Thursday, February 20, 2020

The One Week Baby Blanket

A few weeks ago I found myself doing something I never thought I would do: waiting, literally waiting, at the door for the mailman to deliver a yarn purchase. It's one of those materialistic-seeming things, like setting an alarm and waking at an unholy hour to catch a shop update. I don't see myself as that person. But there I was, a day after my friend's baby was born early, opening a box of Brava yarn wondering how I could make her a handmade blanket before she received a million store-bought ones as gifts. See, not materialistic, just self-important.




My original, carefree plan was to get the yarn and begin a leisurely knitted chevron blanket that I would make up as a I went along. I'd work on it a little every day, so I could still knit Badger with the JKnitBealeKAL2020 and I might even make a swatch or two before beginning.

Whatever. I ripped that box open and threw myself into obsessing over one of my fasted projects ever: a worsted granny stripe blanket, like the one I made a few years ago as a gift. That one took 10 days, with no pressure. This one would have to grow faster because... obsessing...self-importance. Thus, I started chaining the same number as I had on that first blanket. I had to pull up tutorials on double and triple crochet as I reminder. I also pulled up my old blog post on that first blanket that mostly followed Attic24's pattern.


That, my friends, is what this blog is for. It's my virtual corner of the napkin list, only it can't get shredded at the bottom of my purse. I can google my blog name along with any term I wish to have more information about and Sage Michelle of Yesteryear immediately supplies a profound answer in blog post form. It's a slower, more convoluted sort of Magic 8 Ball.

One search example: myso-calledhandmadelife, beekeeping
results in how to spot a queen in a beehive, perform a side crow split in yoga, and how to clean an old Argus camera. I literally just tried that. The search, not the side crow split

Another search- myso-calledhandmadelife, garden
pulls up photos of flower petals and thoughts on the fragile nature of man and spiritual renewal. Deep, Sage Michelle, really deep.

Then there's- myso-calledhandmadelife, sewing (Something I really don't even know how to do and yet, I even have advice about it.)
It resulted in a mole my daughter fashioned for her physics class that carried chapstick, a tiny drawing of a liger, and wore a "Vote for Pedro" shirt- Mole-poleon Dynamite. Boom. I have just rendered all of those redundant sewing blogs unnecessary.

See why I dread moving my blog and losing these early gems, even though many of the links have gone bad? Mole-poleon Dynamite!!!


Baby Blanket...right. So this was just a repeat of the first one I did, except it was in machine washable yarn because this little baby lives in the swampy South and normal people don't use wool around here. I also worked on it constantly and finished it in a week.

I began with the Dove Heather color for a single crochet row then started my rows of triple crochet clusters. I did one in Dove Heather between two row stripes of each of the other colors. I also used this color as the border, so it required 3 balls. The others just took one ball each.


Details: This was knit in Knit Picks Brava worsted colors: Dove Heather, Silver, Seashell, and Coral. I used a size F and G hook. The larger one was for the first row where I chained out 114 stitches. As usual it took a few tries to get it right. That is the only tedious part of these crochet blankets for me. I used the same G hook for my bind off row, too.


For my border, it seemed to need clusters of four triple crochet stitches. I don't know why, but it just looked best to me. This border isn't on the Attic24 pattern but I remembered doing it on the other blanket and it working.

I like the feel of this acrylic yarn. It is smooth and soft, but I did find my hook would split the strands constantly. It required me having to look down at my work the whole time. That's hard on my neck and also my sensibilities because my husband was reading subtitles to me as we watched a movie. It's just not the same in his robo-voice. Eventually, I did get the hang of crocheting this yarn without looking. It just seemed to take slightly exaggerated movements. Usually crochet gives my wrists a break from the repetitive stress of knitting, but I feared my breakneck pace might create different injuries. Oh, well, it's done and displayed lovingly on baby's crib. Totally worth it.


If you've never crocheted before, I don't think you can beat one of these blankets as a first project. It's really forgiving and, if it's for you (especially if it's scrappy), mistakes commemorate your learning process. I probably wouldn't buy the whole "it gives it character" thing if it were a garment. But blankets are all chill to me, except when I'm crocheting at 1a.m. and creating new repetitive stress injuries.

(more on ravelry, instagram,  flickr, and podcast Episode 45)

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