Baby blankets

Baby blankets

After finishing Beth and Ross’s blanket, I had a lot of purple yarn left over. So, I decided to use it up on a baby blanket for my friends Erin and James, who are expecting their first child (a girl) in May. I looked around for a stitch that was fairly dense so the baby wouldn’t catch its fingers and toes in holes in the pattern, and landed on the mini bean stitch.

Meanwhile, we found out that Kristy and Will, two of Tom’s friends, were expecting a baby in February. Since their baby was due first, I stopped work on Erin and James’ blanket halfway through to crochet something for Kristy and Will. They were waiting until delivery to find out the baby’s sex, so were decorating the nursery with gender neutral greens, tans, and whites. Tom helped me pick out some yarn at Michael’s that Will said would match their theme.

Loops & Threads (Michael’s in-house brand), Sage Butter (04003) – 582 yds / 297g.

I picked up a yarn winder at Michael’s, too, so I turned the skein of yarn into a lovely cake when we got home.

Mona shows off “our” handiwork.

I decided to use the same pattern I used for George’s blanket because it’s a quick, dense stitch.

Testing the R-value.

I used an H hook (5.00 mm) and ultimately went through 3 skeins of yarn, or about 1,746 yards. I liked working with variegated yarn because I didn’t have to count rows, stop to change colors, or weave in tons of ends. I don’t think, though, that I’ll ever use the Loops & Threads brand again. I switched to Michael’s in-house brand instead of Hobby Lobby’s in-house brand because, well, politics. The Loops & Thread yarn is coarser to work with and the final product is much stiffer. It softened up a little after washing, but it’s still not as soft as I would like.

Helping!

The variegated yarn created some interesting and completely unintentional patterns.

The “camo blanket,” as it came to be affectionately called.

I modified the border pattern I used for Beth and Ross’s blanket and thought it turned out nicely.

The border colors are all Loops & Threads yarn. For the base color, I used Soft Taupe (01011) to work two double-crochets into each blanket stitch. Then, I used White (01005) to work one double-crochet into every other tan stitch. Finally, I used Forest (01243) to work a double-crochet into the tan stitches I’d skipped and a single-crochet into the opposing white stitches.

The border was a little tricky because I was working around a spot of cat poop I’d duct-taped over. My Nola friend’s elderly cat, Beauregard, had sat on the blanket and left me a surprise… I didn’t want to wash the blanket until I was done to make sure the yarn all expanded and shrunk together. While I was finishing up the blanket, Beau passed on, so for a while, this blanket contained some of the last Beau particles still with us.

Altogether, it turned out rather nicely. I used around 150 stitches in the base chain; the final dimensions are around 36″ x 41″ (the starting edge is wider than the final edge).

Started on the left side; ended on the right side.

Once I finished the border on Kristy and Will’s blanket I went back to working on Erin and James’. After using up all my Purple (#293), Hot Orchid (#111), Mulberry (#301), and Amethyst (#292) and thought I’d need around two more skeins of I Love This Yarn! to finish the blanket. I picked up a skein each of Hot Orchid and Purple and started crocheting. Thankfully, the pattern wasn’t as tricky as it had been when I was first working on it. I kept using an H hook (5.00 mm).

Luckily for me, I had a lot of assistants while I finished this blanket up.

Mona, with Jarrard and Bea Arthur in the background.

Mister Shilo.

Nosy Roark.

Plekostomus Begonia.

Pleko, Shilo, and the Golden Girls.

I tried adding a double-crochet border (using the dark purple yarn), but it didn’t look right. The border only highlighted how uneven the edges of the rows are. I pulled it out and used the dark purple yarn to finish the blanket.

Started on the left side; ended on the right side.

You can really see where I ran out of one color yarn and switched mid-row in the next photo. I think it gives the blanket character.

Erin and James’ blanket turned out to be around 29″ x 38″. I started with around 125 stitches in the foundation chain. When I went to make Kristy and Will’s foundation chain, I thought, “What the hell; another 25 stitches won’t be too much more!” Well, it was a LOT MORE. Lesson learned!