08 May 2007

Another Baby, Another Blanket

I mentioned earlier that we had lunch on Sunday with my husband's college roommate and his wife. They have twin daughters, one of whom is just finishing her residency in surgery and is expecting her first child in November, much to their great delight. The other twin has three children, so our friends have gotten pretty good at being grandparents, but you know how it is, grandparents are always thrilled to have another grandbaby to spoil. Both of their daughters live in the Los Angeles area, so they see each other a lot, too.

As a knitter, I immediately jumped on this wonderful opportunity to knit something useful for the new baby. I haven't mentioned this to our friends yet, but I just bought the yarn from one of my favorite eBay sellers, Yarnbow, and it should arrive by the weekend. I picked Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, which is Superwash wool, in color 601, Rainbow.

Isn't that just great yarn for a baby blanket? The pale pastel "baby" colors really show the dirt quickly but this yarn won't. Babies are adorable but they can be kind of messy, so this is important. The yarn is machine washable, too. Blankets that can only be washed by hand are right up there with little outfits that have to be ironed for impracticality. New mothers have it hard enough without adding silliness like that.

The pattern I'm using is the Argosy Baby Blanket by Vyvyan Neel, a very talented designer and an exceedingly nice person. If you look at some of the other patterns in the Argosy series, you'll get an idea of how this blanket is going to look in this yarn. The pattern calls for six skeins of Blue Sky Cotton 100%, which has 150 yd per skein and a gauge of 4 stitches per inch on US 9 (5.5 mm) needles. I'm using eight skeins of sport weight yarn with 200 yd per skein and a gauge of 6 stitches per inch on US 4 (3.5 mm) needles. I think it'll work out just fine, if only because the pattern calls for increasing until half the yarn is used and then decreasing. My blanket may not be exactly the same size as the pattern calls for, 54" x 47", but it won't be a lot smaller.

This baby blanket may take precedence over the Argosy baby blanket I'm knitting from the Great Adirondack Superwash merino in Bahama Mama, even though this baby is due in November and the other baby is arriving in August. That's mostly because we'll probably be seeing our friends again in three or four weeks, so if I have it done by then I won't have to pack the blanket up and ship it. Another factor is that August isn't exactly the best time of year for using a wool blanket, particularly in the desert, meaning August is not exactly a hard deadline.

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