Monday, April 12, 2010

Fiber Fun and "Failure"

Hmmm. How big is a baby blanket? Three friends are having babies this summer, and I've committed myself to create a blanket for two of them. So, I ordered some wonderfully soft cotton yarn. First, I tried knitting it in mitered squares (imagine the corner of a picture frame), and the yarn was resistant to being knitted as tightly as I was knitting. So I frogged it (rip it, rip it), and started over. I knit a swatch (a 4 x 4 inch square) in a neat pattern. Well, the yarn is bumpy and the pattern didn't look right. So I frogged it.

Oh, but wouldn't it look great in a ripple pattern; I bought several colors to make a multi-colored blanket. I found some larger knitting needles and a good ripple pattern. My hands did not cooperate. I couldn't get a rhythm of knitting that pattern. So I frogged it.

Frustration! So, I grabbed my crochet hook and crocheted a ripple pattern. Not only was it too wide, the pattern would not stick in my mind and mistakes abounded. So, I frogged it.

I cut away the yarn that I had frogged so many times, and I found a simple ripple pattern. I tested the pattern on some acrylic yarn. Great pattern. Easy to remember. Easy to fix when I didn't remember.

I chained a length shorter than before so the blanket would be smaller. Um-hmm. Smaller so that I'd have enough yarn to complete it. I crocheted one ball of yarn, two balls of yarn, three balls of yarn - having fun seeing the pattern develop. Um-hmmm. I began the fourth ball of yarn, and my eyes were opened to the facts: the blanket was wider than I thought, I didn't have enough yarn, and I would be October finishing the blanket for a baby due in May/June. Somehow that just didn't fit, and after than much work, frogging was out of the question.

Right now, I have a very pretty, somewhat heavy, piece of crocheted ripple that is about 36 inches wide and 12 inches long. Each ball makes about four inches. I have three, well four if you count two of one color, balls left. Blanket would be 36 x24, and in ripple pattern that just doesn't look right. Good cotton yarn is not cheap; so this would be a very expensive baby blanket to finish it properly or even half properly.

I think I'll use a different yarn, a larger hook (to make it more lacy and less heavy) and keep this to finish as an afghan eventually. Since the Mom is a vegan, I will have to use cotton or wool - they are better for babies anyway. In a fire, acrylics melt and stick to the skin. Cottons and wools don't stick to the skin.

The ripple afghan will be beautiful. And, surely, I can do a baby blanket - a small one - in just a few weeks.


PseudoPiskie said...

What patience! I would rip it out and give the yarn away. I'm not fond of afghan throws because they are not warm enough to justify the weight. Hope you figure out how to make the baby blankets in time. Hugs.

PseudoPiskie said...

A gorgeous photo too.

shallotpeel DonnaB said...

Or, the afghan would make a lovely shawl for me, who apparently likes her shawls different than others! (There have to be others like me. Don't you think?)

I hope you feel better, sweetie.

ginny s. said...

I think you're on the right track, changing from 100% cotton to something that's much lighter and goes farther. And the lacy open knitted patterns work well, too. I hate knitting with acrylic, so I try to find better yarn on sale. Have you seen the Baby Bamboo yarn (bamboo with maybe 20% wool)? It may be available online?