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!

giganto blanket: begin!

So far I’m keeping to my resolutions: I haven’t bought any more yarn, I’ve been working on those crochet patterns, and I’ve got a few projects going.  I’d like to share one in particular with you, my ASPEN Blanket by Go-Girl Knitting (which I’m affectionately calling The Blanket Everyone Wants, because ecru/cream colored chunky-knit cabled blankets are EVERYWHERE right now, everyone really does seem to want one)!  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

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It’s probably going to be about 60″ wide (hard to tell yet) and I’ve got 17 balls of Garnstudio DROPS Andes in 0100 Ecru (Super Bulky, 65% wool, 35% alpaca) so I’ll keep going until I run out!

I’m loving my progress so far and I know I’ll love the blanket when I’m done, but I’ve got a couple of qualms.  Let me make you a list!

  • The pattern is $6 but it turns out to be a really simple pattern that repeats, and it all fits on a plain 1 pg PDF.  A little expensive for what you get, methinks, especially considering the next 2 points…
  • The pattern calls for US 50 needles but many of the projects already made on Ravelry used US 35/36 needles because the 50s made the blanket too loose (even though the yarn is held double throughout).  I therefore started with my US 36 needles but it was STILL too loose, so I frogged and went down to a US 19.
  • Because of the needle size changes I made, I also had to adjust the pattern to keep the width of the blanket about the same, so I added 2 of the pattern repeats, making the CO jump from 72 to 106.

On the positive side, it’s working up fairly quickly and it’s still soft and plushy!  I used the long-tailed cast-on for a neat-looking but stretchy bottom edge, I’m slipping the 1st st of each row purl-wise for neater side edges, and I think I’m going to try to make the yarn joins as invisible as possible by “spit-splicing,” which I learned about via YouTube video (yes, it is what it sounds like it is).

So far I’m really enjoying it, and I’ll probably update with photos on Instagram in between updates here, if you’re interested in finding me there!

Well, that’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!

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