Blanket Blocking

I finished my big blanket this week. The applied i cord was a breeze to put on, and it gives the blanket a great finished look. I’m so happy I decided to take that extra step. It only took about half of one of the two hanks of yarn I bought for it. I’m thinking I’ll try out some skimmer socks soon, as I love wearing tiny socks in my Chucks.

I brought the blanket with me to Cedar Falls, as my mom has a clothesline I could dry it on. I thought about just leaving it on my patio to dry, but then I remembered I have a large dog and two kids that run all over the patio and thought better of it.

Have you ever blocked a blanket before? I had not. The largest thing I’ve ever blocked, or even washed by hand, is a sweater (granted, that includes the cocoon sweater, which was basically a blanket). I was nervous. It felt like a large undertaking. I considered not doing it, but some of the yarn was given to me by friends with cats, so I knew I needed to wash it if I ever wanted to use it without sneezing.

Here’s how I blocked it.

Step 1: Let it soak. 20180522_134134597907800.jpg

I put it in the tub with cool water and two packets of soak and let it sit while I fed the kids lunch and put them down for a nap. Then I made bars (milk chocolate and caramel for the middle layer this time). I took the trash out. I got the mail. I was really looking for any excuse to avoid the next part, so it probably soaked for an hour.

Step 2: Roll it up

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I put the blanket on top of two cotton blankets to soak up the water. Then I rolled it up.

Step 3: Hang it up

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I hung it out on the line to dry. I draped it over three lines, which I hope will help it dry more quickly. I then spent about 20 minutes just staring at it and thinking about how pretty it is.

Have you ever blocked a huge project? How did you tackle it?

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Scrap Yarn Shawl Knockoff

A month or two ago my sister Mary-Claire sent me a message on Instagram about a scrap yarn shawl she thought was really cool. She didn’t say cool though, she said “While I think this is too much work for a Christmas present, please look at this and marvel at how awesome it is.”

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I looked at it, and thought it was awesome. I also thought it looked really simple. I offered to make one for her for Christmas. I thought I could find a pattern, but a search on Ravelry came up empty. Luckily it looks pretty simple. I think it is just a rectangle knit on fairly large needles. I’m thinking I will go with size 12 or 14, whichever ones I find first.

I sent her a few pictures to make sure we were on the same page. First I made a sample piece with paper. Then I used safety pins and an afghan, so she could get a better idea of the drape. I may have gone over board with illustrating it. I just wanted to make sure we were thinking the same thing.

I offered to do it all in one color. She is the sister that has requested something other than gray once. I assumed she would want gray. To my amazement she wanted color. I suggested I knit it as a fade. I sent her a few examples of a fade, as she is not a knitter and wouldn’t know that term. I was quick to offer fade as a way to introduce color, as I have wanted to try the technique for a while, and because they are so popular I’m worried I’ll be the last knitter to work on a fade.

She sent me her color selections and I ordered them right away. They have been sitting in my closet for a month. That changes today. I’m going to be casting on a gauge swatch as soon as I find my needles. I’m going to be keeping you updated on Mondays on my progress on the design and knitting of this piece. Mary-Claire gave the OK to keep you updated. I didn’t want her to see her Christmas present before she opened it.20180427_192904864481651.jpg

Have you knit a fade? Have you ever created a pattern when you couldn’t find one you were looking for?

 

Weekend Morning

6 out of 7 days I wake up and drink coffee while hanging out with the kids. I make them a full breakfast around 8:30. There is not a lot of time for relaxing and contemplation.

One day each weekend that changes. Today was that day. John was on kid duty, so I had a relaxing morning. I slept in. I drank coffee in bed and worked on the applied i cord on my blanket. I watched the latest Knitting Monk podcast.

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Do you watch the Knitting Monk? He is amazing. I get something out of each of his podcasts – every time I watch one I walk away thinking about the mindfulness of my craft a bit differently. In his latest podcast, which I watched this morning, he spoke about finding the opportunity in what you have in regards to your stash.

For me that means if I find something I want to make, I shouldn’t think about how I don’t have the yarn called for in the pattern. I should look at my stash and see if there is a way to make it work. Will that always work? No. Will it stop my from buying yarn whenever I see I project I think I need to make? Yes.

I am still on my yarn diet, and thinking about the opportunities to knit with the stash I have is something I’ve been trying to do more of this year. I have so much yarn in my house. I don’t need to buy more.

I am so thankful that I found that episode this morning. It set my day off on the right track.

Do you watch any knitting podcasts you would recommend?

Today

I had a hard time coming up with a topic to write about today.

I could write about how Elliot has taken to climbing the learning tower and throwing toys to the floor. Even metal toys. Our floor has new scratches in it.

I could write about how I realized my borrowed digital copy of Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime is due in three days and I really need to finish it. I cannot begin to explain how interesting that book is, so finishing it won’t be a problem if I can find the time.

I could write about how Audrey now says “Mama, I’m sick of you” and “Mommy I don’t like you.” It breaks my heart. I responded to her with words I remember my Mom saying to me, so I sent my mom a text to apologize for being a jerk.

I could write about the cute things that happened today, like Audrey saying maybe we would see R2D2s at the Kansas City Zoo and Elliot attempting to blow bubbles.20180517_170926883889581.jpg

But instead I’ll just show you my finished sock, because I am not up to a long, thoughtful post today.

I messed up the decreases on the toe. It turns out decreasing while pushing kids on the swings doesn’t work as well as I would have hoped. I decreased on rows that I should have decreased on twice on the top of the sock. I decided it worked and I’m not going to tear it out. It’s still comfortable.20180517_19043658301587.jpg

I hope you had a wonderful Thursday.

WIP Wednesday: 19/52

Happy Wednesday! I’m only aware of the day because I keep checking the calendar. I’m still thrown off from our camping weekend.

I’m slowly making progress on the applied I Cord on my blanket. I finished the third side yesterday. It is so big it takes me a while to locate the yarn and find a good way to hold the blanket. If I’m sitting down for less than a half hour it doesn’t seem worth it to pick up.

I cast on socks before I headed down to Missouri last week. I’m using Felici in the Stone Harbor colorway. Felici continues to be the fastest sock yarn I’ve ever worked with. I’m already done with the gusset on the first sock.

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Over the next week I hope to finish this sock and start the second one. I also hope to finish the applied i cord on the blanket. Once I’m done with the blanket I’m going to start my sister’s Christmas present (I like to stay on top of holiday knitting).

WIP Wednesday: 18 of 52

Happy Wednesday! I feel like I’m treading water with my knitting instead of getting anywhere. I’m still working on John’s socks. I am through the gusset now, but making slow progress on the foot.

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I’m over halfway done with the applied i cord on my blanket. It goes quickly when I have time to pick it up. I am still thrilled with how it looks.

I need to come to terms with not knitting as much during the warmer weather. I think I’ll be OK with it once I’m done with the socks.

I hope you are getting lots of knitting done.