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A quickie….blanket

Last week, I finished my second baby blanket, which is the termination of a wee experiment of mine. I knitting my first baby blanket entirely in stockinette stitch (note: do not do this), which most people ooh and ahh over because it has a zillion colors. I’m not an expert, but I’ve been told babies like lots of colors. Being as I don’t really remember being one myself, I’m going to have to presume that it’s true. So the first blanket looked like this:

Stupidly, I never took another picture of it, even after it was finished. I sewed on a fleece backing to it and did some embroidery* to decorate the front. It took so long to do that by the end I swore I’d never do another baby blanket. The pattern is here for anyone I didn’t just scare off.

* I suck at embroidery.

Then one day I got tired of saying that I was a decent knitter, but I couldn’t crochet at all, so I learned how to do it. Crochet is a totally different beast from knitting. It really only has three major stitches, with the majority of crochet stitches being a variation of the single crochet stitch. Once you master the chain stitch and the single crochet, you’ve pretty much just figured out crochet. You could go a whole lifetime without learning afghan stitch, which is not actually required to make afghans. So, it’s a lot simpler to learn. It also has basically no limitations as to the direction of your stitches, which makes it a lot more sculptural than knitting. It has 90° turns. It’s like the wild and crazy cousin of knitting that failed out of school, but gets invited to all the parties.

It’s also fast and loose. Well, fast anyway, so when I heard of the latest pregnancy among my friends, I decided it was time to give the experiment a try. I adapted a full size blanket down to the purpose, which is easy to do in crochet because of the prevalent use of the awesome colorful granny square. I just made fewer of them and a slightly smaller border. It worked beautifully, once I got my brain wrapped around what was required to make one such square. Here’s a picture from the blocking*:

* I also suck at blocking. Or, well, need to invest in some of those foam blocks you can stick your t-pins into rather, than, say, a totally not solid towel. That’s definitely my next knitting purchase as the next thing I have to block is a queen-sized bed sized lace shawl.

I am pleased. This blanket took easily half the time that the other one did. I am no longer afraid of baby blankets, which is unfortunately a bit theoretical, as my wrist has been in such sad shape over the past few weeks that neither knitting nor crocheting for any length of time is a good idea at all. While this is frustrating, I’ve been spending my time writing patterns that I cannot yet knit. Pattern design is fun – it’s quite a bit of math, but I can’t wait to heal enough to actually be able to turn them into real creations. Lest I, dare I say it?, start designing baby blankets.

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