knitting as I did with this!

I’m trying to remember if there was anything bad about this process or pattern.  My biggest gripe would be having to rip back and refigure the order of skeins, etc.  But the pattern is well written and clear.  There are written instructions and a chart.  The knitting wasn’t tedious – instead it felt engaging.  As long as it wasn’t the only thing I was working on.  And if you were to knit it in the original size, it would go much quicker. 

So there you have it. The long awaited baby blanket. 


  1. What are the dimensions of your blanket?
    200-300 rows is mind-boggling! It's gorgeous BTW. Love that color.
    The biggest blanket I've done is Pure Free I think. That was 600 yrds. of Encore.

  2. I know the feeling about a project that keeps going and going and going. I'm working on a self-designed blanket for Little Man. It's an 18 stitch x 24 row repeat with seed stitch borders. I figure I'm a little over half done...I've done five and a half repeats of the pattern thus far (somewhere around 275 rows). I was hoping to have it done for his birthday in a couple weeks...yeah, not gonna happen. I might be able to crank it out by Christmas. ::sigh::

    At the same time, I love it. I can't wait until it's done and washed and blocked. It's lovely right now so I want to see it in it's finished state :)

  3. It's so gorgeous Rae Lynne, and I think you have every right to feel proud of it :D Your little girl is going to be so toasty warm and look perfectly lovely wrapped up in it!!

  4. @Kepanie
    I'll have to measure - I meant to do that after it was finished and forgot!

  5. @Renee Anne
    It's neat your designing a blanket for your son. :) Designing AND knitting a blanket is a big project! Good luck on finishing it. :)

  6. @Armida

    Thanks, Raili! I've only completed a couple blankets - they start out feeling rather quick and then sometimes turn into endless projects! That's when I had to put this one aside occasionally so I could remember to enjoy the process!