I still have to finish my Soho shawl and my dead fish hat, but I want to get started on my next baby gift.
This one is for my yoga instructor. She and her hubby have been married for a long time and, after years of trying to conceive, they are now expecting their first child in June. It’s so exciting, and I’m so happy for her! Since she does so much for me, I wanted to make something extra special for her.
Weeks ago, I’d contemplated making the OpArt afghan from Knitty. So I ordered the KnitPicks Swish DK yarn in Skyborne (blue) and Merlot Heather (brown), which are the colors the mom will be using in the baby room. However, I changed my mind because every report that I read said that the blanket needed blocking after washing to get it to the right shape. That’s just not practical!
So I started looking through Ravelry. Finding exactly the right project was difficult. She has an appreciation for the traditional, but because her husband plays in a rock band, they also like things that are more contemporary. When I saw the Equal Parts pattern by Wooly Thoughts, I knew that I’d found the right project! The pattern is based on a poster that is common in British classrooms. The series of squares are divided into equal parts, with each one divided into different number of parts.
The pattern is really clever, and it includes a page with a blank template so that the knitter can play with colors for the layout. This has been worth its weight in gold.
I brought the template into Photoshop, sampled the colors from the KnitPicks swatch of the color, and filled up the areas to see how my colors looked. I also played with the selection of the third color and decided on Nutmeg. I loved it!
Then I started knitting the first square, which is a solid color block (to represent 1 / 1). Since it’s solid, it would act as a great big swatch. By the time I got halfway through the block, I knew I was in trouble. I wouldn’t have enough yarn! In most cases, that would simpy mean buying more yarn. However, as too often happens with KnitPicks, the blue color was discontinued when I went back to buy more.
I asked the designer whether I was really going to be short, and she offered a couple suggestions (making smaller blocks and/or using more than one shade of blue). I measured my first block and realized that the blanket would be really small if I made the blocks small enough to accommodate my current yarn quantities.
So I went back into Photoshop to play with different concepts. Just when I was resigned to having to buy a completely different color of blue (and having six extra balls of the Skyborne sitting in my stash indefinitely), I hit on the idea of re-arranging the colors that I have. I think this could work. All I have to do, I think, is make sure that I don’t mix dye lots in the same block.