And let me just tell you, it was a labor of love.
Now before you go jumping to any conclusions, please don’t think that I am hinting at anything.
This blanket is the result of my mission to destash, realizing that I had several skeins of baby yarn that went together, and deciding to knit a blanket because I’ve never knit a blanket that is all one piece before.
To say I’m pleased with the results is an understatement. I love how this blanket turned out.
The pattern is called Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, and it is available for free on Ravelry. I found the pattern to be quite enjoyable and easy to knit, perfect for knitting while watching TV.
Despite how easy it was to knit, the pattern actually taught me a lot and advanced my knitting skills. (Which is one of the things I love about knitting, there’s always something new to learn.)
Here’s what I learned from the pattern.
New / Reinforced Stitches
One new stitch I learned with this pattern was the mitered decrease (md). This is the stitch that makes the downward point in the chevron. Aside from learning how to make this stitch, I also learned how to tink it as well (many, many times).
One stitch that was reinforced was ssk. While some would consider this a relatively basic / beginner stitch, it was one I had only recently come across. This pattern was good practice, as there is a ssk at the beginning of every row.
How to Increase a Knitting Pattern
The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, however I had already decided to use the Lion Brand Baby Soft yarn I had on hand. I didn’t like the way the yarn worked up on the 5.5 mm needles that the pattern recommends. After a bit of trial and error, I settled upon 4.5 mm needles, and away I went.
I should have known that something was wrong when everything seemed to work up quickly, and without issue. Sure enough, 3 – 4 chevrons in, I decide to measure my blanket only to discover that was only 18-ish inches wide. It was much smaller than the recommended 30+ inches for a baby blanket. (I guess that’s what I get for being a rebel and not knitting a gauge swatch.)
But I really liked the blanket and the way it looked on the 4.5 mm needles, so I frogged what I had knitted so far, which was probably close to a week’s worth of work at that point. Then, I counted the pattern to see where the repeats were. I figured out that the pattern repeated every 12 stitches, meaning I could increase by adding more stitches in multiples of 12. Instead of 121 stitches, I ended up casing on 217 stitches to get the blanket to a size I was happy with on the smaller needles.
And away I went again.
Fixing Slipped Stitches and Mistakes
Despite being a really easy pattern (and it is easy, I promise), sometimes I made stupid mistakes, such as dropping stitches. By the end of this pattern I was quite comfortable whipping out my crochet hook to fix the dropped stitch, or even dropping a few stitches and working back up, rather than tink or frog back to where I made the mistake originally.
Oh don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I didn’t do any frogging. I made lots of other silly mistakes with this pattern that necessitated frogging. A few times I added a lifeline, but the last time I didn’t. And I felt triumphant. There was a time when taking my project off the needles would have meant restarting the pattern completely, but not any more.
Weaving in Ends
I’m used to knitting smaller projects with less color changes, which means that I don’t have as many ends to weave in when I’m done. With this pattern you change colors every 10 rows, which gave me lots and lots of practice weaving in ends.
In the end, this pattern taught me one big lesson in particular — good things come to those who wait. After one month and four days, or 166 knitting hours (an extremely conservative estimate), I have a blanket that turned out beautifully. One that I really enjoyed making. It’s a win-win, really.
But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t points in the process where I was ready to be done with it. I find the wait particularly hard because unlike many knitters, I have a pretty strong one project at a time policy. I’m afraid that if I have multiple projects going, I’ll never finish any of them, so I try to only work on one thing at a time. While this philosophy works for me, your mileage may vary.
This project taught me a lot about being patient, and finishing what I started. And I’m so glad I did because the result of my labor is beautiful.
As mentioned, I don’t really have a particular purpose for this blanket, aside from needing to destash some yarn. So, I’ll probably either give it to someone I know who is expecting a girl, or donate it to a hospital, or project linus, or some other project that goes towards helping children.
I would say that’s a pretty successful destash, wouldn’t you?