I started making this blanket a long time ago and somehow, it got lost. It got that special kind of lost, the kind that only knitters and crocheters know, the kind that signifies some other project blustering it's way in, eclipsing any other yarn thoughts and destroying all current, hopeful project's dreams.
And so after the brightest of starts it got forgotten, in a bag, all alone.
Until I realised that firstly I was making this blanket for a particular someone so I better pull my bloody finger out and secondly I can't very well start new projects until I finish some old ones that are sitting in bags around the house and this one didn't really have that much work left to do. I had already completed the brown and baby blue colours so I grabbed some more colours and went for it.
The pattern is the Little Ridge Blanket from Pickles, Oslo - oh how I love these gals and their patterns.
The yarn is Rooster Almerino Aran in mushroom, sugared almond, custard, brighton rock and strawberry cream. Dreamy stuff to work with, dreamy stuff to make baby blankets from, the aran is the big sister of the Rooster Almerino DK I used to make Betsy's Springtime Throw and I love their colour range, so pretty, so candy, so right for little ones.
The garter stitch makes this blanket all stretchy and cuddly, seriously stretchy, this thing actually bounces! Perfect for wrapping a cute bundle of baby loveliness in, I know it's going to be a winner.
The way this pattern works, which left me completely baffled for the entire period of knitting it, is the square shape comes about from creating two opposing increases either side of a central stitch. Such a simple idea, easy to follow (it's garter stitch, no prizes for whizzy stitchy woo here), but completely baffling. I mean it.
You just can't see what it is going to look like until you cast it off and then it was like all my cogs finally started whirring and turning, I put on my goofy, mouth open face as the lights finally came on and I realised what I had done.
"OH I SEEEEEEEEEE!" I cried, all chuffed and pleased with myself, not rocket science but near as dammit!
The pattern calls for casting off loosely (LOOSELY GIRL!) and gives the method they use, which I had never heard of before nor ever tried. To make matters worse, the magic of the square will only be realised with a stretchy, loose, lovely cast off. Pressure?
The only way to cast off that I know is the standard knit two, move the first stitch over and off and I know from experience that this creates a really solid and tight cast off. To make it all the way to the end of this beauty and mess it up at the casting off stage was just not an option so I looked it up (thank all the heavens for YouTube) and practised it a couple of times before allowing my fat fingers of destruction anywhere near.
I managed it. I had a good knitting day. I cast off the final stitch and thought simultaneously "thank you" and "god I'm ACE". This woolly lushness is now lovingly wrapped in tissue paper to await it's grand moment in it's new home.
To prove that this kind of knitting smugness ("god I'm ACE", I mean come on), is not rewarded well by said gods, I started my next project at the weekend, a really difficult one that gives me the nervous sweats just thinking about it. After three days of deep concentration, intense video watching (wrap and turn anyone?), Betsy came running at me like a wild thing, landed and pulled the wool out of my hand.....and about 10 stitches with it, stitches that had been wrapped, increased and lord knows what else thus leaving me with no option but to rip and start over....I haven't started over as yet, I. can't. even.