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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Roadblocks, Detours, and Unexpected Directions

I'm not sure if this is true for everyone, but rarely do creative projects end up exactly as I envisioned them. Something unexpected happens between the start and the finish, something that stops the forward motion and makes me rethink/redo the project.

The baby blanket I'm knitting is a perfect example. Started just before Christmas, it's for a grandchild due to make an appearance any day now. Although I'm not very skilled as a knitter, I enjoy the task, and I wanted the baby to have something Nana made.

A few months ago, the ultrasound technician declared my daughter was having a girl. Since then, we've gotten in the habit of calling the unborn baby "she". Most likely the baby is female. But there's always the chance....

Knowing there could always be a surprise at the delivery, I decided to make the blanket in a unisex colour. I picked a simple pattern with a K2, P2 border that switches on every row for a decorative effect (instead of a ribbed one) and a mostly knit interior with with the occasional purl stitch vertical line to keep it from being too plain.

At the yarn store, I picked the beautiful Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima Cotton yarn in a bright shade of turquoise. Gorgeous even though it isn't a typical "baby" shade.

Decisions made, I started knitting. And something happened. 

I couldn't stay on track with the simple stitch pattern. I ripped out and tried again. Uh-huh. Within a few rows, I was off the stitch pattern again. (Roadblock!)

Something happens when I knit. I go into LaLa Land. There's something about the repetitive hand motion that makes most knitters' brains jump from the left (logic, orderly) hemisphere to the right (creative, free-thinking) side. My brain leaps to the right with such eagerness, I find it very difficult (almost impossible) to maintain the order of a stitch pattern. Even this ultra simple stitch pattern seemed to be too much structure.

Wanting to enjoy the baby blanket knitting process, I decided do make a blanket with plain knitting. (Detour!) Since I already had the beautiful turquoise yarn, I restarted with it.

Even with such a spectacular colour, the all-knit blanket seemed boring. Who wants to give their grandbaby an uninteresting blanket? 

So I decided stripes would liven things up. (Unexpected Direction!) Back to the yarn shop I went to exchange my unused hanks for other colours. Since I had already committed to the Cascade Ultra Pima yarn, I felt I should continue with the same brand to avoid further complications. 

Alas, the colour choices were not quite what I had in mind. The yellow was too mustard/gold. The coral was intense. My husband and I and the yarn store lady played around for a bit and came out with a pretty colour scheme: turquoise, white, coral, deep teal-turquoise.

I love it. I think it's gorgeous. But it's not very babyish.

If I were starting the project again, knowing it would be a striped, all-knit patterned blanket, I would not have picked this colorway because it is so far out of the realm of baby things. I'm not saying this colorway is wrong, I'm not saying I don't like it. I am saying I would not have picked it for this project.

My oh my how this blanket has evolved! It started with a slightly  bold and bright turquoise unisex yarn. The end will be far, far different....

Hope you like bright stripes, Baby!

             - Lady T


  1. Thanks! I can picture the baby's eyes when she sees this bright colorway. Are her eyes ever going to pop! :-)