Sunday, February 1, 2015
When I found out the news that my good friend Missy and her husband Todd were expecting a baby, I decided to orchestrate a little surprise for them. Fortunately, an assortment of mutual friends from various parts of Missy's life were willing to play along. We all chipped in for yarn in Missy's favorite colors and divided it up. I asked everyone to knit a strip with a fixed amount of yarn matched to a provided gauge. As the strips came in, I pinned tags to them to keep track of who made each strip.
When it came time to wash and block them, I realized I needed another strategy to keep track of the strips. I devised a system of attaching a length of scrap yarn with knots. The total of knots added up to the position in the blanket as well as matched the strip to a knitter.
In to the bath they went! It was when the strips dried and I set to seaming that I realized I had bitten off quite a lot of finishing work and had a pretty tight timeline to pull it off. I put aside all other projects and set to seaming the strips using the blanket stitch. I thought I had done blanket stitch before, but I don't think I did it correctly. This time I watched an instructional video and really learned how to do it properly. It makes for a secure and tidy seam!
After it was all seamed together, I had to account for the different lengths people achieved with their quantity of yarn. My original plan was to leave the uneven edges on both the top and bottom of the blanket to highlight the collaborative efforts. When I saw the variety of lengths, I didn't like that idea anymore. Plus, I think I have a thing for tidy edges that I couldn't let go of.
I considered pulling back the longer strips to even it off, but I didn't like the idea that I would be altering the contributions of other knitters. The solution that I ended up going with included working a strip in the opposite direction to even it all off. It took 2 attempts to get it to look acceptable to me and to stay within the yardage that remained.
A crocheted edge and "AWESOME" were the finishing touches. "Awesome" (pronounced ah-way-so-may) is the in utero, playful name that Missy and Todd have been using for their baby, so I liked incorporating that into the blanket. Plus, it gave me a way to share the identity of the knitters who made each strip. I wrote out a cheat sheet/decoder slip and included it in the card so Missy could instantly read who the participants were. She was surprised we all worked together to make this happen and that nobody tipped her off!
The tight deadline I was trying to meet was so that we could surprise Missy with the blanket at her baby shower. Not only did I pull off the deadline, I handwashed, blocked, and air dried the finished blanket. I am proud to say that it even had time to fully dry before I needed to wrap it up for the shower.
Missy and Todd were indeed showered with gifts, many of them were lovingly handmade as was our collective blanket. Congratulations, Missy and Todd!
Knitting credits: Elise, Kate, Jill, Michele, Becky and me!
Can't wait to meet little Awesome.
Posted by Trinity at 9:19 PM