Sunday, July 28, 2013

Baby Baby Baby Shawl

The project I've been most excited to make for my future child was a baby blanket.  My husband, Keith, gave me a weekly yarn sampler from Elann and when I felt the Araucania Tolhuaca (Solid Hand Dyed Cotton yarn in color 1202) cotton yarn I knew that it would be perfect for our future child.  (Of course, when I ordered it we were not yet pregnant!)  It was hard to wait through the first 13 weeks of the pregnancy before I finally allowed myself to cast on the "Alpaca Baby Shawl" on size 7 needles.   I knit the shawl on size 7 needles until the bindoff where I switched to size 9.  

The beginning of something magical. I've waited so long to cast on for this project!

Even though all of the skeins are part of the same dye lot, these are hand dyed so there is vairation in the blanket.  I'm not alternating skeins randomly because I don't want striping as much as I want pooling.  I'm just going to need to try to alternate skeins with more blue with those with less blue.  (Washing may also help these issues.)  

While I'm knitting this blanket, it rests comfortably on my growing belly.   Cuddling with my LO already!

Yarn Weights
  • First Ball 99 g - Finished at the end of round 41.
  • Second Ball 97 g - Finished at the beginning of round 60.
  • Third Ball  99 g - Finished at the end of round 73.  
  • Fourth Ball 99 g - Finished 75% of the way through Round 85.  
  • Fifth Ball 98 g - Finished at the beginning for row 96.
  • Sixth Ball 100 g - Finished at the end of round 105 (So glad that I ordered 1 more ball... see below)
  • Seventh Ball 98 g - 70 g remain after I have bound off the baby shawl.  
Yardage concerns.  
Why, oh why do I always let this happen to me?  The original pattern calls for 880 yards, but I was using a thicker yarn.  I had looked at projects using worsted weight yarn when I determined how much to buy.  I was afraid of having an excess.  Unfortuantely, this was a discontinued yarn that I purcahsed through Elann for just under $5 a skein.  When I searched online, I found exactly ONE other retailer selling it - and they have 7 skeins left in my color... $15/skein.  So much for my yarn diet!

By the time I reached row 96, I had finished the 5th ball of yarn.  This ball made it across just over 10 rounds.  There are 11 rounds + a bind off remaining, not enough for one skein of yarn.  I therefore had to suck it up and purchase that extra skein of yarn.  $14.00 + $4.00 shipping.  (Big Sigh.)  I decided to wait to knit with the 6th skein until the 7th arrived so I could decide if I needed to alternate rounds if the dye jobs were extremely different.  We'll see!

Thankfully when the new skein arrived it looks to be nearly indistinguishable from skein #6.  Phew!  In the end, this project consumed 620 g (744 yards).

6th skein Dye Lot 100070 (bottom) and the 7th skein Dye Lot 100076 (top.)  

Before blocking, the shawl measured 33/34" square.  (I did measure it while on a carpet, so it could have "blocked it" a bit.)  There is a whole at the center from the cast on that I needed to close to weae in loose ends.   I'm blocking the shawl this first time, but I'm glad it looks super cute when unblocked.  I cannot see myself hand washing and blocking the blanket each time the baby spits up on it!   (I will machine wash it closer to when the baby is going to arrive.)  

The shawl gained ~4 inches in each direction with blocking.  I had hoped to use my brand new blocking wires, but the YO holes weren't close enough to the edge to use easily with the wires.  It was really quick work to pin the blanket out.  

I love it!  Now we just need to wait for our little Chirphead to finish growing so we can meet him/her!