Two dear friends are expecting little boys this June. Days apart, and days from my birthday. Yes, it’s vain but I can’t help but feel a bit of extra kinship with them for the coincidence. Two new Gemini in my little world, surely that requires some anticipatory love in the form of woolly knits. And so it is that I’m currently knitting my second baby blanket.
When I started knitting a few years back, my motivation was clear: I like woolly hand-knit items. And not a lot has changed since then. Mostly I think, “I would really like to have a __________” and then I figure out how to make said thing. So while I have gifted a fair number of hats and mitts and the occasional pair of socks, the blankets have been my first larger-scale knitting projects intended for others.
It’s so cliché I can’t even stand it but it really is all about putting love into physical form, and damn if that isn’t gratifying. The universe seems to be setting things straight for these people I care about so fiercely and I’m full of gratitude and hope and joy and… I can spend hours transmitting that energy into yarn and needles. Plus knitting for babies eliminates most of the annoying risk that all that love will become a dust collector because it’s the wrong size/style/shade of blue.
Here’s the first blanket, in its finished state:
I used a light fingering weight merino and a pattern based on traditional hap shawls (details here on Ravelry). It was a construction that I hadn’t done before – after knitting the central square, stitches are picked up and the lace section is knit in the round and then the final edging is knitted on. No part of it was especially complicated, but it wasn’t mindless knitting either – a lesson I learned (or not) so many times I lost track. I started to think of the rows in the lace border sort of like levels in an old-school video game. I’d die, and get set back a few levels (rows) and hope that I’d get a few rows farther before being foiled again… “Row 32! That’s a personal record!”
The second is a much more traditional blanket pattern with a simple lace pattern repeated over the entire body of the blanket. I was a little worried that I would get bored and hate it, but I’m approaching the halfway point and so far it’s gone quickly and I’m quite enjoying it. It’s not completely mindless, but it’s definitely comfort knitting. So far, it mostly looks like a lump. And one that photographs to a curiously different shade of green than it appears in real life. Hmm…