Here it is, the blanket that started it all.
I got it in my head that I wanted to knit a blanket after seeing Elise’s awesome and inspiring November edition of Make29. All those color combinations had me itching to make more than one though so once February’s was cast on and rolling I knew this was going to be my “thing” for the year. And I am loving it.
Elise can actually be credited for re-teaching me how to knit via this post. I “learned to knit” when in elementary school from a lady in our church. My sisters and some sister-friends of ours got together and this woman taught us to knit. It was slow going and our project was a pair of baby booties that we never finished, but I owe a lot to that humble beginning. After listening to some podcast episodes of Woolful, it seems this is a very common trend – being introduced to knitting/fiber arts at a young age, falling out of it, and then getting back into it years later (college/20s/30s/etc.). I definitely didn’t remember what to do and wouldn’t have been able to start a new project without Elise’s video. Though my knit striped cowl didn’t quite turn out, it reintroduced me to knitting and I am so glad it did.
Anyway, back to the January blanket. I started this blanket on a Sunday evening after ripping out the entirety of what I’d knit up because I got confused and thought I’d messed up (I actually hadn’t but that didn’t change the fact that I was literally knitting up a square with no plan for it so it was actually a good thing). One of my favorite things about knitting is that it’s a pretty low-risk project – mess up? rip back and fix it or totally undo it and start something else! Not so easy to do with, say, cutting fabric for a quilt. I re-cast on 100 stitches and then just started going. Back and forth, back and forth until I ran out of black yarn and had to decide what my plan was from there.
I went to Michael’s and settled on making this blanket a black to blue ombré pattern. My idea was to work with one less skein of yarn per color as I went to create a size gradient which kind of worked but isn’t all that noticeable. I don’t remember exactly, but I think I ended up with 6 skeins of black, 4 skeins of gray, 3 skeins of dark blue, and 2 skeins of light blue. After setting my ombré plan, I worked on this blanket in all of my spare time (aka: constantly) for a week. On January 17th, exactly one week after casting on, I cast this blanket off while riding home in the car from my sister-in-law’s wedding. When we got home I tied it off, wove and trimmed my ends and it was done! For me, there is something bittersweet about finishing a knitting project. It’s exciting to finish the project but sad to not be actively working on it.
I really enjoy knitting blankets and they’re just about as fun to give and use afterward as they are to work on. This one hung out at the end of our bed as an extra just-in-case blanket, but has since moved into the living room to continue it’s career as a faithful just-in-caser. My youngest sister usually ends up wrapped up in it and likes sticking her fingers through the holes – easy access to video game controllers and phones for texting without compromising warmth!
This blanket ended up pretty big and is about five by six feet. Since it is loosely knit it can stretch and is great for pulling across two (or three!) laps while watching a movie or hanging out on the couch. I love a good cuddly blanket and this one definitely fits the bill.
This blanket certainly isn’t an incredible, artful masterpiece but it was my first actually successful knitting project so it’s special to me. I loved furiously working on this blanket, I really liked how to the color combination turned out, and making it gave me the confidence and drive to make more. Yep, the January blanket rocks.