Monday, January 18, 2010

On the needles: another blanket

My husband's fertile family is expecting another new arrival in April, this time a little boy. I was bored with bibs so I decided to try a different project. What did I choose? A baby blanket!

You'd think after all my whining about my DD's Boundless Blue Blanket I'd stay away from blankets for awhile, wouldn't you? Instead I seem to have become addicted to them, even using the same darned pattern for the baby project. The truth is I like the texture and neatness of the pattern and it's easy to knit without concentrating on it.

Also, a baby blanket takes about one fifth the amount of yarn that DD's B.B.B. did so it seems quite manageable. I'm making excellent progress and enjoying it so far.

My one disappointment is the softness of the project. Because the expectant parents live in Florida I chose a cotton yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca's Dyed Cotton in color #602, a pretty pale mint green. When I squeezed the skein in my LYS, it seemed quite squishy. However, as I'm knitting it up on #7 needles, it is coming out a bit stiff. Not that it's scratchy or anything like that, but it doesn't have the lovely drape that my DD's blanket does. I'm kind of sad about that and wondering if it's because I'm using smaller needles for this project. Would that make it seem stiffer?

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Blogger Nephele said...

Smaller needles make for tighter and therefore stiffer knits. Cotton isn't likely to be as cuddly when new either. Washing will help.

If I recall correctly, the Blue Sky cotton is fairly loosely spun and plied so I don't recommend knitting it on larger needles. Loose spun stuff pills too much if it's loosely knit

5:11 PM  
Anonymous LauraP said...

Yep, smaller needles, tighter knit, stiffer fabric. That's not a bad thing when Mom's spreading out a blanket for a baby to wriggle around on, imho.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

It should soften up after it is washed and will continue to soften up with each wash.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Okay, lesson learned about smaller needles. It makes sense when I stop to think about it, but, of course, I didn't at the time I started.

I'm very relieved to hear that it will soften with washing and that I unconsciously made the right decision for the kind of yarn.

You guys have made me feel better about the outcome. Thanks so much!

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blanket looks very nice. Where was the pattern from?


8:04 PM  
Blogger georg said...

Washing helps a lot for the cotton. Same thing with linen. But it's murder on the hands, so moisturize often.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Cathy R said...

I agree that smaller needles = tighter/stiffer knit. However, as cotton, it will loosen up with use.

Remember the 80's when we all had those cotton sweaters? That sagged to our knees while we were wearing them?

The baby blanket is adorable and will be well appreciated, I bet.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Camry60, the pattern was from a Creative Knitting magazine. It was for an afghan (as in my DD's Boundless Blue Blanket) but I shrank it to a more manageable baby blanket size. I summarize the pattern on Heidi Betts' blog Must Love Yarn, Nov. 30th post.

Gosh, Georg, does it have to be handwashed? My poor hands are already so dry, they're about to blow away!

Cathy, I sure do remember those saggy, baggy cotton sweaters. Not a good look! I'm glad it's gone away.

12:31 PM  
Blogger georg said...

Cotton doesn't need the hand washing!! It can go in the washer and dryer - and it will shrink a little and get softer.

Cotton will dry out your hands - so moisturize them often. Because of how I hold the yarn and my knitting, the outside edge of my hands dry up something fierce.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Oh wow, Georg, I didn't realize you meant just KNITTING with cotton would dry out my hands! That explains alot! I always get dry hands in the winter but it seems to be worse recently. Now I know why. Thanks for the info!

4:29 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Really pretty, Nancy--both blankets! I like the pattern, too, and need to do a baby blanket soon myself, so I'll hie myself to Nov. 30 and see what I can find!

8:27 PM  

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