Some of you may have noticed that a couple weeks ago the "Tate's blanket" progress bar disappeared. Well, that's because I finally finished it! I think it's a hit.
This project was inspired by the Hoover blanket on Knitty. I loved the look and wanted to try something like this for my friend Janelle and her baby (even before we knew him!). First, I had to learn double knitting, which was really hard. But, I was just in love with the results. I also fell in love with this baby bamboo yarn, which is not only sustainable and washable, but also incredibly soft. Pretty perfect for a baby blanket, no?
Having found a pattern and the perfect yarn, I was off to the races. The very, very slow races. So many tiny stitches.
But I'm SO pleased with the result. Isn't the rugby stripe wonderfully boyish? And I like the size, which should be perfect for a stroller or for being dragged around by tiny hands. The best part is the weight. It is nice and weighty and drapey, without being heavy or too thick. The original pattern is designed to be made out of worsted weight, but I was worried that two full layers of worsted would be a little thick for the Oregon weather.
Okay, now for the knitty gritty, in case you're crazy enough to want to attempt a double knit project yourself. There is an excellent tutorial here. Once you figure it out, it's easy, but I have a couple tips. First, if I were doing this again, I wouldn't do the border with two strands of the same color -- it's WAY too easy to twist them and not realize it. Best to always use two different colors for the whole thing, or to do the border in a regular, single knit garter stitch. Second, tying in the ends is a bit tricky. Normally, you weave your ends into the back of the work, but because double-knitting is two-sided (reversible), there's no back side. Instead, I turned the whole blanket inside out (like a big pillow case) and wove the ends in on the inside. And that's it! Ta da!