Monday, October 08, 2007

Holiday knitting

Diagonal blanket

Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun (98% acrylic, 2% polyester; bulky)
Color: Williamsburg
Needles: US 11 circulars
Stitches: increased to 168
Size: 48" square

The first Christmas present is finished! On Columbus Day, no less!

I am thrilled that the math worked out. Adding 42 more stitches to the 36" square pattern produced another foot, making this a good size for adults. If you're interested in adapting the pattern, it took five skeins to make a blanket this big.

I'm amazed I completed this project in essentially two weeks. The Knit Picks Options needles sped up the process some, but I can't overlook my laser-like focus on the blanket. I had very few problems in knitting it, although there was a late mistake today that looked like it might throw off the yarn over border on one side. It isn't all that noticeable, especially since the most problematic spot was patched when I wove in the ends. I'm really happy with how this turned out except for one thing you can probably see in this next photo.

What is going on with the color? To my eyes it looks like there are five distinct shades. I didn't notice it as dramatically without the benefit of photography, but I could still tell that there is a difference in color. The obvious explanation is that I erred in buying the yarn and ended up with five unique dye lots. Nope. I checked the labels when I bought the yarn, and I looked at them again today. Everything is the same.

I don't know that the color shift is as apparent if the blanket is in one's lap. I will not contend that it ruins the item. That being said, I'm kind of steamed that five skeins, supposedly from the same dye lot, aren't consistent.

With this project out of the way, I turned my attention to International Scarf Exchange 5. I scoured Ravelry for a good pattern, tracked down the book containing it at the library, and went to a LYS for help in finding the proper yarn. My pal wanted natural fiber, something I haven't worked with much. I brought the book with me into Temptations and explained what I wanted. It wasn't long before I was directed to The Alpaca Yarn Company's offerings. I chose the Classic Alpaca line in prairie green.

The store employee helped me figure out how to adapt the pattern for a scarf not as wide as suggested. Knitting it at ten inches wide would have meant purchasing a fifth skein, not to mention adding a lot more time to the project. The yarn is DK weight, so I have a feeling I'll be working on this awhile.

I cast on for the Midwest Moonlight Scarf from Scarf Style. After five rows I had one stitch too many. Rrrrrrrip! With plenty of k2tog and yo, it should be interesting to see how much this scarf tests my patience. I don't know how good I will be at undoing those stitches when necessary. No problem, right? It's just a new challenge.

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At 9:47 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I love the blanket! As for the color changes, I think it's the normal color variation that comes with Homespun. In a different pattern, it wouldn't be noticeable.

What a great color of green you chose for the scarf. :-)

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blanket looks great! I wouldn't worry about the color - it won't be noticeable. I'm amazed at how quick you finished it!

At 8:28 PM, Blogger donnadb said...

I think the color shift adds to the blanket beautifully, actually. It's not visible in the daylight photo, so it's probably very subtle.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

The blanket looks amazing and I kinda like the color change...makes it more interesting to look at, if you ask me.

Love the color of the new yarn and can't wait to see the scarf unfold!


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