For better or for worse, that was the first thought I had once I was finished stitching together the last few rows of this blanket. That’s not to suggest I don’t love it with all my heart – because I do, trust me – but I was ready for this project to be finished. My sewing machine arrived the other day, and summer is fast approaching, which means it’s time to set my sights on other projects! Summery ones. As much as I have grown to love knitting, and as much as it entertained me during this cold winter, I’m ready to learn something new and come back to knitting when the weather gets cold again.
This blanket was not only a labour of love, it is a physical representation of how I learned to knit. Which means it’s totally imperfect. You can literally trace my progress: the first few squares I knitted separately, because I was afraid of messing it up if I did more than one at a time; one of the squares is slightly bigger than the others because I forgot to count my stitches before casting on; there are wonky lines from switching colours and forgetting to keep track of where I was before I switched. I love that I can look at it and go “here’s where I learned how to cast on! And here’s where I learned to switch colours!” It’s beautiful for that.
And it does the trick. All my friends love it, because it’s so soft and comforting. They don’t see its imperfections, and I’m starting not to either. I’ll never consider it a waste of time – it kept me occupied for several months, it taught me how to knit, and it keeps me warm. No, it probably won’t last forever. But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good enough. I’m so proud and happy to have done this project and learned a great new skill in the process. It doesn’t bother me that it’s not an ‘expert job’.
I got my inspiration from Elise’s black-and-white blanket, but I think I went about it a lot differently than she did. Hers is a good deal more clean-looking than mine, by the way, so maybe go with her method! As for me, like I said I started quite slowly. I just did one square at a time, lining them up to make sure they were roughly the same size. The beauty of this blanket is that it’s so stretchy and cozy that it’s not too big a deal if all the squares are the same. I stitched the squares together with a darning needle. Then once I was more confident, I started switching colours (my favourite way is described here) – be careful to always switch colours on the same side! I made that mistake. Once I had a row of 4 squares, I cast off and stitched it to the previous rows.
My blanket is 3×4 squares, and it’s the perfect size for me. It’s big enough to comfortably cover a back, pair of legs, or a curled up napping body. It looks lovely draped on my bed. But it’s not huge, I didn’t want huge.
I used Bernat Softee Chunky yarn. It’s a pretty cheap, and comes in a whole bunch of colours. I’ve used it for most of my knitting projects, but only because I don’t have much selection at my local crafts store! I knit this whole blanket exclusively in garter stitch, aka plain old knitting.
I love it. I’m thrilled it’s done. I can’t wait to move onto other projects. You can see the rest of my 2012 DIY projects so far here.