Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cause for celebration

I really should have had a party today, popped the cork in the fancy champagne and ate a whole wheel of my favourite garlicky cheese (boursin, if you're interested!). I didn't, not having any champagne or cheese handy, but I did manage to get husby to go out and buy me an icecream tonight. For he is now warm, snuggled under this finally finished garter stitch blanket - until today, my oldest WIP.
Details
Pattern: Garter Stitch Blanket from Simple Knits for Little Cherubs by Erika Knight. I modified the pattern a fair bit - instead of 7 strips with 7 squares, with every alternate strip being the same (if you know what I mean!), I made it 8 strips with 8 squares, and the squares were random, rather than being in a regular pattern. I also added a border once the strips were sewn up with mitred square corners.
All up it measures 129cm/51" x 119cm/47". And I haven't actually blocked it yet, which I'll probably do tomorrow if the weather is good.

Yarn: Cleckheaton Machinewash 8ply - 28 x 50g balls!!! I fell in love with the orange colour (2243), and then picked the others to contrast with it and match our lounge and cushions. So cream (0050), stone/latte (1394), mossy green (2264) and chocolate brown (2252) joined in. Then I picked up my colour pencils and sketched out the design. I probably should have taken more time with it, but I wanted a fairly random looking design and I just don't have the patience to do detailed colour and pattern matching. If I was doing it again, I'd probably do mitred squares or log cabin style - maybe for my next blanky.
Sticks: 4.25mm bamboo straights for the strips - many of which were done in the car on short trips, using a little booklight when it was dark - because garter stitch is the easiest knitting to do when you don't have much light! 4.5mm KP Harmony Options for the border strips and mitred square corners - thank goodness for extra long cables!!
Time: Oh goodness! I can't even remember when I started this project! To the best of my knowledge, it was about January 2006. It could have even been January 2005, I honestly don't remember!! But I know when I finished it!! Today! So at least 2.5 years but quite possibly 3.5 years!!

What I learnt: Well, I already knew this but it reminded me how much I hate seaming and sewing in ends. I kept all the ends just to show you how many:Yes, that is 16g of yarn just in ends!! Oh my! It took me over an hour to sew each strip together and darn in all the ends! Next time, because I think there has to be another one, since husby has claimed this and clearly I need a blanky too, I'll be doing a log cabin style probably using Bendigo yarn. No seaming and far fewer ends!
Actually, I can't believe I'm already thinking about making another blanket, with this one having taken so long - and so many other things in the queue - I must be some sort of crazy person!!

37 comments:

del said...

Oh, that is incredible! What a labor of love. Gorgeous blanket!

Bells said...

an enormous achievement! I'm so proud/envious/full of admiration. It's lovely and I'm so glad you finished it (this sounds, I now, realise, rather like what you wrote when I finished the jacket!) I like the random approach. I like the finishing (mitred square corners!). I like it all, very very much.

Make another one!

amy said...

I like it, too, and am also full of admiration. I've crocheted full-size blankets, but never tried to knit anything larger than a baby blanket. Knitting a blanket takes so much longer!! It's gorgeous.

gemma said...

Your blanket looks so warm and lovely. I mostly crochet mine, since they are fill in projects (between everything else), but they are always a comforting thing to make.

Your eye for colour is amazing, cheers,

Sarah said...

Not crazy - just the wife of a man with a fabulous blanket who wants one of her own :o)

Some things are worth the wait.

Diana said...

I really love it too! The colors are great. I'm sure husby is loving it and it certainly deserves an ice cream out!

TinkingBell said...

What a wonderful balnket - I am in awe of your perseverance!!! Congratulations!

Alwen said...

My first thought was that it looked very professional. How do I say, like something you'd see in one of those "House Beautiful" type magazines.

Rachael said...

RoseRed, it looks absolutly beautiful! Well done, what an achievement. I love the colurs too, and the stripes, and the edges, and the.....well I love it all! Good luck for the next one!

SadieandLance said...

What a briliiant blanket! Hip hip hooray for your perseverance. And I hope the icecream was a big one with lots of delicious chocolate surrounding it or something equally appropriate for finishing such an enormous project.

Michelle said...

That is such a spectacular blanket! I hope you're very proud of yourself. I wouldn't bother blocking it unless the seams are nubbly, and then I would just steam block it. but that's me!

I love the orange too!

sue said...

What a fantastic blanket, and all the colors match so well too. The orange is great. It makes me want to knit one now.

Donna said...

Is your middle name Patience? ;)
Looks awesome, I can't believe you're already thinking about another one! Well done.

Donna Lee said...

It looks like a quilt and it's gorgeous. I love the striped bits and the colors are great. No wonder husby has claimed it!

kim said...

It's a beautiful blanket indeed. How satisfying to finally finish a lingering project. The colors work perfectly together. Just perfect.

Kuka said...

I can believe you're thinking about casting on another already - it's gorgeous!!!!! I want one too! =)

Bells said...

i just came back for another look. I love it so much. Clever, clever RoseRed.

kgirl said...

oh, Rose - it's lovely! Well done for the persistence on such a mammoth project.

It looks so gorgeous on your sofa, too ;)

Belinda said...

Wow, that blanket rocks!

Nora said...

Oooooh, beautiful work J.

[I couldn't help noticing your perfect corners/edges!]

Georgie said...

Absolutely, gobsmackingly, beautiful. I am very much in awe, well done!

Shazmina Bendi said...

ok, I have finally caught up on your blog and my heart leapt to my throat. News? The blanket is gorgeous, and I have been thinking alot about what colour/pattern and wool to use for a lap blanky of my own. I love being in a cold country (so far anyway!)

MadMad said...

OK. That is just beautiful. I love the randomness that is not random - stunning! It looks like it should be in a magazine. Wow.

Snoozen said...

Wow RoseRed I saw it at its very early stages in real life and loved it then. I adore it now and it would have looked so nice on our couch - are you taking orders? Good for you for another masterpiece.

Kate said...

I love the colours and the mitres and the complimentary patterns but do you know what I admire the most out of all of it? The sewing. My God, the sewing! It's so incredibly neat and the squares' lines haven't jogged at all. This would have to be one of the biggest and neatest sew-togethers that I've seen in the history of knitting! Making another one? When you've got such a beautiful outcome, why wouldn't you?!?

Ann said...

The blanket is fantastic & the colors are gorgeous & so well co-ordinated. A great job but I will not be making one as I hate sewing in the ends - you are very brave to do it!

claudine said...

Oh wow! I love that blanket!! I really like the colours you used, and I think your random approach makes it look more interesting! Well done!

Queen of the froggers said...

Thats such a fabulous blanket. Well done!

Michele said...

blanket of beauty. it's really lovely - something to treasure - and i can see why you're all ready thinking of another one.

Sarah said...

Me again - still loving the blanket and I've tagged you for a meme if you fancy it - details in my latest post :o)

Michelle said...

oh my goodness!! your blanket is gorgeous!!! love the colour combination too!!! i've always wanted to knit a blanket but never started one as i dont have the patience to knit such a huge project.

Michelle said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations- and just in time for winter!

Corrie said...

beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Corrie

Jejune said...

Wow, that is just STUNNING. Great job!!

And ugh - 16g of yarn ends 0_o

PrincessPea said...

Wow - that is a seriously fabulous blanket! I love the restricted colour palette you've used, and how the pattern is both simple and complex at the same time. And the border really finishes it off beautifully.

2paw said...

Such fortitude and endurance: a gorgeous rug, and so simple yet chic!! You are a glutton for rug punishment!!!

Lynne said...

I love it. The randomness of the pattern is great, the colours are fabulous and the border finishes it off perfectly.