Friday, June 09, 2006

I'm back, and I'm NOT empty-handed

I guess I've been on something of a blogging hiatus. Since the last post (feels like forever ago) I was knitting the f**k out of the Mountain Laurel Blanket in hopes of completing it by June 2- the day I go (went) to visit my brother, SIL, nephew, and my new neice (to name a few). Unfortunately, FO-bliss was not in my stars. But I gave it all I could. I even knitted during the 3.5 hr drive down to my hometown in the Lehigh Valley of PA (no, I wasn't driving and knitting-Mr. V was nice enough to chaffeur). I was still left with one more side border to knit and attach.

So I showed it to them in all its half-finished glory, graciously accepted compliments, held the baby (adorable, btw-now I want a baby but that's another post), and proceeded to enjoy my visit. In the end, I think admitting defeat was the best thing for me. During the time I was at my MIL's house in York, PA I managed to get within a few inches of the finish line quite easily. It was nice knitting without panicking or with my inner track coach whistling at me to keep up a good pace.

Thursday night (while comfortably back home), I did my victory dance... well, my victory pat-on-the-back. And I found myself staring at the blanket laid out on the bed. Just staring. I can only imagine the look of my face, the shape of my smile while hovering over my new creation. Yes, my SIL is not the only proud, new mommy in the family.

I can't believe I made something so big and so fancy.

My MIL and her friend asked me how many hours I spent on this. I can't really say. I worked on it so sporadically in the beginning and then I worked like a machine in the end. I didn't really take notice. Not that it really matters to me. A qualitative description is alright by me: a really, long time.

One of the things I love about this blanket is that there is a lot going on. Here are some detail shots for posperity:

So without further ado:

Project: Mountain Laurel Counterpane Baby Blanket by Kim Salazar
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, 100% acrylic, color "Orchid", 5 skeins (cost of yarn ~$10)
Needles: Denise Interchangeables Size 7 for the whole blanket
Mods: Not too many modifications except I used size 7's instead of size 5's because my yarn is acrylic and I wouldn't be able to block it if the gauge was too tight. Meaning, I was afraid the blanket wouldn't lay flat on size 5's. Plus, larger needles mean less time. The blanket measures 42.5"x39.5", larger than what would be needed for a newborn, but this way they can get more use out of it.
Woulda-Shoulda: As far as the pattern goes you can't ask for better. The pattern is easy to read, and surprisingly not as complicated as one might think. There is lots of lace but after completing 18 full hexagons, 4 half-hexagons, 6 seed-stitch triangles, and several feet of cable and lace border you get familar with the patterns REAL quick. I believe there is one error, and it's on the border pattern, second-to-last row, you k2tog instead of k3tog. Can't miss it, and it'll become pretty obvious to you why it should k2tog instead of k3tog. The only thing I would have done different for this project was start it earlier. Let me repeat.


I'd say start soon after you know she's expecting. That way, you can knit your heart out when you're feeling adventurous and put it away for a while when you're bored out of your mind. As everyone knows, knitting the same thing day after day makes Cath a dull girl... I mean... you get the idea. But for those who persevere there is great satisfaction when all said and done (sorry if I sound like Yoda). Also, I took the suggestion of someone on Craftster and sewed the pieces together as I went along. It helps, but if you really hate sewing and weaving in ends then this pattern is not for you, sorry. I believe Karin is knitting this (or will be soon) for an expectant. So check her out if you want more Moutain Laurel action. Good luck with that and the apartment search, Karin!

Now that's over,

I've CO already for my next project: the Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet. Small project, bulky yarn. Awlriiight!


Bee said...

The blanket is awesome! Congratulations on such a wonderful FO! I'm sure the baby and their mom are going to love it.

Where in the Lehigh Valley were you traveling too? I grew up in Bethlehem, and I miss that area so much!

Also -- I think you said a while back that you were coming out to Boston. If I'm right, is that trip still in the cards? Let me know, and I can show you the great LYSes around the city!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what you were up to since you weren't blogging as regularly.

The blanket is truly beautiful. You should be so proud.

And what's this about wanting a baby????

Karin said...

That's right, I am! I will be starting it probably tonight or tomorrow for an October baby. I am also using the Simply Soft yarn. Yours looks lovely and this post was very helpful!

Susan said...

Fabulous, gorgous, unbelievably beautiful! Am I gushing? Unabashedly because your blanket is incredible!!!

And have that baby!