Pattern: "Rose Leaf Blanket, Bonnet, and Booties" by Kristan Spurkland, available in Blankets, Hats, and Booties to Knit and Crochet
Yarn: Madelinetosh tosh dk - 100% superwash merino wool
Mods: On booties, when binding off the five stitches, I left the first (slipped) stitch intact. This created an eyelit pattern rather than the creepy, elven-looking triangles. I think it fits the style of the set much better.
Plus: This leaf motif is so delicate and classic, if not for the hip, hand-dyed yarn, people might think these were antique heirlooms. Once blocked out, the effect is truly breath-taking. I'm so happy to have this book that coordinates layette sets like this. It saves me the hassle of finding three different patterns for the same yarn or trying to rewrite patterns so the stitch motifs are aligned.
This set certainly garnered a great deal of lust. My knitting buddy Shelley did all but promise me the deed to her house in exchange for this yarn (her signature color, which she did not find quite right in subsequent dye lots). Another knitting buddy Hannah implored me to think of anyone who deserved these items more than she; promises of instant tears and constant use NEARLY won me over. When I finally presented the woolly darlings to my pregnant friend Danielle, her sister's eyes widened, and she suggested that since I'll surely be bored in Virginia, I can spend all my time knitting sweaters and blankets for her. It's good to feel wanted.
Delta: Once I started the lace border, this project went pretty slowly. It's not a difficult lace--I could tell immediately if something went awry--but I never quite memorized the chart. Additionally, I would suggest to any future knitters of this blanket that they use a provisional cast-on (rather than cabled) when beginning the lace border to avoid an ugly seam there when finished. I was kind of annoyed with myself for not thinking of that at the time, but I have never done a blanket construction like this before, and I was mystified as to what in the world was happening. Additionally, I found the booties pattern pretty confusing and sometimes, outright wrong-headed. If you're familiar with top-down/heel-flap sock construction, feel free to read ahead and rewrite to your tastes.
My favorite part of the WHOLE project was the "beaded bind-off" across the back of the bonnet. Do you see how the bit across the nape of the neck makes pretty little scallops? Neat-o.
Well, we are officially relocated! After brief overnight visits with my parents in Richardson, then his parents in Plano, then my sister in Nashville, we made our way to Lexington, Virginia, our home for the next three years. Our townhouse is PERFECT for us in every single way, and we're working hard to get everything unpacked, hung, decorated, etc. Once we're finished, I'll definitely share some pics. For now, just know that:
- Everyone here is extremely friendly
- The bugs are huge and plentiful
- You can see a bazillion stars from our back porch
- I panic every now and then thinking about how far I am from a Starbucks or Target