Sunday, August 17, 2008

I love it when a plan comes together

The super-secret joint knitting project that I last blogged about here was finished and delivered shortly before I went on vacation. All parties involved are (pick one or more:) pleased, surprised, happy, relieved, in recovery, totally into the bright colours.

A group of four knitters (me, Sarah, Lydia, Tanya) and a crocheter (Liisa) in my graduate department pooled our collective string-wrangling prowess together and made an afghan for another grad student (Christine), herself a knitter, who was having a baby. Er, make that had a baby, a few months ago, and a very cute one at that. I don't make a habit of putting pictures of other people's kids up on my blog, especially without explicit permission, so you'll just have to trust me.

I can, however, post some pictures of the finished blanket. Well, mostly finished. I think this was before the crochet ends were woven in. The "finished" pictures all feature a very cute infant, whose mother I will have to speak to in-person before I go posting his adorable mug willy-nilly all over the innernets.

Yarn: New Bernat Satin. Very light and soft, 100% Acrylic, 100% (the most important thing!) puke-washable

Each colour of square contains a different pattern. The patterns for the squares are from this book of knitted baby washcloths. We used six red rocking horses, ten orange butterflies, eight yellow duckies, six green bunnies, four blue sailboats, and two purple baby carriages.

Each of the knitters took a colour and pattern, according to how fast we thought we could knit and how much time we had over the next several weeks. I'm always looking for a good cause for procrastination, so I jumped on the ten orange butterflies that evening, while Lydia took the yellow duckies. Tanya took the red (and eventually also the blue), and Sarah took the green. I finished relatively quickly (yay, procrastination!) so later on I also did the 2 purple squares. For those who are interested in such things, we got almost exactly four squares out of a ball of yarn.

For yuks, here is the "napkin layout": After Liisa proposed the project and we all signed on, Lydia, Liisa and I made the initial covert field trip to Mary Maxim in late February to pick out yarn, look for some patterns, and then sit down somewhere with food and figure out the logistics. Finding the washcloth pattern book* was an inspirational lucky turn, and "somewhere with food" ended up being the foodcourt of the mall, so between bites of my A&W rootbeer and burger, I sketched out the general game plan and layout on a food court napkin.

All the best plans are drawn on a napkin.

We were, of course, hoping the squares would all turn out the same size... but realistically, four different knitters all getting exactly the same size squares? Not likely. Lydia did some blocking, which helped, but Liisa was the star who took all the squares and made them fit together using the wonderous power of crochet. She even managed to do it while keeping our original layout intact. Here's a closeup of her excellent crochet border.

All hail the magic of crochet!

*I'm not usually one for the simple washcloth patterns, but I think I might have to get this other booklet by the same designer.

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