Knitting for the Memory

My grandmother had a habit of knitting baby blankets for new babies in the family. And we don’t have a small family; she and my grandfather alone had six children. Have you ever knit a baby blanket before? It’s a long process, and typically it can be arduous or boring. Depending on the pattern, of course.

My grandparents are gone now (you may remember my last post with them in it, The Implications of Warmth), but a lot of the knits my grandmother made are still around. My little brother’s first toque hung around in our laundry room for an eternity, and I still remember sloshing around in the backyard as a kid, wearing a home-made pair of mittens that quickly got saturated with spring snow. Things that come from the heart never really leave, so when one of my best friends announced she was getting married, I knew what I wanted to do.

She was getting a blanket.

Now, she and her new husband aren’t having a baby. But they did, in a way, start a new family. I wanted them to have something special as they embarked on their new life together. It had to have an element of their wedding in it, and it had to be fairly easy to do because I recruited another best friend to help me (kudos to her for helping me undertake such a huge project when she is just barely getting her feet wet with knitting!). The blanket is four colours, all representative of the wedding in some way. There are two red squares and two blue squares, which were the wedding colours; and two grey squares, which kind of tied in the bridal party’s suits. The border was an off-white to tie in the bride’s dress. I utterly love it, and I think the new couple did too (despite it being a couple months late…!).

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Now, for those of you who are interested, the technicalities. My friend and I wanted them to have something low-maintenance that they could just throw into the washer/dryer when they needed to, and like I mentioned above it needed to be fairly easy for a new knitter to do. So we chose Red Heart Comfort (Solids), which was a bit squeaky and a little sticky to knit with but will keep them warm and doesn’t bleed when washed. The pattern is a bit more difficult. We based most of it off of the Moderne Baby Blanket pattern, but the border is knit onto it with short-row corners using the spirit of the Ten Stitch Blanket. I don’t remember what the needle size was, now.

 


Casting on the first square

It was most definitely worth it.

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An Attempt at Self-Medicating

My nasty case of Startitis hasn’t ceased. I no sooner cast off a pair of socks then I cast on another pair, another newborn cardigan, a CAL project, and a blanket. It’s like when Hercules cuts one of the hydra’s heads off and multiple more sprout.

Despite the pleasing squishiness of this blanket (Does green knitting count on St. Patrick’s Day?):

 

Knit on US 11 needles using Bernat Blanket super bulky yarn in ‘Plum Fields’ colorway

and the cuteness of tiny cardigans, something needs to be done. I can’t keep casting on every project that catches my fancy- if nothing else, my boyfriend would have to start moving knitting off the couch to sit down and we’ve had words about touching works in progess before. He wouldn’t be gentle about it.

 

So, I put the needles down and picked up my laptop. What I needed was a pattern that would be instantly satisyfing, but long in duration. Like whatever it was the dental surgeon gave me when he took all four of my wisdom teeth out in one day. I took the meds at 9:59 am, everything went a bit fuzzy at 10:00 am, and when I woke up it was 2:30 in the afternoon. Good stuff.

What I decided on was the insanely popular Beekeeper’s Quilt, by Tiny Owl Knits. Its been lingering in my ‘favourites’ folder on Ravelry for ages, but while I thought it was a charming idea there were three things standing in my way of casting on:

  1. I never thought I would have enough yarn ‘left overs’ in my stash in one weight (Wrong.)
  2. I didn’t think I could get used to the monotony of knitting the same thing literally 550-1000 times (Wrong again. Turns out I love to watch TV and vanilla knit at the same time)
  3. Where on earth would I store 550-1000 tiny, stuffed hexagons?? (Solution! I upgraded from a dorm to an apartment!)

So… hexipuffs. Hexipuffs are my attempt at self medicating my Startitis- anytime I feel like I need a new project, I’ll just choose yarn from what turns out to be my quite sumptuous stash of fingering weight yarn (Ooooh I just remembered another ball of fingering in my office Stash Bin)(Don’t judge me for having designated room Stash Bins- we all know how Stash multiplies.) and cast on.

Voila. I’m a Medicine Knit Woman.

P.S. Hexipuffs are pretty cute 😉 Current count: 7/600