Friday, September 18

Something for Smudge

You may have noticed that I haven't knit much, or that I haven't really bothered sharing what I've knit recently. (There is both a coat and a sweater that need modeling, but I'm not sure the coat will fit me anymore.)

I really lost my knitting mojo during the first trimester, both because I was tired and also because I was afraid of jinxing the pregnancy. I kept asking Christopher if it was alright that I was queuing baby sweaters, or if it was alright if I cast something on yet. He wasn't really sure why I didn't just knit, but I'm glad that I waited.

In August, when we were in Maine, I cast on for a baby blanket. Much agony was involved in deciding on this blanket, and this yarn. It turns out that we are receiving many baby blankets as gifts and as hand me downs - my mother has a few from when I was a baby, Christopher has his, we've been gifted one already (which I will blog about later) and promised yet another. Plus Christopher's sister is giving us all of their old receiving blankets and what not.

What was missing from this list (though perhaps there's something in my mother's collection) is a wool baby blanket. Smudge is due in February, and I hope to be at least somewhat mobile with the baby, even when it's tiny. We don't own a car, so that means that Smudge will need some bundling, and I think a small wool blanket would be useful.

Which brings me to a pretty impractical yarn choice, one I think that Elizabeth Zimmerman would be proud of. I chose some Icelandic fingering weight yarn that I bought last year at Rhinebeck. It's itchy, it sheds, it's not machine washable.I told Mary Jane about my crazy wool baby blanket when I was in Maine. She assured me that you can let spit up dry and just pick it off! I like her attitude! (And I appreciate her enabling!)

Even worse, I chose a lace pattern, which will require blocking if it needs to be washed. But I thought the yarn and pattern would work well together, and when I bought the yarn I thought it would be a good wooly blanket. (I had another skein of white, which would have been great in stripes or colorwork, but I became obsessed with this pattern and only one color would work.) I knit it mostly on the subway, and I was surprised how quickly it went. Last night I cast off, soaked it and blocked it (with Christopher's help). It measures about 27" square, which is a little on the small side, but I think it will be useful.Pattern: Alpaca Baby Shawl by Marie Grace Smith
Yarn: Tongue River Farm Sock Yarn
Needles: #5, various lengths

The pattern was very easy to memorize, and since it's knit from the center out, there is almost nothing to weave in. I just knit till I was nearly out of yarn, then did a few rows of garter stitch and cast off. The yarn really bloomed and softened when I washed it, which I had hoped for.

I hope that Smudge likes it!

(I can't wait to start something else! There's so much to be made!)


Anonymous said...

How could Smudge not like it!? It is absolutely beautiful.
- ebsb

Hilary said...

I am SURE Smudge will like it! Lucky baby...that is an extremely beautiful blanket. The only thing you have to worry about is him/her being so spoiled with his/her first blankie that s/he becomes a complete fiber snob. :)

kat said...

gorgeous. and the size is good for a baby, you don't want too much fabric if you use it for going out doors and bundling. i made a couple of wool blankets for my baby,they're perfect, you really don't need to wash them much. honest. once a year, if you feel like it.

Lauren said...

that is a beautiful blanket! I love that it's slightly impractical and am sure it will be loved.

thorvalda said...

Congrats with the pregnancy! The blanket looks gorgeous, I'm sure it will be useful. Looks like a fun pattern to knit.

mary jane said...

The blanket is soooo pretty. And I agree with Kat that the size is about perfect for baby-on-the-go bundling. I had such a nice visit with you I'm anxious for next summer when you may stay longer. I'll babysit Smudge!

Tonya said...

Pretty, pretty! I think Elizabeth Zimmermann WOULD be proud :)

t does wool said...

smudge will love it...and I am awaiting more projects ...;))