Monday, November 14, 2011

Big Project Finally Complete

For the past couple of posts I've been telling you that I'm almost finished with a project that I've been working on for a while.  I'm happy to say that it is finally COMPLETE and I can share it with you.

A hand-knitted blanket!

I've been working on this blanket since January, but the second it got warm outside I stopped working on it.  When it starts to get chilly here in Jersey I almost immediately get in the mood to knit.  Yes, I realize that some people consider this to be an old lady hobby, but to be honest I could care less.  I find it relaxing and I feel accomplished when I finish a project.

This is not my first blanket (see below for others I have made), but it is the first blanket I've made for myself. 

This is the most tedious blanket I've ever done, even the most detailed knitting project I've done in general.  The pattern that I followed (for the most part) can be found at Free Knitting Pattern: Fireside Patchwork Afghan, but you may need to create an account before you can view the pattern.  

Since this is a blanket that I made for myself, I did not follow the pattern exactly, instead I adjusted things for my own liking.  

Things I did different from the pattern you'll find at the above link:
  • I did not use Lion Brand Yarn or shades of brown.  Instead I went with Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn (found at Michaels) and the colors Heather, Lavender, Amethyst, Chocolate and I believe the other purple was called grape (which can be found here except for the grape color).
  • I did not check my gauge, nor did I block my squares.  This unfortunately was a problem when  I went to sew the squares together and had to fold some squares back to make them the appropriate size.
  • I added a whole row and column to the original pattern (Only 4 x 5), which means I had to make more squares (10 more).  I created a new arrangement of squares that accounted for the extra row and column (this way there weren't two of the same square in one row or column if I could help it).  This made my blanket big, but cosy enough to use on the couch (roughly 47" by 70"). 
  • I crocheted a border around each square and then crocheted the squares together instead of just hand sewing all of the blocks together.
  • I also crocheted the border around the whole blanket instead of knitting.  Knitting it seemed time consuming and more confusing using the pattern instructions.
  • The back of my blanket looked AWFUL.  I'm not very good at carrying yarn along so that it stays really close to the finished product (so there are a lot of gaps you can get fingers and toes stuck in).  I was going to back the entire thing in fleece, but after talking to my mom about it I decided to use flannel instead.  I went with a simple brown flannel because I want you to be looking at the part I knitted, not the flannel.
Backing the blanket with flannel was not as easy as I would've liked (because the yarn stretched and the flannel did not), but I'm happy with the outcome.  I did not sew the flannel to the edges of the blanket, rather the edge of the knitted squares.  This was part personal preference and part that I could not find flannel in a color I liked that was wide enough.  Also, as advised by my mom I sewed the corners of the squares to the flannel so it would not shift around.  I made little x's like the picture above so that they didn't look messy on the front or back of the blanket.

While I'm very happy with the overall product, I do have recommendations to those of you who decide to try this pattern:
  • Test your gauge for each individual square for a more concise size for each square (my block #6 was WAY too big and my block #4 was too skinny)
  • Block your squares.  I really think this would've paid off for me.
  • Sew your flannel to the actual corners of the blanket (not the corners of the knitted part).  I believe that this is one of the reasons that my blanket seems to bubble instead of sit flat.
  • Take your Time.  This project is time consuming, so if you start it try not to get frustrated with how long it takes or try to hurry through it because you may mess up some of the squares.  even though you may not be able to see it in some of these pictures, I have a lot of mistakes that I attribute to trying to speed through this project.

If you do decide to make this blanket or even scarves using the patterns from the blanket send them to me!   I'd love to see your creations!


  1. Love those colors!

    I am planning on starting this to learn some new techniques and a lot of people mention they lined it but no posted pics of the back. Thanks a bunch for posting your experience putting the flanel on the back, blocking, and testing gauge, it will be super helpful and it is so great when people give tips to make the path easier for others. Thanks:)

    CoppergirlinSoAZ (Ravelry)

    1. Thanks! I loved making this blanket and I felt so accomplished when I finished! The flannel makes the blanket so warm and I'm sure it will be much more durable because of it! I highly recommend youtube videos for anything you don't know how to do stitch-wise, I love being able to see someone do a stitch and then try it myself.

      Have fun completing this project and I'd love to see pictures when you've finished yours!