A Tale of Two Yarns – Knitting and Crochet Blog WeekPosted: 28/03/2011
At the end of January 2010, just as I felt the cold weather would never leave us and the Olympics were set to begin in Vancouver, I decided my home needed a new blanket. I rarely knit for myself. I have a niece and nephew and lots of friends having children. Small projects are my preference. Big projects, such as a blanket, tend to lose my attention before they’re done and end up forgotten in the UFO bin.
Cold and motivated by the idea that I would sit and knit for hours each night while I watched the Olympics, I began my blanket. I had chosen a log cabin pattern for myself in 3 colours of Cascade 220. I chose this particular yarn because I fell in love with the colours, which does tend to be my way. Others at the shop had tried to convince me that neutral colours would be better for a blanket in my living room but I had spied the Cascade 220 in orange and meant to have it. Choosing the blue and green to go with it was easy.
Not long after I began the log cabin blanket, a friend announced her first pregnancy. After a chat with her about the baby and their home renovations which included her colour choice (shades of yellow and gold) for the baby’s room, I decided I would make a blanket for their new one’s arrival. I was clearly still in the delirium of love with the first blanket that I didn’t recognize what I was committing myself to with a second blanket while the first one was still barely begun.
I had seen a sweet basket weave baby blanket pattern that I could do in one colour. I just needed to choose that colour. I have a large stash of yarn at home and the office. After digging through the bins to find something that might inspire me, I came across Louet Gems light worsted in brown. I love brown. It can be accented with so many other great colours. I also thought it would be perfection in a room of yellow, especially since the happy couple was not going to find out the sex of their baby before the birth.
The patterns are quite different. One requires no attention at all, just knit every row within each block of colour. The other requires a small amount of attention or at least minimal internal counting. These are different yarns to the touch, too. Cascade isn’t soft but isn’t scratchy either. It is thick, warm wool which is what a blanket should be. Gems is super soft and machine-washable, perfect for baby stuff. They both have excellent stitch definition. The colour selection with Cascade 220 was spectacular so I can see myself going back to this yarn when something sturdy and warm is required. Gems is a yarn I will use over and over again because the varying weights and colour choices make that easy to do.
I am not what you’d call an avid knitter. I enjoy it. I particularly like making things for little people. I don’t, however, knit every day. I don’t even knit every week unless I’m working on something with a deadline. So there I was, with two blankets on needles and my attention slowly dwindling. You’d think a baby arriving would be enough of a deadline for me but I’d already knit two sweaters for the wee one. The blanket felt like a bonus.