Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Knit In Progress: Missoni-Inspired Blanket
A long, long, long time ago, back when I started to really get into knitting, I was scrolling around on Ravelry and came upon a blanket project and pattern that really caught my eye. I immediately queued and downloaded the then free pattern and wrote out the list of colours needed to make a blanket of my own. Judging from the date stamps on the stash pages, it took me two years and five yarn shops to collect all the yarn (there is, after all, almost 200 colourways and I highly doubt a single yarn shop is willing to carry every single colour offered). So since 2011 I've had all the yarns for this blanket packed up like a project kit, just sitting there in the closet, waiting to be knitted up.
Then a few weekends ago, as I was going through my stash (again), I pulled the bag out (which I do practically every time I go through the stash) and decided enough was enough. It was time to knit this bad boy up. If not now, then when?? My hands were feeling a little achy and I knew I needed to take a break from sock knitting, or any other project that involved tiny yarn being knitted with tiny needles before the carpal tunnel flared up and prevented me from knitting any yarn on any needles. Am I grasping at any excuse to cast on another project? Maybe. But my hands really were feeling achy and my past experience has taught me that switching projects/yarn weights/needle sizes really does help in deterring hand pain. So I went with it and decided to (finally!!) cast on the Missoni Inspired Chevron Blanket.
I'll confess right now that I had started this project twice before I was able to really get going on it. The first time I had used the recommended needle size (yes...I did NOT do a gauge swatch...seriously, this is a blanket. I'm confident in my knitting abilities!!) and had cast on the number of stitches as written in the pattern. A few rows into the first colour of the colour sequence and I knew something was wrong. First off, I didn't like the CO method that I had used. I was trying to be all fancy and used the Old Norwegian CO, while it's nice and stretchy, it didn't look good to me. Especially with the garter stitch edge. Second, I had this constant nagging feeling that the gauge was too tight and that the blanket was going to be too small.
Instead of knitting on and hoping that blocking will cure all in the end, I choose to listen to my gut instincts and ripped what I had. I'm SO glad that I went with my gut on this one!! I went up a few needle sizes, added an extra chevron repeat to make the blanket bigger, and used the gold ol' long-tail cast on. Ah. Much, much, MUCH better!!
I'm also really happy that I made a few changes to the pattern. Like knitting six rows of garter instead of four, and the methods of increases and decreases. Instead of a generic "make one" I opted to use my favourite mirroring increases (which you can see on the right in the photo above) and switched the slanting "sl1, k2tog, PSSO" to a cleaner and straighter looking "sl2, k1, PSSO" (which you can see on the left side of the photo above). They're super small mods that I think make quite a huge impact in the overall look of the blanket.
The pattern is incredibly easy to knit...which means I've been making mistakes left and right. Really stupid mistakes too. Like adding in an extra increase or forgetting to pass the slipped stitches over. Way too many times I've had to either tink back or drop down to fix such foolish mistakes. I like to blame my increasing level of tiredness on this. Otherwise, this blanket has been an awesome knit so far. The uneven striping and constant colour changes make this simple project an addicting knit and I often find myself wanting to knit "just one more stripe". I just want to see what the next colour looks like and how it'll be stacked up on the others. It's to the point where I put off going to the bathroom for as long as I can, just so that I can keep knitting. Please tell me I'm not the only one that does that when they really get into their knitting project. Please? Anyone? ...Bueller? Bueller?
If my hands stay A-OK, I just might be able to finish this blanket in time to enjoy it this winter. That's how much I've been loving knitting this project!! Now if only I can stop making so many silly mistakes...