Sunday, August 7, 2011

Aloha Maddie Baby Blanket

I'm so happy to write about my latest finished knitted project.  This is the Aloha Maddie baby blanket.  I started knitting this blanket while on vacation.  The last day I was in Hawaii, we were just relaxing by the water and decided I had enough full-on blazing sun; I chose to start a knitted gift.

I moved under the tree after this pic was taken!

My friend from Mass just had a baby.  She named her Madeline "Maddie" Rae and I wanted to make something special for her.  Maddie's crib colors had gray in it, so I chose to knit a baby blanket in a light gray-silver color.  The yarn I used is called Spa by Naturally Caron in Misty Taupe (75% Acrylic, 25% Bamboo).  Baby blankets need to be machine washable, so I chose an acrylic blend.  The bamboo gives it such a soft silky feel.

A "green" yarn - Bamboo blend

The blanket pattern came from Lion Brand, called "Treasured Heirloom Baby Blanket," but since I started it in Hawaii, I like calling it the Aloha Maddie baby blanket.

The construction of this blanket sounded so easy: knit, purl, and yarn overs.  I used size 8 bamboo circular knitting needles.  I knew that I was going to have lots of stitches on the needles, so choosing circulars is the best way to handle a large number of stitches.  I started at a corner, casting-on two stitches.  From there I increased one stitch at the beginning of each row until I had 148 stitches.  Then I decreased one stitch at the beginning of each row until there were only two left.  Then I casted-off.

Now, doesn't that sound so simple? Well, it was a simple pattern, but I can always find a way to make an easy pattern difficult.  The blanket is essentially garter stitch and knit eyelets made by yarn overs.  First, the garter stitch:

Garter Stitch

A garter stitch is when you knit every row.  It produces the above look.  This is also what it looks like on the back, or "wrong side" of stockinette stitch (knit is the right side and purl is the wrong side).

Then after several rows of garter, you change to stockinette stitch.  That is when you knit one row, then purl the next row, alternating knit and purl rows.

Stockinette stitch with yarn overs (eyelets)

The rows that made the eyelets were the rows that I made the most mistakes.  Once I figured it out the repeat across the row and how to line up the next eyelet so it lines up in between the previous row's eyelets, it became much easier.  I finally figured it out without looking at the pattern when I was half-way through.  Better late than never!

Garter and Stockinette Stitch

Here is the blanket midway done:

Midway - Working on the Diagonal

When the blanket was on it's last garter stitch stripe, I had more than two stitches, so I had to improvise and end it another way than how the pattern was written.  It worked, whatever!

Aloha Maddie Complete!

The blanket stretches, so the pic shows the stripes a bit inconsistent with their width, but it can be stretched to any width.

Big enough to warm my legs!

Some blankets are adult size, and some blankets are preemie size.  This one is in between.  It was enough to cover my legs as a lap blanket.  Perfect, in my opinion.  I hope baby Maddie likes it!

Check out Baby Maddie in Mid-Week Mini - Baby Maddie!

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