I mentioned awhile (as in a few months…) back that I was making a blanket for my friend’s baby. Since that blanket is now done and safely wrapped around it’s new owner in California, I’m free to tell y’all the details.
After much deliberation (read: waaaay too much time spent on Ravelry), I chose “Hansel,” which is a version of the traditional Shetland shawl called “Hap” (meaning a warm covering – to wrap warmly). It’s simple, with a diagonal garter square in the middle, but has a lovely feather and fan lace border, with knitted on lace edging. Durable, but delicate enough for a pretty baby thing, especially when worked in a nice easy-care yarn like Knit Picks Swish DK. And it easily allows for the incorporation of more than one color, which is a big plus for me. The traditional all white/pink/powder blue baby blanket is nice enough, but I’d much rather use some color. This pattern can be as simple or as brilliant as you want. Lovely.
It is now my go-to baby blanket, at least for girls. I’ll have to take a poll among parents of baby boys to see if it’s too “frilly.” Some won’t care a bit, but some will, and if I spend a zillion hours and a pretty big chunk of $$ on something hand-knitted, I’d just as soon it be something that they’ll like and use. I could probably dial back the femininity using different colors and by leaving off the triangular lace border.
This is how it turned out:
I am really happy with the results, though I think I might do the next one in a tighter gauge, since it grew A LOT in blocking, and the resulting fabric feels a little more delicate than I was initially after. I suspect it’ll shrink in a bit when machine washed and dried. That, by the way, is one of my prerequisites for choosing yarn for baby projects. If you can’t machine wash it, and hopefully machine dry as well, chances are you will be hesitant to use it; this yarn is great for that very reason. I machine washed it (always a moment of panic when I drop a newly-done project into the wash), and pinned it out on our full sized guest bed.
It took much longer than I had planned, first due to a yarn problem, then because I had a completely unrealistic idea of how long that edging was going to take.
I had initially planned to use some white in there as well for the skinny stripes, but Knit Picks really didn’t cooperate. Who knew “white” was such a difficult color to keep in stock? In the end, I’m grateful, since I think the grey works better than the white would have. It also turned out to be a a serious yarn hog, and I had to order more twice before I got to the end.
As for the edging…well its a mystery really. This isn’t my first rodeo, and I know better than to think I can whip something like that out in an evening. And yet, I was absolutely convinced that this was true when I sat down to begin. I got halfway around over the course of several evenings, only to run out of yarn. Reality bites. I know Genesis doesn’t mind that it was late–heck her mom ended up being pregnant a bit longer than she had planned, I can deal with my project taking longer than I had planned.