Friday, May 30, 2008

Nothing Says Summer Like a Big Wool Blanket!

I received many helpful comments on the last post, encouraging me to knot the ends and call them fringe. I did consider this option, since there were a ton of ends to weave in. This blanket changes color every row. That means that there is an end at the beginning and end of all 122 rows. So 244 ends to weave in. If ever fringing the blanket was a good option, this was the time. But the fringe didn't look great (I tried), and really, I didn't want fringe.

So this called for serious hunkering. Certain bloggers (coughNOVAcough) will work diligently to avoid weaving in ends at the end of a colorful project, but I am not such a knitter. I do not mind hunkering down to when there are any many Netflix to enjoy. And long, entertaining audiobooks and podcasts. For two weeks, here and there, between other knitting projects I wove in the ends, and cranked out the last zillion last night during a two hour season finale. With all that entertainment, it went quickly, and the clean edges it produced is worth it.

I am so in love with this blanket. Love love love love love. I love that I can take 6 years of totally unrelated yarns (complete list and additional exhaustive details on Ravelry) and put them together to make a harmonious whole. The yarns I used were almost all worsted-ish wool (there might be some cotton or alpaca in there, and a few DK yarns used double), and were mostly muted solids, but there was a tweed or two, a marl, some kettle-dyed semi-solids, and even three skeins of Kureyon thrown in. The only method to choosing yarns was to try to distribute colors fairly evenly throughout the blanket and to try to make each color look good with the one before. That's it. It was a great exercise in color play and experimentation. I read somewhere that Kaffe Fasset said that if you aren't sure if your colors go together, throw in 25 more. This blanket (and this one -- amazing!) is proof of the truth in that.

There's memories in this blanket. There's handspun Ann gave me, and souvenir yarn from a sheep farm in NJ. There's yarn from sweaters I knit and sweaters I frogged and some yarns I bought that were total mistakes (poop brown Nature Wool, I'm looking at you). There's leftovers from my CPH and from the slippers that Mr S wore out. There's baby sweaters and scarves I gave as gifts. There's unrealized colorwork and felting projects. And now it's a blanket to warm my family. As I work on my current projects, I can't help but think about when I'll use the rest of the yarn, what blanket will incorporate its leftovers.

And it's already become a family favorite. The kids already snuggled under it while it was in progress, and my husband is appreciates that it is big enough for him to fit under it completely, since his feet stick out of all our other ones. But it's getting too warm to snuggle up under a wool blanket, so it is seeing some alternative use this morning.

This is what a crocheted blanket is for, right?

12 comments:

anne marie said...

this blanket ROCKS!

that last pix is adorable!

fabu job, liz! :-)

LaurieM said...

Love it! It reminds me of a braided rug. Homey, comfortable and meant to be used.

Ann said...

It looks great on the bed, but it looks best under all the animals having a snack with Pepe. He's so good to his animal friends.

I will make this blanket. It will have to wait until the fall however -- too hot to have that sitting on my lap!

Kristy said...

What an awesome blanket! Beautiful job.

Jenna said...

It must be an amazing feeling to see something that you made become an instant family heirloom. Absolutely lovely work, as usual!

Sally said...

It's so lovely Liz! I have to make one too. And I certainly do applaud you for weaving in all of those ends.

Christie said...

Wow! You learned how to crochet! LOVE IT!!! And I love the advice of adding more colors when in doubt.i

nova said...

I think this blanket will get plenty of use (if not this summer, over time). And I just picked up In Defense of Food on Audio today. Great minds.

SJ said...

It really looks wonderful, and I know you'll get a lot of use out of it come fall and winter.

Also, I am in awe of your end-weaving-in stamina!

Laurie (Moo!) said...

That is one, darned versatile blanket! It's already a part of the family.

Awesome!

tiennie said...

This is amazing! I love that it's now a laying around on it kinda blanket!

Mintyfresh said...

many, many congrats on finishing. it's really excellent. i love the little Donovan you have in the house, too!