I’ve been the recipient of some lovely knitting related gifts recently – from Tehri I received the snowball, and a lovely handkerchief which is a map of Helsinki. She must have read how much I wanted to be in Finland. The snowball has the most amazing texture, and stress relieving qualities when squeezed. They are sitting on some Fiber Trends sock blockers that were given to me by my local knitting guru, Yam. The sock blockers were transported by her very patient husband from Los Angeles, and will make my sock photography so much easier. So, thanks all round.
The gifts that I recieved are sitting on a gift that is to go in the mail tomorrow to Australia. It is a baby blanket for a very good friend in Sydney who has just had her first child. I followed the Fiber Trends pattern Estonian Lullaby using Bella Baby from Spotlight (Ravelry link). I was considering getting a very similar (perhaps identical?) yarn for Yarn Workshop, and am glad that I decided against ordering it. While the yarn is soft, it grows like no-one’s business, and is quite the nightmare to sew in the ends. The blanket did not look that big as I was knitting it, but after washing and blocking it grew, and grew, and grew. The blanket is huge! The photo below shows its size on our bed.
While I will own up to a complete failure to swatch, and a use of a larger than recommended needle, I was surprised as how much it grew on machine washing (30 degrees) and machine drying (until it was nearly dry). As tempting as it was to machine dry it further, I stopped myself for fear that the 20% wool in the yarn would felt before the pattern was photographed. The blanket will go in the mail with stern instructions that it is not an heirloom, and that I fully expect it to disintegrate before the little girl’s 5th birthday. I suspect a little felting would do it good!
Pattern Estonian Lullaby Baby Blanket (Ravelry link) with the garter stitch border, in the Sport/DK size. I highly recommend this pattern and will make it again. All the decreases are K2 together, and I had very few problems with stitch counts. I did use a row counter. I purchased the pattern from this Ebay store, and was very happy with the service
Yarn Spotlight Bella Baby Layette, 80% Bamboo 20% Wool. Most of 9 balls purchased at Kowloon Bay Spotlight.
Needles Bamboo 5.5 mm.
Alterations Only not using the recommended needle size!