I put the throw blanket in the washing machine, on gentle because I’m not sure how it will hold together. I hope I made every knot tight, every loop attached.
This is the first blanket I have ever made. I have knitted straight scarves – lots of scarves. And I’ve attached the ends of scarves and made them into infinity scarves – more scarves. For awhile there, I was even taking requests for scarves for my coworkers and family members. Yarn to my right, scarf accumulating to my left, needles in the center to keep good posture. I loved making those scarves, and even got creative mixing it up with multiple yarns. I never got complicated though – I really only know the knit stitch.
One night back in December, I was having a hard time sleeping so I moved to the couch for a change of venue. In snuggling down to close my eyes, I realized that the throw blanket in the living room was too heavy me, too much blanket for Florida temperatures. It was too short – my feet stuck out. And the color of the blanket didn’t really match our decor, not even in the low-lit living room – light dusty blue amid greens and browns and golds. The blanket was the color of an 80’s bridesmaid’s dress instead of a Southern Utah sunset. I decided that my next knitting project would be to make an appropriate throw blanket. It’s really a giant scarf, right? Just bigger needles and more yarn.
I ordered large circular needles for the project. I wasn’t sure what size, so I ordered the largest diameter. I figured it would make big “holes” in the blanket, which would allow for air to pass through and keep the it from being too warm.
I was excited to find the bin of yarn skeins on sale as I was walking through a big box store on my way to Groceries. There was a very pretty off-white yarn, and gold skeins with teal and coral flecks. I was surprised at how much I liked the gold – not usually a color I’m drawn to. But this was so rich looking, such lovely warm tones, and the two yarns complemented each other nicely. They would look great with the living room rug and curtains. So I bought what I hoped would be enough, and began to knit a blanket.
At first, the hardest thing was adapting to the circular needles. I wasn’t knitting in a circle, but the cording in the middle of circular needles is what held the blanket as I knitted. In the beginning, I kept getting the needles twisted and curled around, and it took me several days to figure out how to straighten the needles when trading the ends back and forth.
The needles were very big, and that also took some getting used to. It was hard to hold both needles in one hand when I was looping my yarn. Several times one needle slipped and I had to very carefully thread everything back on without dropping any stitches. Eventually I figured out the right grasp and developed a rhythm.
Then came the problem of the pattern. I knew I didn’t really want to count rows – I was fine with the blanket stripes being random. But the skeins weren’t the same length – the gold versus the off-white – so it wasn’t as simple as switching out colors at the end of a skein. Each time, I had to decide if I wanted to switch, or knit with both colors for a while, making a third stripe. In many ways, that was the easiest way to knit, and I might have done the entire blanket that way if I had originally bought enough of each color. The two yarns together made the holes a little tighter, less likely for a toe to poke through!
As the blanket got longer, it became difficult to flip the needles’ ends because I had to flip the whole blanket. When I didn’t flip it as I switched ends, the blanket lay twisted to the left of my lap. I’m just now wondering if it might have been easier to keep the blanket in my lap instead of off to the side.
My sweet kitten Annabelle was the last obstacle. She seemed to notice the blanket each time I flipped it, and that brought her running to see if there were loose ends to grab. Most often there weren’t, so she would just grab any yarn loop and pull. Stop, kitty! She’d pull a stitch or two, and I had to tug things back into place.
After several weeks of knitting, mostly in the evenings when we were watching TV, I finished this morning. I very carefully bound off the last row, tied and weaved other yarn ends into the blanket, and cut off loose pieces. I checked every connection so it won’t unravel.
Now if it holds together in the washing machine, I’m ready to pick the next colors. Maybe a blanket for the bedroom. With smaller needles, of course. No toes peeking!