Thanks to everyone who gave their opinions on the design options for the Saints themed blanket I’m planning for my sister. The Double Irish Chain was the clear favorite.
Last week, I knew the blanket would be expensive but hadn’t actually priced it out. I soon discovered that I would have to spend about $270 in supplies if I followed my original plan and made it with Cascade 220 Superwash. I love my sister, but yikes! I needed to economize.
You may already be familiar with Smiley’s Yarns, the discount yarn heaven of Queens (reviewed by me in my Visitor’s Guide to NYC Yarn Shops). By some miracle, Smiley’s was having one of its famous store yarn sales last week, so I took the 75 minute subway ride to the store, hoping to find a real bargain.
I was able to pick up about 40 skeins of this washable wool, Pure Washable Merino from Filatura Lanarota, in Natural and Black. Though each skein is about 1/2 the yardage of the Cascade 220 Superwash, I still saved significantly after calculating the total yardage.
Of course, Smiley’s didn’t have a “Saints gold” color available, so I had to do some re-design on my Double Irish Chain so that the gold would be the least used color.
I’m hoping that KnitPicks Swish in Gold is a close match to the Saints gold. Otherwise, I’ll end up buying the Cascade 200 Superwash in 877.
With most of the yarn in hand, the blanket became real to me and then the inevitable panic set in. How could I possibly make a double bed sized blanket in time for the holidays given all the other things going on in my life in November and December? In response to this question, two crochet celebrities paid my inbox a visit. Laurie Wheeler, the Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front, included some holiday crafting tips in the CLF newsletter. She reminded us that as the holidays approach, we shouldn’t make promises (we can’t keep), nor should we injure ourselves crocheting like fiends (as I have occasionally done in years gone by). Doris Chan wrote about Crochet Marathoning this week, reminding us to know our limits and pace ourselves.
I decided that a more reasonable self-imposed deadline for this blanket would Super Bowl Sunday. If I approach this blanket like a quilt (since I’m using a classic quilt pattern) instead of like a granny blanket, I have to make 15 blocks for a double bed size. (Sounds less horrific than 375 granny squares, doesn’t it?) If I make 1-1/2 blocks each week, I should be able to finish the blanket in time. I’m working each block as 25 join-as-you-go granny squares (3 rounds each).
Now that I had a more reasonable timeline, I decided a comfort hook (allowing me to complete this project without cramped hands) was in order. So I stopped by Knitty City (also reviewed by me in my Visitor’s Guide to NYC Yarn Shops), and picked up a Tulip Etimo just for this project.
And speaking of all the other things going on in my life in November and December, I got an awesome yarn delivery yesterday. I mentioned last week that I was going to be collaborating with a yarn company. I will be working with Galler Yarns to publish some free patterns through their Facebook page and blog. I didn’t get a chance to take pictures since I got home pretty late, but I’m loving the colors. I’ll be starting my first project with Heather Prime Alpaca in 207 which is a purple heather. I got a laugh out of MC by rubbing the skein on my face (hey, it’s super soft!) before winding it. I’m looking forward to sharing the patterns with you as soon as they are written up and tested.
For more Works in Progress, visit Tami’s Amis.