The yellow baby blanket is mostly done. All that’s left is to graft the beginning of the edging to its end, and darn in the dangling ends. Here it is patted out and pinned to the back of the sofa, which accounts for the strange dimensional distortion.
I’m 80% satisfied with it. It’s small, more like basket or car seat size than crib size. I only had four skeins and used all but about ten yards of it. I’m only halfway pleased with the corners. The math worked out to be a multiple of a half repeat. That means that two corners were mitered starting at the narrowest point of the repeat, and two were mitered starting at the widest point. I will say that mitering at the narrowest point for this symmetrical edging worked better. That corner is in the upper left of the photo. Its opposite at the upper right looks clunky by comparison. If I had the thing to do over again (with more yarn) I’d work another three inches of the center panel so that all four corners could begin at the narrowest spot on the edging repeat.
The stitch patterns for this one also came from the the first Duchrow book. The center is pretty much verbatim, and can be found on page 35. The edging is inspired by the companion edging presented on the same page. My version is truncated by about a third of the original width. I arbitrarily cut off about eleven right hand side stitches, turning what were diamonds framed by a zig zag on the dagged side and triangles on the join side into plain old triangles, and eliminating a column of fagoting. Along the way I noticed that a smaller “junior” version of the same thing could be worked by using only a portion of my rows. I present both in the pattern graph below (click on it for full size version).
How to miter the corners? It’s easier than you think on a symmetrical pattern like this. I do them on the wrong-side rows, working one stitch fewer each wrong side row and wrapping the last stitch I work in each wrong side row until I reach the reflection point of the repeat (the shortest or tallest point depending on where I start), then I reverse the process, re-incorporating one previously wrapped stitch (along with the wrap at its base) on each wrong side row until I’ve reclaimed my full width and returned to the same point in the repeat where I started. Sounds confusing, but give it at try.
Now on to Baby Gift #3 – the little sweater kit. It turns out that there’s yet another in queue, after the sweater it looks like I’ll be knitting at least one more small blanket, plus some other thing to be determined when inspiration strikes.
I ended up ripping out the entire yellow blanket and restarting it. But I made the central part narrower – only three instead of four repeats. I slimmed it down based on yarn consumption estimates, and because I decided to trim it out with an edging rather than leaving it plain. I haven’t done much thinking about the edging’s corners. I’m winging it when I get to each. Photography is hard right now, so I present the traditional String photo of something wadded up into a mega-snood on a circ:
One of the things I find most comforting about knitting is that mistakes are not forever. Unlike say woodworking in which once your lumber is cut, it’s cut, with some minor exceptions, it’s always possible to rip out knitting and begin again. Since I’m one of the process rather than end-product oriented knitters, and deplore deadlines of any kind outside of my professional life, having to rip back isn’t a major burden. Of course, I do sometimes get annoyed at wasted effort and sometimes am frustrated enough to consign a project to Chest of Knitting Horrors(tm) limbo, most of the time it’s just grab the end and rewind.
Work schedule willing, I should have this blanket finished by next week. That will be Baby Gift #2 done, and I’ll be on to #3.
In the name of expediency I started on Baby Gift #2, but instead of working in the fingering weight wool I had bought on sale, I dipped into my pile of recently received gift yarn for an Aran weight acrylic in baby yellow. It’s unstretchy and slightly fuzzy, but very soft. I figured that on US #10 needles, I’d make short work of a quick blanket. And it looked to be heading that way:
Can you see the problem? Takes a while if you’re not looking for it.
See the zig-zag on the left? In the first four repeats, it’s flanked by little diamonds on alternate sides. That’s how the repeat is SUPPOSED to look. Those other zig-zags with the diamonds soldiering up one side or the other? Nope. That’s wrong. My first 1.5 repeats across are correct, after that all goes to hell.
Now why did this happen?
Because I was too cocky and wasn’t paying attention. I can usually memorize a pattern this simple in a pass or two. I thought I had it licked, and continued to knit away on autopilot, without checking the Duchrow book pattern chart I was following or looking at my work. In fact, I didn’t notice the problem until I patted the blanket out for this morning’s photo.
Ripping back the one and a half skein of knitting you see above. The good thing is that I cast on for this only on Friday. That’s just three evenings worth above. The bad thing is that this yarn is surface fuzzy, and taking it out will be a pain. But if I go back to the very beginning I’ll get to do some minor engineering. I think that I’ll do something deliberate with the repeat, possibly with some mirroring or (on purpose and symmetrical) distortion.