CHEST OF KNITTING HORRORSTM – BLAUBAND BLANKET

In an effort to use this space to productive advantage while I’m still plugging away at the Dragon and de-plying my poncho yarn, I turn to yet another embarrassment. Here’s another dweller from my Chest of Knitting HorrorsTM.

This pieced motif blanket is knit from Special Blauband, a fingering weight sock yarn. A long time ago it came in an striking color preparation.All of the?consituent plies that made up the yarn were dyed in several colors, then spun together in the usual way. Color repeats on the plies changed quickly, but the cycles were very long. The long cycles plus the random matings of the colors produced by spinning together multiple plies meant the?total color sequences varied greatly – never repeating exactly even in the same skein.Although one color usually dominated in the yarn’s tweedy presentation, each and every skein was different. Socks made from this stuff were always fraternal rather than identical. You either loved or hated the unpredictable results.

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All of the motifs in this blanket are knit from the same color number of Froehlich Wolle’s Special Blauband?Longue Degrade Multicolor, but as you can see – they are all very different. This particular lot is mostly brown, although neither of the photos on this page are true, the one above being too blue, and the one below being too yellow/red.

This lot came as a kit. It was called the Kaleidoscope Throw, and was designed by Anne Grout. I posted a review of the pattern on the knitreviews.com pattern review pages (you’ll have to scroll down about 3/4 of the way to get to it). I haven’t seen other Kaleidoscope kits on the market for several years, both it and the Blauband yarn may have been discontinued. The idea was that the variations skein to skein when knit in the round like this would produce a striking set of coordinating but all distinct results.

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As you can see, that part of the thing worked well. The motf pattern was quick to knit and quit simple to follow. I could knit about one and a half motifs per night. Piecing this throw was easy, and deciding where to put the various resulting color combos was fun.

So why did I stop?? It’s not hard to say. First, I was very disappointed that the blanket-sized throw shown on the kit’s cover required more yarn than was packaged in the kit itself. The kit alone was purported to be enough for a small lap-sized throw, and even then came up quite short. More of this particular yarn was plain old not available. Second, I decided I didn’t like the edge treatment of the kit. It left the hex sides loose and floppy, as in the half-done bit above. They do have a tendency to ruffle when they’re not under stretch, and I thought it looked sloppy.

So I decided to change gears a bit, working out a half-hex and finding a complementary knitted edging to make thing into a true rectangle. That meant I had to find a complementary color yarn, also in fingering weight. Ever since I’ve been keeping my eye open for something suitable. Special Blauband is among the lighter weight of the fingering/sock yarns. Brown Sheep’s Wildfoot might work, but so far I haven’t found **the right** yarn?or color?to finish this piece. Plus to compound the problem, I’ve mislaid my pattern original, and will have to work out the motif again?from my already-completed hexes. [Memo to self:? Remember to make a working copy of?an irreplaceable pattern, then store the original someplace safe. Destroy the copy or staple it to the original when done.]??

I do have another bag of this yarn in a different color that’s not brown. (Brown’s nice, but it doesn’t go particularly well with the stuff in my house.)? Some day I’ll revisit the Kaleidoscope idea, using it with a pattern entirely of my own devising. In the mean time, this bag of discontinued yarn sits in my stash. Just waiting, along with all those little cards of heel-reinforcement yarn that came with the brown Blauband.

There’s one more thing that makes me feel quite guilty about this particular UFO. It’s a surpise gift is for a dear family friend who lived nearby when we were still in Maryland. She loves browns. It was supposed to be a holiday present for her last year, and now with the holiday season this year approaching is nowhere near being completed.

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