Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The next blanket

The next blanket, #187, is another dark one, this one without dark red, so greens and blues on top of the standard very dark shades, black, grey and brown. I started on the black unlabelled Rowan wool DK yarn that I rejected for the broken rib blanket, every fourth row, but it blends in so well that you don't notice it.
I unrevelled a Marion Foale cardigan. You still see her knits in charity shops quite frequently, sometimes with a very high price, sometimes as for this one, reasonably priced. It is plain stocking stitch with moss stitch trims, knit in a thin 4 ply wool. The wool was extremely pleasant after the wash. The kinks came out, and it is soft.


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Broken rib blanket C32

The reason for this blanket was the next yarn in line in my spreadsheet of yarn acquisitions. I was looking for a nice easy quick pattern, and I found or devised this broken rib pattern. It is very easy – row 1 knit row 2 knit 1 purl 1. Repeat.
The yarn was Jaeger Luxury Spun Double Knitting with Alpaca. I had found a pack of 10 balls more than ten years ago. I knew the yarn well, having knitted a sweater in the 4 ply version in the same brown shade many years earlier. I decided that if I had hung on to it for so many years without finding a better purpose it may as well become a blanket. The alpaca content was 10%.

I then looked for a second double knitting yarn to go with it. The black Rowan DK yarn that I had in mind didn't seem good enough quality to go with it. Perhaps it was one of the earlier Rowan yarns, and I think at one time they did a light DK yarn. So instead I used the Christian de Falbe pink Chandos yarn because of my difficulties with bright pink. A good opportunity to get rid of it. I had 370 grams. The label said 80% lambswool 20% merino. I once knitted a favourite cardigan from this brand in a shetland wool plied with a metallic yarn. It worked well.
Thirdly for softness I was going to look through my store of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, but first I came across some pink Wendy Air – 70% mohair 30% nylon – that I had forgotten about. The colour suited very well. There were five 25 gram balls.
I could work out that I needed to supplement the pink wool so I found two balls of Patons Pure Wool DK in a dark red shade, for borders.

I thought putting the three yarns together would make a thick loose fabric, and it did, on 9 mm needles, and it became soft and slinky. Nice for a blanket. The knitting was quick, but I didn't enjoy it much. I prefer knitting with thinner needles. I stopped when I ran out of the pink DK, and finished with the second ball of Patons DK. It is not large enough for a standard blanket but it would be nice for a throw.
The reverse has a quite different pattern and texture.
I should have foreseen that I would run out of the Wendy Air, so I had to add some Uppingham mohair in red. I hope it looks as if it was the intention from the start.

I cast on with Pony circular needles and it was hard going. I have previously had problems with Pony needles, so I avoid them, but it was what came to hand. I realised why it was difficult. The tip was tapering on the part where I formed the stitch so pushing the stitches along was difficult as the tip got thicker. I found some metal circulars and the knitting went much more smoothly on them. Does this mean that I will have problems with lace needles as well? The yarn shop assured me they would work as well as ordinary circulars.
Broken rib blanket C32
Pattern: my own
Yarn: Jaeger Luxury Spun DK with Alpaca
           Christine de Falbe Chandos DK
           Patons Pure Wool DK
           Wendy Air
           Uppingham Lace Mohair
Needles: 9 mm
Size: 135 cm by 120 cm
Weight: 975 gr
18 May to 13 June 2017