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The Knitwit Papers, Chapter XVI: Baby Blanket 1

Okay, a quick note. I've been sitting on the posts for my knitting projects for a very long time now. It's not that I haven't been knitting - I have. But a large percentage of my projects have been gifts for the various women in my life who are expecting babies. But I have to tell you - the backlog has gotten a little out of hand. I counted it up and realized I had something like 13 projects that had not been posted and my list is just getting longer.

So in the interest of preserving my sanity, I'm going to just post everything. If you are currently pregnant and you see a baby gift posted here, it might be for you. It might not (at last count there were something like 10 of you and while I love you all, I simply don't have enough time or hands to make one of everything for every baby). If you see something listed that you like that I don't end up giving to you, please, by all means, let me know! I'll make you one! Happy to do so! The ones listed here are already spoken for, but I'm forever looking for willing recipients of my projects and I love knowing what people would like ahead of time, before I spent the days/weeks/months to make something.

So without further ado, let the flood begin! I hope to post ~1 of these a day for the next couple weeks. We'll see how far I get.

Date Begun: 10/14/2007
Date Completed: 02/04/2008
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love in White
Needles: US10 Circular (metal)
Source: My own pattern - The Baby Shimizu Blanket
The Story:
This is a blanket I designed kind of organically. I started out thinking I wanted something with an interesting border and then kind of a personalized something-or-other in the middle. I liked the idea of a basketweave, so I just kind of cast on with that much of a plan and went plowing along for as long as it made sense. I wish I could say I had some sort of larger plan in mind, but I really didn't.

I put the center thing in as a basketweave block with a border around it, and decided it needed a nice border around the whole blanket to even it out. When it was all finished, it had a couple problems that I was trying to deal with - namely, the edges curled due to the stockinette stitch and the basketweave is beautiful from the front and U-G-L-Y from the back. So I decided to line the whole thing with some very soft baby flannel. I was also thinking the flannel would help make it a bit warmer since the yarn is acrylic and that isn't exactly known for its warmth. Given that the babies that are coming are all being born to mothers who are a little older (NOT old, just not 19, either), I was looking to make the whole thing a bit more sophisticated and thought a green backing would elevate it a little.

So before i attached the back to the knitted top, I used my handy-dandy embroidery machine to tag it with my personal knitting logo, done in some nursery-friendly colors. Adding the backing certainly flattened out the edges a little, but the more important function of covering the back of the basketweave was definitely a good move. Then I went over the whole thing, tie-quilting it with white yarn. You can't really see it well in the pictures, but it's a great detail that I think is absolutely adorable.

The good news is that this one was very quick and the final product encompasses everything I think a baby blanket should be - warm, cute, machine-washable and definitely made with a lot of love. :-)

Update March 3, 2009: I posted my pattern to Ravelry and people liked it! Hooray for me!

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