The words "I'm done!" have become almost a weekly challenge for me to finish projects begun. I know when the weather encourages me to move to larger projects like full-sized blankets or possibly an intricate design, finishing a project each week isn't likely going to be a reasonable expectation. But in these early weeks and months of this year's Year of Projects blog challenge I'm liking the motivation it's providing.
So...once again... I'm done! With the Octagon Baby Blanket I started early last week.
The picture above is an accurate representation of the colors and tones of the yarns used in this blanket. Other pictures are edited to get them close to correct - just to explain some variations in tone and lighting.
I have not figured out a way to get an attractive picture of the whole blanket spread out (when I manage to get the whole thing in one shot it seems anticlimactic somehow), so hopefully I've captured the essence of the octagonal shape and managed a little intrigue.
I had to tweak the instructions a bit at the section breaks (it just wasn't as intuitive to me as it seemed to be for others who had previously crocheted this blanket and created project pages on Ravelry), but once I got something figured out that worked for me it became a very simple and intuitive pattern to work.
In fact, except for having to count the stitches each time I finished a row in a section, it was pretty mindless.
One might say...a tad...monotonous. ;^) Every single stitch is a double crochet. I find that patterns like this are perfect for creating a sort of meditative and peaceful space. A perfect thing to do during periods of stress. Not that I am under stress presently. Just sayin'....
I decided to edge the blanket with a simple scallop edging. I think it creates a sweet edge without being feminine, or even obvious.
And now, in the spirit of sharing with my fellow YOPers my progress on personal challenges, I present my first knitting attempt. It's embarrassing, and awful, but I look forward to coming back to this post - months (or maybe years) from now and seeing the progress I've made.
You are free to laugh. In fact, I insist that you do. Believe me, I have to laugh at this or I might just cry:
As is, I'm going to have to challenge myself to keep picking up my knitting needles to practice because my overwhelming inclination after knitting the above swatch is to simply give up.
While some of the process came back to me (I had knitted once upon a time as a teen), I found it impossible to keep a consistent tension and have no idea where some of those stitches disappeared to. It didn't help, I suppose, that I kept switching back and forth between Continental and English, but my lands....look at that mess! lol And the edges are just depressing on the stockinette part. They don't show because they curl under, but all of my edge stitches are loose and loopy. Hopefully through practice I can conquer that, but I found that the most discouraging thing of all.
And don't get me started on purling Continental-style. Let's just say...it seemed to me much like trying to eat ice cream with a fork while standing on my head must be. It is not natural. Knitting Continental-style wasn't too hard for me, but purling holding the yarn in my left hand... On my.
I imagine I'll be practicing knitting squares and rectangles for some time. I'll make it a goal of mine to post a monthly (at least) picture of my knitting progress. I see a lot of dishcloths and scarves in my near future.
Speaking of scarves, here is a progress picture of the latest linen stitch scarf I began crocheting this past week. I think combining the nothing-in-common-colors of yarns is making an interesting looking scarf for autumn.
That's what I'm telling myself, anyway. The bright riot of colors in the one yarn would, no doubt, create an attractive crocheted or knitted fabric, but I rather like how the muted tones of the blue and beige colors of the other yarn tones down the loudness of the first yarn. And yet, the end result is still fun and cheery. This was a project that was purely for the experiment of seeing how these two somewhat disparate colors and tones would work together (or not).
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