Forgive the heavy-photo post...
What? Don't you want to see the baby blankets from all different angles? :)
After staying up very very late on Friday evening (or oops...I guess that was technically Saturday) and knitting first thing on Saturday morning (after a few winks), I managed to finish both blankets by the afternoon. Of course, I wished that my fingers were faster, that my neck didn't ache as much from holding it in one position for hours on end and that the 2nd blanket had come together more quickly than it did, but at least they are done and hopefully enjoying their new home. Oh, and I was able to 'watch' the entire Victoria and Albert series as well as Girl of the Limberlost while knitting. Both are wonderful, by the way.
The Cuddly Cotton Baby Blanket pattern is basically your standard washcloth pattern but larger and with a frilled edging. It starts at one point and progresses to the other point with increases and decreases in between. Both blankets are about 25" square with the border included.
Aren't stripes fun and cheerful? When my children were younger, I used to dress them in stripes galore, and we were dubbed the 'stripe family' by a friend's 3-year old. Was it that obvious? The stripe phase finally ebbed when at one point, my oldest asked me NOT to buy him any more striped shirts, please. (He's now okay with stripes once again!) Anyway, back to the blankets... I decided to make the color striping random. Or to put it another way...planned randomness. (hmm...I guess it's not random anymore?) I liked varying the widths since I think it gave the pattern more interest. What do you think?
While I like the original suggested ruffly edging, I chose to use an attached i-cord edging instead. I really like the way this looks. This 3-part tutorial for applying i-cord was very helpful in figuring this out. But first I had to remind myself on how to cast on provisionally using waste yarn using this video.
I really like how the i-cord finishes the blanket. Picking up stitches along the edges however proved a tad more difficult than the above tutorial showed - mainly because the piece was knitted on the 'diagonal' rather than a straight square or rectangle. I learned that it's not only important to use a needle 2 sizes larger for the i-cord than for the blanket portion but also to keep your stitches loose so that it doesn't make the blanket pucker.
The 'wrong side' (on the right) of the blanket is just as interesting as the right side (on the left). The yarn is Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. I was hoping to knit with wool but wasn't sure how tender preemie baby skin would take to wool. So I chose the cotton blend. It washes well, has a good 'spring' to it and is soft (somewhat) and squishy.
The only thing I wished I had looked at before finishing the 1st blanket, was how to weave in cotton ends. Unlike wool which has fibers that blend easily together with a little friction and whose ends can be hidden more, the cotton was difficult to hide. I'm a little worried that the red and gray blanket might unravel a bit. So with the 2nd blanket (the aqua and white), I found this video from verypink to be helpful.
Have you tried weaving in cotton ends? Any tips?