Important stages in blanket-making

yarn choices

Around this time last year I started making a blanket as part of a knit-along with my LYS, knit-wise in Ormskirk. Quite a few of us took part, and a year later progress varies between “Blanket? What blanket? Oh yes, I finished that aeons ago!” and “Blanket? What blanket? Oh, yeah, I really should work on that a bit…”

For my part, I worked on it sporadically over the year – at least a third of it was done in the first few weeks (to a month or so) up to the point where it was at the important stage of being big enough to dick about with as though it were a scarf.

blanket-as-scarf

Although being made lantern by lantern, it was theoretically an easy “on the go” project, the need to bring all 12 colours with you kind-of countered that by making it a really difficult “on the go” project. Also, you need to keep the equipment with you at all times for changing colours and sewing in the ends. This is the kind of project which, if you don’t finish off as you go along, will pretty much guarantee it never gets finished. A crafter who enjoys sewing in ends is a rare find indeed, and one who would be willing to sew in a minimum of 11x4x8 + 12x4x7 + 14×2 ….352 + 564 + 28 …944 ends in one sitting is a rare unicorn indeed. I sewed my ends in as I went, and joined my strips together as I went, and I’m not ashamed to say that I shouted loud caution at anyone who looked like they were saving up all the sewing-in and sewing-together joy until the end.

So, I worked on it sporadically – mainly at Wednesday night knit & natter if I’m honest, just to show willing and let everyone know I hadn’t forgotten about it. I made several things in the meantime – my new favourite sweater, a cardigan that still needs its buttons sewing on (see above re. keen-ness for finishing off fiddly details), a hat, Christmas mini-stockings, a waistcoat, a herd of hedgehogs and a handful of toy ducks and progress was made, inch by inch.

I got to the penultimate proscribed row and nearly the end of some of the colours of my yarn sometime in June/July, at which point it seemed like it would be a shame not to sneak under the 365-day mark for completing this beast. So I made an effort, and sure enough I managed to get the short sprint done.

finished blanket

It’s not as wide as I’d have liked, but I ran out of the mustard yellow yarn and didn’t want to get a whole new set of balls, which is a cycle I could very easily have fallen into. The boy has claimed this one for himself, and seems happy enough with it.

Joel with blanket

…so I’m calling it “done”.

So. Given the hard slog that that felt like, which is the obvious next step for a keen crafter like myself? Clearly, start another one. This time, for the girl.

african flower motifs

Holiday keen-ness means that this, too, has got to the all-important dick-about-with-it-like-it’s-a-scarf phase which, given that I’m doing strips horizontally this time, actually happened a lot earlier in the process. Still. A stage is a stage.

new-blanket-scarf

Watch out for completion of the girl’s blanket …around this time next year, no doubt.