Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Feather and Fan Rainbow Baby Blanket

Middle daughter is famous for calling me (as she did 14 mins ago) and asking, "Mom, how long does it take you to knit a baby blanket?" Uhhhhhh a couple of days...wait. that means...I should have a clue by now. That translates to 'Someone I know is having a baby, and I want one of your Rainbow Blankets asap!' Keep in mind that earlier this week she already asked me to make one for someone else at work. Add to that the boy blanket I'm working on for a new baby in the family due this August. And the girl blanket that I have yet to decide on for the new baby in the family. All totaled up? 4 baby blankets. (Baby daughter wants to know why her fingerless mitts aren't in Boston yet....hmmmm)

Just the other day, I was mentioning on one of the knitting groups how we end up with babies around our family and friends. It's not the water that they're drinking I said. It was how big my pile of baby things were that I had already knitted up. Alli thought that was funny. Alli-you're going to love this one. I was only thinking about making a Beribboned Sweater this time!I.HADN'T.STARTED.KNITTING.YET! when these two requests were made! Guess I have to shush up about what I want to knit now, BEFORE the babies start popping out!

Now, you may wonder why I am making both a boy and a girl blanket for the soon to be baby in the family? Well, we don't know yet what this little one is going to be. The family is hoping for a girl, but has a history of lots of boys. Guess which one I picked to start first? (sorry guys) I'm going for the side of the odds-that would be the boy's version. However, I am not adverse to being proven wrong about odds! Since it doesn't have a deadline of 'yesterday', I figured it gives me lots of time to work on it between other things. Like 2 Rainbow blankets. Something around here is always popping up. Especially since middle daughter loves to give away things I've knitted for baby gifts. In high school there were times I wondered if she would only take classes from pregnant teachers! (ha ha ha)

The pictures I have of this blanket, again are knitted up in RH's TLC Lustre. It's no longer being made, but Caron's Simply Soft is similar in softness and it's a worsted weight. I've also made this in a single color. I'm thinking any worsted or aran weight would be fine with this pattern. I'm hoping to make one out of Encore Colorspun one of these days soon. But middle daughter only wants the Rainbow version. That does make it easier when you don't know if it's a boy or girl, I guess.

One time I was on an airplane knitting away on one of these blankets. The flight attendants were full of compliments and I knitted away. One of them told me that she'd just started knitting, and had never done any lace work. Well, this feather and fan pattern is one of the easiest lace patterns I've ever known! In the middle of the flight while the other flight attendants sat and pulled out their favorite books, she came back and I taught her YO's and K2Tog's. Then I wrote out the pattern for the blanket and a couple of other things using the stitch pattern for her. She was so tickled that something that looks so hard, was so easy, and she had learned to make it!. A couple of months later, I got a really great box in the mail. One of her regular routes is to Germany. She sent me a box full of sock yarns from GERMANY! Now, that's a bonus for flying! I was just happy to have spent some time teaching her something I enjoy so greatly. her gift really surprised me!

If you wish to make the blanket into a rectangular shape, please purchase extra yarn for the added length. Because NMCRS wants the blankets that I make for them to be square, I write my patterns for the square sizes. By no means should you limit your blankets to my color choices or my stripe patterns. Experiment as always...and make them your own 'flavor'.

About the length of the circular needles. I like longer circulars when I'm making blankets and afghans. I like to be able to smooth out my project and visually check the patterns while I'm working. There are several ladies in the yarn shop I like to go to, that use 29" lengths for full sized afghans. It's really up to you and your personal preference. Just like brand of needles, so too is the choice of length you will prefer to use.

If you have any questions, email me at:
bruinmom99 (at) yahoo (dot) com for help. Please make sure you put something in the subject line so I know that you're not spam. Yahoo mail has been filled with soooooooooo much spam lately! ULG! Can put folks up in space and on the moon, but we can't stop spam!
Feather and Fan Rainbow Baby Blanket
© February 28, 2006, Cathy Waldie

Finished size: 36” wide x 37 ½” long (91 x 95cm)
TLC luster yarn…1 (5 oz.) skein each of lt. blue, lavender, pink, yellow, mint, 3 skeins of white; or 4 skeins of any one solid color.
(US) 9 (5.5mm) and 10 (6mm) circular needles 32-40” length (or size you are comfortable with)
Tapestry needle, scissors.

K = Knit
K2Tog = Knit two together
Sl 1 = Slip one stitch as if to knit
YO = Yarn Over
* * = repeat directions between* *’s
(__) x times = repeat directions inside ( )’S the number of time specified

Bottom Border:
Using white and size (US) 9 (5.5mm) needles, cast on 154 stitches with a cable cast on. Knit 6 rows, slipping the first stitch of each row for a smooth border edge. Knit each row back and forth, do NOT join.

Change to size (US) 10 (6mm) needles and begin pattern, still using white.

Row 1: Sl 1, knit across row.
Row 2: Sl 1, K4, Purl across 144 stitches, k5
Row 3: Sl 1, K4, *(K2tog) 3 times, (K1, YO) 6 times, (K2tog) 3 times*, repeat between * *’s 8 times; K5.
Row 4: Sl 1, Knit across row.

Rows 5-24: Begin 20 row color sequence:
Repeat (Rows 1-4) in light blue
Repeat (Rows 1-4) in lavender
Repeat (Rows 1-4) in pink
Repeat (Rows 1-4) in yellow
Repeat (Rows 1-4) in mint
Rows 25-52: Repeat (Rows 1-4) 7 times in white
Rows 53-72: Repeat (Rows 5-24) in color sequence (light blue towards mint)
Rows 73- 108: Repeat (Rows 1-4) 9 times in white
Rows 109-128: Repeat (Rows 5-24) in color sequence, reversing the color order (mint towards light blue)
Rows 129-156: Repeat (Rows 1-4) 7 times in white
Rows 157-176: Repeat (Rows 5-24) in color sequence, reversing the color order (mint towards light blue)

Rows 177-180: Repeat (Rows 1-4) in white
Row 181: Repeat Row 1, once more
Row 182: Repeat Row 2, once more

Top Border:
Continuing with white, change back to size 9 (5.5mm) needles. K 7 rows, slipping the first stitch of each row. Bind Off in purl. Weave in ends using a tapestry needle.