Blanket weather

The weather has turned cold and this is what inspired me to blog the progress of my Birlinn blanket. It isn't picnic weather, that's for sure but with this spell of cold, we have wonderful blue skies and the sun beaming through our lounge window to flood the squares of my blanket with light.

A happy, bright sight at the end of my day.

Joining together in progress : JIP

Joining together in progress : JIP

1620 stitches picked up and knit then bound off together, this was my next task in the process to join together the squares of my blanket.

I still have to pick up and knit to add a few stitches by increasing to a total of 680 stitches right round the border. I wonder if any of my non-knitting friends would have guessed how much counting and stitches we undertake when knitting a project.

The modular design of this blanket helps to set a pace/goal to reach which I set out to keep over the year.  I kept on going as I wouldn't allow myself to start new projects. I just couldn't overcome my strict self discipline. I am knitting my yoke sweater as my break from knitting squares. Two types of projects was enough for me to cope and my sweater will soon be off to the sheep dip. I loved knitting this and the plain knitting was a welcome relief at night.

I wasn't suffering from jet lag on Monday but was suffering injection lag after a visit to the dentist. Counting was fun but at least it kept my eyes open to join more strips.

I have kept to the original design with the heart of my blanket being the MaCallum raspberry red/pink tone. I was tempted to divide the centre diagonal with Moonlicht Nicht, the dark blue which placed a different balance on the visual but I chose to be asymmetrical and keep my perception of the heart of the blanket to MaCallum. There are many options to explore when setting out the squares before joining the strips and I am sure the variations in noter projects will inspire me if I challenge myself to knit another one. I had ordered two sets of 80cm cable circular needles as I only had 60cm in the size required but the 80cm still haven't arrived and I have finished joining but I could never have too many needles and I am sure I will use them for something in due course.

I revel in colour and tones and knitting the blanket gave me the opportunity to knit with colours from Kate's Buachaille wool that I really haven't used in a main project. Some colours I wouldn't have chosen for a sweater or cardigan but the significance of their part in the blanket has been a feast for my eyes and mind. 

I will have completed knitting together all of my strips of squares when this blog is published but the next step will mean I have to keep counting to go right round the borders. Another size of needle is needed and yet another length of cable for my circular needles to allow me to add 680 stitches in the one round. I have a few lengths set aside to ease the round as I remember the border of Rams and Yowes. Update: I am preparing to start and pick up all the stitches required for the border as my final strips have been joined.

The blanket will have another trip to the spa and then it will be interesting to see where I will block the full size and how many roundabouts and hurdles dad will have to face each day as we wait for the blanket to dry. Blocking mats, pins and combs, all part of my finishing kit. Pattern may be available at a later date as a single purchase on Ravelry but currently it is part of the collection from Inspired by Islay book. Book and wool both available from Kate Davies designs store online

When I think about colours, I see a rainbow. When I see a rainbow, I always give thanks, my heart rejoices, my spirit is lifted. Oh happy day!

Latest update: I have just finished picking up and knitting 656 stitches round my blanket. The late sunshine came out to celebrate and allowed me to take a photo for the blog tonight. Picking up was easier than Rams and Yowes with a few tedious corners where I had sewn the ends of my wool away with a bit too much of the 'belt and braces' approach. I will need strength to lift all of this to knit the rest of the border!

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A rather full 150cm circular needle

 

Colour does not add a pleasant quality to design - it reinforces it.

Pierre Bonnard