Monday, October 04, 2010

Sleepy TIme

When I left off on Friday (more than a week ago?!), I was heading out to search for the yarn. I went to my closest Michaels, and they had white Cottontots but not blue. I got the white and decided since I was out anyway, I'd drive over to the other Michaels that I had seen, but not been too. I couldn't find the freakin place. Stopped at a Zeller's and they didn't have blue either. I couldn't do any knitting on it on the weekend (I did some prep work) and on Monday afternoon I looked up the lost Michaels and headed over (it doesn't look the same as the other one!) and they had the blue. I really liked the blue better---when I put the white next to the blankie, it made the blankie look grey (the mom said it had been light blue when new).I cut the top and bottom borders off and unpicked it so I had one even row of live stitches. Then, along the sides, I had done two rows of machine stitching, like for steeking, but I picked up sts just to the ....oh, I've forgotten....I think to the inside of the stitching. I hadn't decided how I wanted to finish the sides so I didn't cut the side borders off, but I needed to prevent any unravelling in case I did cut the sides off. I worked a new border, all in one piece, outwards, using the same stitch pattern as the original border. By working outwards, it will be much easier to fix in the future as the sts will run only to the start of the border. I meant to machine stitch the top and bottoms too to stop any possible running into the blanket, but I doubt it'll happen anyway (the boy is already 8, the new yarn is fluffy and thick and not likely to run easily). I did increases on the corners every other row. It's not a very wide border but it did take quite a bit of knitting! And a long time to cast off! Every time I trimmed a bit of the old blanket off, I felt sad! His grandma had made it for HIM and here I was, a stranger, chopping off her love! I wanted to preserve as much of it as I could. Right up till the end I was still undecided on the side edges. I really didn't want to cut them off and deal with the yarn ends. I thought maybe I could get some cotton ribbon and sew it over the trimmed ends. But that felt too foreign to the rest of the blanket. Once I cast off, I was left with a raggedy flap of old blanket on one edge and an intact flap on the other edge. I thought of sewing it down to the back of the blue border, but there was a lot of contrast between the good edge and the worn out edge. I decided to trim the strings, and sew them down over the blanket. I used a wide zig zag on the machine, and an off-white thread, and stitched the old edgings down.

Although it shows up in the photo (this shows the 'right' side of the blankie) I think that's the flash reflecting off the nylon sewing thread, cause it's not so obvious in real life.
The first ball of Cottontots seemed thicker and very textured compared to what I remembered. There were some very thick and thin spots and the blanket didn't have that. The second ball (of which I used very little), was much smoother and even, even though they were the same dye lot. I wish I had noticed this sooner. I also ended up picking up too many sts on the sides (I used 3 sts per 4 rows, but you can't tell until it gets underway, and that's the one draw back of doing the border as one unit). If it had been for my kids, or not an urgent project, I would have ripped and maybe tried the other ball. The thicker border though gives a nice heft to the blanket now.
The mom was thrilled and I hope her boy was too. It still has the same cottony feel, and almost all the old blanket is still there, along with grandma's love :)

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