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Aspen blanket: ta-da!

First I want to say a brief thank you to everyone across the world who commented on my last post.  I no longer feel so alone and afraid and have been brainstorming about things I can do to make a difference.  Your support and kindness are so much appreciated.

In knitting news, I finally finished my Aspen blanket and I LOVE it!  I started it in January but due to a yarn shortage I had to put it on hold for a while, but I got it back out a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed finishing it.

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It’s a great size and is nice and stretchy (which also makes it hard to take a good measurement).  I do kind of wish I’d just made up a similar pattern on my own because to me it turned out to be a very simple pattern for $6, but oh well.

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I used 24 skeins (2520 yds) of Garnstudio DROPS Andes (super bulky, 65% wool, 35% alpaca) in 0100 Ecru.  The pattern actually calls for 2 strands of bulky weight held together but 2 strands of the super bulky held together was fine.  Actually, even with the recommended needle size (US 50/25 mm) it still looked pretty loose, so I went down 2 needle sizes to US 19 (15 mm) and added 2 pattern repeats to make up for the change, and I like it much better.  I used the long-tail cast-on & Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind-off to keep things nice and elastic, and I slipped the first stitch of each row purl-wise to make a neater edge.

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One thing I really love about my blanket is that there are no knots in the entire thing.  I used the spit-splicing method to join new balls of yarn so that there wouldn’t be messy sections of sewn in ends.  Basically you just cut a couple of inches off of half of the plies (in my case, 1 ply, since the yarn itself was just 2 ply) on both the tail end of the current ball and the beginning of the new one you’re joining.  Then you dampen the ends with spit, wind the plies together, and rub it quickly between your hands or on a sturdy fabric.  It sounds gross (and kind of tastes gross and fuzzy), but there’s something about spit that works better than just plain water.  Essentially you’re felting the ends together (making an undetectable but very strong join), meaning that this method only works with yarn that has a high content of animal fiber.  Because it’s feltable, though, it has to be laid out to dry after washing, which will be fun (I have no idea where I will do that).  It will also be heavy, and it’s heavy already without being wet!

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All in all I’m very happy with this plush, toasty blanket!  I just have to be careful not to leave it lying around when I’m not using it, or the dog will likely lay on it and snag the yarn with her claws.  Maybe felting it in the wash just a little teensy bit might not be a bad idea.

Also, I got a haircut yesterday.  This week has been so terrible (on top of the election, I also immediately got sick afterward, and I was so despondent that I’m not sure the two aren’t unrelated), so I figured I’d pamper myself just a tad.  I love it.

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OK, that’s all for today.  Thanks for stopping by everyone, see you soon!

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November WIPs

On this very scary Election Day I’ve GOT to focus on something else until the polls close.  Enter ALL THE WIPS!  (Actually, I’m just going to talk about 2 of the 10 I’ve got laying around.)

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This is my version of the Aerie cowl that I posted about (that post has since been removed since I was using their photo to ask your opinion on what stitches were used).  I figured out what the stitches are thanks to everyone here and on Instagram.

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I didn’t have a single ply chunky yarn like the original but I had a single ply worsted yarn so I just used that (KnitPicks Preciosa Tonal Worsted in colorway Stormy — 100% merino).  Since this test run is turning out nicely I’ll probably get a chunky yarn and write up a pattern for it, but let me ask you a question…

Is it OK for me to write up a pattern & distribute it?  I figured out the stitch pattern through reverse engineering almost exactly (it may even be exact), but of course there’s not a pattern already available for it, nor will there be.  The way I started and will end my project are slightly different than the original, but is that enough for me to be able to ethically distribute a pattern for what’s basically a copy of a large clothing chain’s item?  Please let me know what you think — I don’t know what to do!

I’m also working on my Aspen blanket again (fondly dubbed “the blanket everyone wants” due to the current popularity of chunky cable knit throws).  It took forever but I was finally able to get the rest of the yarn I needed and bring it out of hibernation.  It’s great to work on now that it’s cooling off some.

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That was a few days ago, actually, so I’m farther than that — I only have 2 balls of yarn left to attach to the ends of the 2 balls I’m working with now.  Because I’m using the spit-splicing method (yes, it’s what it sounds like) I’ll only have the beginning and end tails to weave in, which is REALLY nice, and no giant knots in the blanket, which is also REALLY nice.

Not Your Average Crochet's Aspen Blanket

Hopefully I’ll have it completed by the end of the week because like I said in my last post on my recently finished projects I still have about 5 Christmas presents to make, and it also just feels great to get projects done, doesn’t it?

OK, I’m off to work on those things to distract myself.  Maybe I’ll watch some nice whimsical anime movies while I work, or binge watch a TV show.  Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

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