As a stitcher, I am chronically late on projects. It seems like a project with a deadline is a sure fire way to make me less interested in getting the thing done. Right now, I am furiously knitting a sweater for the trade show this weekend. (more on that soon). So when Tanis (amazing designer and instructor at our shop) announced that she was pregnant many many months ago, I didn’t put a deadline on her gift. I wasn’t even sure what I was going to make her. Then SIX WEEKS ago today, Tanis had her baby boy – Callum. Her due date was today! So like any knitter, I scrambled. Panic set in. I quickly selected the yarn that I wanted to use and tried to work backwards to find a pattern that was suitable for the yarn that I had fallen in love with – Pigeonroof Siren Two Sport. It had just arrived at the shop and I was really itching to work with it. The yarn is a merino cashmere and nylon blend, making it both snuggly soft and machine washable. (yes, we still have it at the shop. come squeeze!).
I grabbed three coordinating colors that had a nice pop to them and spent days scouring Ravelry for a baby project that involved multiple colors but wasn’t intarsia. I finally settled on the Gift Wrap Romper which is done in a completely different gauge (uses O-Wool Balance). Of course we have Balance at the shop but I was already in love with the Pigeonroof. So then I set out to rewrite the pattern…but the baby was early which meant that he was super small. So in the process of trying to figure out what size to make and how to achieve that size based on my new gauge, I got frustrated and decided to make a blanket instead. You know, because a blanket is such a quick knit project!
So this time I simple cast on some stitches, using my gauge swatch to determine how many would give me a blanket about 36″ wide. I used the Vogue Knitting: the Ultimate Knitting Book to find different stitch patterns using only knit and purl. I found a few patterns in the Harmony Guide: Knit & Purl as well. Some of them were simply made up. I alternated between the three colors with each change in stitch pattern and only knitted each strip for two inches. By casting on for the width and changing colors every two inches, I achieved the look of a blanket knitted in strips of colors without having to seam the long narrow strips together. This limited me to patterns that would look good with only one or two repeats of the chart (which meant no cables) but it made the project much easier to tackle.
And then I ran out of yarn. Because my estimate for the cast on resulted in a much larger blanket (more like 40″), my three hanks of sportweight weren’t going to cut it. Meanwhile, one of the colors that I had chosen was gone from the shelves and I spent several days begging customers to give me back a partial hank. (Thank you Lynn!!!) In total, the blanket took four hanks plus a partial hank for the middle and one additional hank for the edging. My edging is a folded hem and this pattern by Purl Bee is a great guide on how to do it.
In the end, the blanket turned out amazing and Callum can drag it around for years to come. And its always nice to give a knitter something knitted, since they know the work put into it 🙂 Despite it being close to six weeks late, it still arrived before Callum’s original due date! Not bad for this perpetually late knitter.