Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Banjo-Helen - the blanket is done

and there is a new wip (work in progress) to report. Last weekend was the Annual Knitters study group camp, and as usual I didn't take a camera - but others did so you can catch up on a little detail here at Shoebox Sally's blog. I'm in the first photo, way down the end of the table - next to Pam, and Lorna our local knit guru is the one standing at the far left right next to Pam. All in all there were fifteen of us and we knit lace, narrow lace trimings. Some of us with more forethought than others, mine has been rethought.

 But first things first, the Banjo-Helen baby blanket is done, blocked out to 42" from side to side and relaxed to 39". I have come to expect that - some relaxation over the few days after the blocking is released, as the knitting finds its own shape and size. Here the blanket is in the last of today's daylight, at around 5pm ... it was either that or lug it to work and photograph it during the daylight hours. Given that we had snow on the hills forcast for today, which translated into sleet and rain on the lower parts of town and work - that seemed a tad extreme. Yo-yo as usual turned up to supervise. I'm rather pleased with this, its a large soft, squishy blanket with an interesting centre and a nice chunky lace edge. Details, handspun blanket knit on 5mm needles, edge on 4mm,  a modified version of KnitSpots Rosebuddie, knit without any roses between the corners, and omitting the lace band before the edging. I suspect I could knit this again and again -  the corner increases are rather lovely. I've knit this before, in pink handspun, and I suspect I'll knit this again before too long, just one of those patterns that is worth returning to.
 So Knit Camp, the project was lace edges, in linen or cotton, as used on fabric. There were several variations available to chose from, and this wee one with the leaves caught my fancy. We were presented with two options, to knit the lace, then to attach it to a circle of linen, or to finish the edge of the linen and then knit the lace onto the finished edge. Me being me, I decided to knit my lace onto the edge as I worked the lace. I was using 2mm needles, and liked it well enough, but now I'm home I think the lace is a tad open and I'd like to knit it on smaller needles, so I've switched to 1.75mm to see what effect that has. The last leaf is knit on the smaller needles - and I think I prefer that gauge. Its firmer,  less floppy and the pattern cleaner, sharper.
Here is a close up of the edge, first I thread marked my circle on the linen, then I marked a second line 4mm inside the circle - also with thread. I then worked blanket stitch over the two guide threads. Once I'd completely worked around the circle, I took my small sharp scissors and trimmed away the fabric outside the blanket stitch. I then used a teeny tiny crochet hook to single crochet around the blanket stitch. This crochet chain provides the loop that I pick up and knit(purl actually) together with the last stitch on the lace edging. My linen choice was limited to pink or green, what I had at hand, whilst the local shops had only white and shades of cream linen .... ideally I'd be working the edge in a yarn that was the same tone or shade as the fabric.

and no, I am not usually a lace doily kind of person, but I have got a linen lace basket liner that I use for serving baking. Knit from the same green yarn - these two projects together will make a nice set of cloths for the table. Imagine this under a plate of warm scones, or muffins.

Yum ... and I'd best go, its now nearly 7pm and I'm sure I could be useful in the kitchen as dinner is readied.

na Stella


EGunn said...

It is funny how knitting relaxes back after blocking, isn't it? I suppose it probably does the same thing after wearing too, or it would stretch out of shape.

The lace edging on fabric is interesting. I've never done any "mixed media" knitting like that; it would be fun to try.

Knitting Linguist said...

The blanket turned out beautifully! And I, too, have had the relaxing experience with my knits (as well as, interestingly, the growing experience; I think the yarn type has a lot to do with that). I love the lace edging that you chose very much - did you say where that motif came from? I can imagine it would be lovely on a triangular shawl...