This summer, my family and I moved. Not very far, but still just far enough to have to pack all our possessions to move them home. Making boxes also requires sorting and you know like me that when we tackle our wool stocks, it can take a long time!
Of course, there were the ongoing projects, the almost finished ones, the abandoned ones, the precious skeins that don't yet have a specific project assigned but that I just keep for the right moment... But there was also a small pile of leftovers. Leftover acrylic brought back from a workshop, leftover mixtures that were used to make models for the store, samples ordered from suppliers.
All of these leftovers were never going to become a project on their own, but by working together, they could definitely turn into the BEST comforter in the world!
For collectors and lovers of leftovers like me, here is some technical information that could guide you if you feel like snuggling up in a unique blanket this winter.
Yarn used : At the risk of repeating myself, I used leftovers. Some bales were whole (I noted this in the list below, to give you an idea of how much needed to make a given section), others were not. I didn't weigh the incomplete balls before I started, but I used them all to the end. Some were of unknown provenance and composition as well.
- 100% Acrylic Atlas : Burgundy, Off-White, Taupe, Purple (full ball) and Black
- Favorite 100% acrylic : Charcoal and Black
- Stocking wool : a small remnant of yellow
- A small remnant of Merino in a color that is no longer available (steel grey)
- Gray roving (one full bale)
- The others are samples or unidentified remains that come from I don't know where :)
In all, I used close to 1Kg of wool and various yarns.
Number of stitches cast on : I cast on 120 stitches and knitted until I had no threads left. The end result is immense. The blanket is 130 cm wide and 180 cm long. The good news is that I might be able to get a little piece of it to hide my knees when the whole family is huddled under it to watch TV!
I didn't rack my brains to find an interesting point. Those who know me a little know that I'm a HUGE FAN of garter stitch and it was the perfect stitch for a soft knit like this!
I did not follow a pattern or plan for the order of colors. These are all colors that I love so I knew that in the end, I was going to like the result.
I paid a little attention to the alternation of wire sizes. I usually knit them single, but I doubled the finer ones (like stocking wool and another fingering weight gray). So, I tried to vary the thinner and the thicker, as well as the tighter and looser twists in order to have an alternation of interesting textures.
I made some stripes thinner, some wider, again for visually pleasing variations.
I wanted to make a border a bit distinct, to give it a more "finished" look and I was inspired by the i-cord border that Stephen West uses in his " G arter Squish Blanket " so I decided to do the same thing. I am very satisfied with the result.
In the end, it took me almost a month to complete my cover, but you guessed it was a project I only worked on in the evenings in front of the TV, taking up ALL the space on the couch ( and in front, and next...) It's not quite the kind of project that you can easily transport in the metro ;)
Once finished, I gave her a good bath. Sure, all that amount of acrylic doesn't require "real" blocking like natural fibers do, but there's still a bit of wool strewn about it and, anyway, I always wash ALL my knits when they are finished. I do this for several reasons.
First, for my personal comfort: I have sensitive skin, so I always wash everything before wearing it for the first time. More than that though, these balls of yarn have been dyed, spun, twisted, wrapped, transported and handled by I don't know how many pairs of hands and under what conditions. I dragged my knitting on the ground, and carried the balls around left and right... All that deserves a little bath!
Also, even though it's acrylic, I'm still of the opinion that a little washing and a little blocking, it puts you back a stitch!
In this case, it's a pretty huge thing so I went about it in the simple and efficient way:
- Wash in a front load washer on a gentle cycle, warm-cold water, with a capful of Eucalan wool soap. I did a short spin cycle to avoid jostling it too much.
- I spread the blanket on a clothes airer, as flat as possible. It was folded in half so I had to flip it halfway through to speed up the process.
So! That's all.
After an intense thread tucking session (the least pleasant part of the exercise, we agree!) I can FINALLY use it to wrap myself in happiness!