Cloudy with a chance of knitting

26Jan14

Blanket

First finished project of the year… Although I did in fact start it last year. This is the Maxi Cosi baby blanket I started in November. It’s a simple pattern, but it really did take a while…

blanket_2

To begin, if you make it exactly as per the pattern, it’s tiny—dollsized, really. So I started several times to try and get it to an acceptable width (in the end I cast on 175 – the pattern suggests 96). Then I realised the needles I was using were just too short, so I had to order more. I also went up a size as I knit really tightly. Around this time I realised why crocheted baby blankets are so popular – doesn’t matter how long the hook is and boy, do they work up quicker! The pattern is nice, but I think I’m not in love with garter stitch borders. Maybe I’m just not a good enough knitter yet for them to look good.

blanket_3

There are several versions on Ravelry with fabric backs. I’m not sure why but I really do like the mix of fabric with knitting, so I scoured various fabric shops online for something that would be nice for a baby. In the end I thought clouds would be nice – dreamy and peaceful, which is what you hope for a baby… even if it’s not what you actually *get*. I blocked the blanket with wires before I added the fabric to the back.

blanket_43

I must admit, I love this fabric. It’s from Cloud 9, by Eloise Renouf. I took a real chance on the colour working with the yarn, but in the end I think it was a successful gamble. It’s bright and cheery, but not too garish. We’re in the process of having our kitchen done at home, which means we have no flat surface in the house — even the floor is a little tricky. In the end I managed to cut the fabric on the floor and the ironing board and I stitched it on my knee yesterday. I was worried that the stitching would  be hard, but in the end I think it was one of the more enjoyable parts of the project, as it really made it come to life.

It has yet to be gifted… Hopefully that will come soon.

Its been a bit tough to make anything recently. The trains into work are so delayed and disorganised at moment when they do arrive they’re overcrowded, so I rarely get a seat, so no tatting. The house is so up in the air there’s no room or time for anything else. Hopefully at least one of these problems will be fixed soon.

 

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17 Responses to “Cloudy with a chance of knitting”

  1. 1 janed

    It looks lovely and I love the fabric backing. I’d been wondering how one knitted blankets as a whole – hugely long needles was what I’d come up with. Good to know I was right 🙂

    Well done!

    • Hmmm, hilariously I think I might be the only one that hadn’t really figured that out. I think crocheted baby blankets are definitely a better plan!

  2. It’s gorgeous! I actually really like the garter stitch border because it lies nice and flat. What a lucky baby 🙂

  3. This turned out great! Really love the pattern of the fabric backing

  4. Lovely! I like the fabric backing, good combination of colours and textures.

  5. That’s beautiful! I love the fabric, it’s a bit like having cheerful welly boots on when it’s miserable out.

    I’m with you on crocheted blankets, especially the square ones that you start from the centre, tedious but not disheartening..

    Good luck with the kitchen, we’re having its fine in March and I’m dreading it a bit.

  6. VERY lovely!!

  7. 12 Mica

    Very pretty! I like the colors too – such a nice departure from pastel pink and pastel blue. Not that there is anything wrong with those colors, I’m just not a big fan:)

    From an outside observer your garter stitch edge looks nice! Even before I read about your concerns with the edge, I though to my self how nice and even it is! My garter stitch edges are much, much messier.

  8. That is one lovely blanket. Lucky baby! I like the yarn and fabric mix too. The edges look great.

  9. 14 MargieLucy

    I am just finishing the Maxi Cosi blanket for my 13th grandchild. My daughter requested this pattern. Took me a long time also, because I enlarged it to 200 stitches. . I am not looking forward to sewing the fabric on the back. Did you tack the fabric thought the center of the blanket, or only around the edges?

    Your blanket is absolutely beautiful. Marge

    • Hello – thank you so much for the compliment!

      Yes, does take quite a while, doesn’t it… yours is even bigger than mine so I can imagine you must be looking forward to finishing it.

      It’s actually not as bad sewing the fabric to the back as you might think. This is how I did it:
      • I blocked the blanket to get it as straight as I could
      • Folded over a 2″ seam on two sides of the fabric (at a right angle) and ironed it to get a crisp edge
      • pinned those two sides and stitched them – using a sort of ladder stitch. Basically just pick up the top of the knitted fabric with your needle (don’t go right through to the other side) – and do a stitch a bit like this on the fabric:

      http://dreamweavers-quilts.com/2009/08/tutorial-how-to-hand-stitch-binding-invisibly/
      (It’s a quilting tutorial but its the same idea) When I had those two edges in place I worked on the other two – it’s a fiddly way to do it, but it seemed easier to make the final fabric cuts and seams when I had at least two edges that were in place – otherwise everything was a bit too fluid.

      I think pinning it or tacking it is the best plan though, yes. It really will be a lot easier than you think though. (I was dreading it).

      And 13 grandchildren! Wow – that’s a lot of baby blankets 🙂 Congratulations!

  10. 16 NewKnitter

    I know this is an older post, but I wanted you to know that it is very inspiring to me. I am a new knitter, and I am working on a blanket for my dad, who is older and gets cold a lot. My pattern is similar, but not exactly your pattern. I do have a garter stitch boarder too. I thought about a fabric backing, and went searching for info on how to do it. I plan to use a lightweight plaid flannel in grays/blues/creams. My yarn is a Fisherman style.

    As a lap blanket for an adult, my project will be larger than yours. I am knitting on circular needles with a long cable. That is working well. I am considering tacking the fabric to the knit a few places to avoid the bubble effect. Maybe I will tie little yarn tufts like you see on some quilts.

    Thanks for providing so much information on how to do the fabric backing!

    • Hello! Thank you so much for your comment! Sounds like a very good project for a new knitter. And yes, tacking the fabric in a few places before you sew is good. If you have somewhere large and flat to lay the blanket as you stitch that will also help – on this occasion, I didn’t.

      Actually the idea of little thread tufts, quilt-style, is a nice idea. I hadn’t thought of that, but if it’s a big blanket that might help make the fabric a bit more stable. (You mean like this: http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345196d169e201b7c8e20aae970b-pi). I think that’s a great idea.

      Good luck with it – if you remember, and have a photo online when it’s finished, let me know, I’d love to see it.


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