May 14 2010
So I showed you beautiful Baby Zoe in my last post, and promised you I’d tell you all about that pretty blanket she was modeling.
Project: The Frances Nursing Shawl from Kristen Rengren’s Vintage Baby Knits
Yarn: Plymouth Happy Feet, in the delightfully evocative color “6”. This particular blanket used just under four skeins, about 760 yards.
Needles: US 5/3.75 mm
Notes: This whole pattern was absolutely delightful, from beginning to end. The blanket is worked in five pieces: first the center square, and then the lace border is worked in four pieces from the outside edge in. The blanket is then seamed together. While that might seem like a lot of work, it makes for a good sturdy blanket that is extremely portable knitting. Since I was only working on a small piece at any given time, it was extremely easy to pull out on the train or in Starbucks to work on. And the lace pattern was easily memorized, which just upped the portability factor that much more.
I did make one change to this pattern, based mainly on the fact that the called-for 8 skeins of STR for the original was, well, far beyond my budget. Not that I wouldn’t love to make a huge blanket like that, but it’s just not feasable right now. So I sized it down by half, and I still got a nice substantial blanket out of it. If you’re looking to do the same, you only need to make two, very simple changes.
To size this blanket down by half:
For the center panel: cast on 90 stitches, and work according to the pattern until it is 15″ from the cast on edge.
For each lace panel: cast on 157 stitches and work according to pattern, repeating chart only 6 times (36 rows).
The pattern says to block pieces before seaming, but I’m an impatient process knitter, so I dove right in and seamed everything and then blocked. The lace opened up and the center panel’s garter ridges turned into a wonderful textural feature.
This pattern is spectacular. Kristen has a great collection, and if you’re got baby knitting coming down the pike this is a book you should really consider owning. It’s well written, beautifully photographed, and full of spectacular projects. Zoe clearly approves.
(I know I showed you this picture already, but I love it THAT MUCH. You can’t blame me, can you. Of course not.)
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