Alphabet Blanket

About a year ago, CL had a baby. This was the first person close to me to have a child since I learned to knit, so I had to make a gift. Up until this point, I had only made scarves and only for my immediate family, so I hadn’t really followed a pattern, made a big project, worried about gauge, or worried to much about if the gift was good enough for the recipient. (My Mom got my first scarf, which I dubbed “a scarf only a mother could love” and thought by now she should be past getting refrigerator art.) I also hadn’t done any garments and didn’t really want to start with a baby thing (looking back, I have no idea why), which meant it was a blanket.

It took me a while to decide on a pattern. I didn’t want anything too cute. CL has much more fashion sense than I do and likes bling. I also didn’t want it to look like a grandmother blanket (nothing wrong with them, but I’m not a grandmother). I finally decided on an Alphabet blanket. I could tell the pattern would mean a lot of chart reading, but I understood the main section of the pattern. The edging instructions didn’t make sense to me, but I thought I’d deal with that when I got to it. Since I wanted it to go well, I made sure to buy the yarn called for in the pattern (discontinued, so difficult to find). I bought the amount it called for (11 balls) and cast on.

blanket 1b

Pattern: Alphabet blanket from the Baby knits book by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Wool/cotton (50% Merino wool 50% Cotton, discontinued), color 701
Needles: US 3
Began: February? 2006. Completed: August 2006
Finished size: about 42’ x 47.5” (inside squares 37” x 43”)

I don’t recall for sure when I started it. I am thinking in February, but I can’t think of why it wasn’t January. I brought the blanket everywhere. On trips to visit my mother. To county/district/state conventions (the only thing that made them tolerable). On long van rides with co-workers. I was done with the everything but the edging by April 12. I know because I bought a book at a conference because I just wasn’t understanding the instructions for the edging. If I had just followed them without thinking it would have worked, but this was my first exposure to short rows and I was confused. I thought I was doing well since it meant following a 187 stitch pattern closely for 258 rows. Since the baby was due in May, I thought I would be able to complete it fine since I had a whole month for just the edging.

I completely underestimated the amount of time the edging took. And how tired of it I became. And that the baby shower would be in late April. I think I had one side done at that time. I may have had another side done by the time the baby was born. Since I had completely missed the shower and birth, I was no longer under any pressure to finish until family reunion in August when I would meet my new cousin. This meant that I finished the edging on the way to my sister’s house on the way to the reunion. I didn’t do a great job blocking it. Here is DJ’s cat helping.

blanket 1d

I should have done a gauge swatch. I needed to order more yarn (remembered, it was discontinued!) – I think I used 2 additional balls. I decided not to worry about dye lots (different of course). Ordering (and waiting for) more yarn also slowed down the edging. I obviously was knitting at a looser gauge than the pattern called for and I think the blanket feels a tad loose. But I still don’t feel too badly about it for a first real project.