Wrapping up the Basil Blankets & Blocking Maude

I once heard that there are two kinds of knitters – project finishers and project starters. It took me forever to learn the long-tail cast-on (thank you Stitch Cafe) and ultimately I think I just prefer finishing to starting. And I can cast-off ok and even weave in the threads.

basil blankets completed basil blankets completed

(Ignore the dry looking lawn. There’s a drought and water rationing out here…) So Basil Blankets are off to the kids this weekend and Maude is also finished.

Maude the shawl. I have always seen these photos of women blocking shawls out-of-doors on what looks like lawns or fields. Now I know why. Aside from the stale urine as bleach, the damn things don’t block easily inside a tiny house.

off the needles blocking shawl

Fortunately purchased two sets of blocking “blocks”. Maude took about I.5 plus blocking wires and assorted pins. It was an adventure.

 

 

Basil Baby Blanket(s) blocked, completed, etc

The Smith Island PatternFactory Basil Baby blanket(s). The running joke has been some variation on would I finish these blankets before the children (my nieces: E & M) go off to college. As it has turned out the ubiquitious blankets have been completed somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd birthdays.

(Sort of. The 2nd one is being blocked as I write this….)

BasilStart01 

Blanket start (above)

 BasilBlanketBlocking01 

Blanket #1 on the (Knitpicks) blocks

BasilBlanketBlockingCorner

(and a corner).

 

Various learning experiences accumulated include: how to knit from charted patterns (being a weaver and used to reading drafts that wasn’t too terrible), why the overdramatically named “life line” is so very important, how to fix mistakes, fixing a mistake that requires (holding one’s breath) dropping a few rows down (that part was terrible) and other exciting lessons.

At some point I decided to put all other projects on hold or back burner, no casting on, no weaving, etc or whatever till the blankets were complete. Better pictures will follow.

More Basil Baby Blanket(s), more frogging, and corners.

I’ve put my other knitting on hold while I finish up the baby blankets. I am hoping to complete both blankets before the twins go off to college. (Bit of an exageration here – they’ve only recently passed their mutual 2nd birthday.) Bit more frogging and swearing and now they (the blankets) seem to be on track.

Basilcorner02

Adding to my list of things not to do is: don’t bind the edging off too tight. Do this and the whole busness will be too tight on the edge and much looser at the center. I had this feeling that some things can’t be fixed by blocking so more frogging and re-working. (For the record, the  Dale of Norway/Baby Ull has held up really well with all the gentle frogging and re-knitting. You wouldn’t know what it’s been through.)

the Ubiquitious Basil Baby Blankets are frogged back to square-whatsits

Basil baby blanket with border post-frog

I put aside other knitting projects in order to finish the Basil Baby blankets before the twins go off to college. (They recently celebrated their 2nd birthday.) Going along fine until I started looking at other completed Basil blankets (on Ravelry) and realized that I had managed to knit up the borders (- count two – both sets of borders – ) incorrectly (backwards, insideout, don’t ask) and had myself a lesson in careful frogging. Now back on track and I may yet complete this project before the college going away party….

Basil for twins (the blanket not the plant)

Recently I began the first of two baby blankets for my twin nieces (4 months old). The pattern, “Basil”, is a baby blanket wonderfully designed by Courtney Kelley of the Pattern Factory.

starting Basil pattern, on double pointsBasil is square blanket, knit from the center out until each of the four sides equal 113 stitches.

The pattern suggests Dale Baby Ull, washable wool, 3 skeins for the blanket body and 2 for the contrast or border color.

One might question the wisdom of mixing infants and white blankets but Dale Baby Ull is described washable. And, I’ve been throwing the test swatch in with my regular wash and it seems to be holding up quite well through repeated machine wash and line drying.

starting Basil pattern, on double pointsThe Pattern Factory site also describes this as a good first lace project. For me it’s also been a great project to get accustomed to knitting from a chart.

I’ve been carting it around with me, knitting at bus stops and on the bus, space permitting. So far I’ve gotten the pattern pretty much memorized and managed not to get too lost or mixed up even with the usual bus changes and other interruptions. In the beginning just-in-case I used a “life-line” in case I had to back off a few rows.

Off the double points, on the circular needlesOnce you run out of space on the double points the work is placed on a circular – with markers between each section. (The pattern directions describe this in detail.)

Basil about 80% completedThis is probably 90% of the blanket, minus the border. So far I’m up to 100 stitches per section for the first blanket.