This is the introduction of another knitting project for Nikki. I’m currently in the process of writing up my thesis for my PhD so I am spending most of my days sat in my desk infront of my computer screens. Although it is all optimised for use it’s still a lot of screentime, so Pippa suggested I start a knitting project that I can work a little each day as a break/relaxation in the evenings away from my computer.
Enter…the Lounge blanket project! This is by far the largest knitting project I have undertaken, in fact I think it might be larger than every knitting project I have ever done before combined…But everyone likes a challenge, right…
Pippa did a bit of a search on ravelry for me looking for some blanket designs that could be used, or inspire another pattern. I quite like cables in knitted blankets as I like shapes created by them, so I was pretty certain I would have some cables in mine.
This braided cable pattern from Bernat looks rather nice and ticked my boxes for cables. Although Pippa suggested that I might prefer a raised cable more similar to the plait than the narrow cable they had. But this will probably be the main inspiration for my pattern.
The next decision…what wool do I want? I looked on woolwarehouse for super chunky wool (I don’t still want to be knitting this in a decade) I wasn’t quite sure what colour I wanted though, I want it to match in with a colour scheme, but I don’t really have a colour scheme in the kitchen currently, or in my bedroom. The lounge has a colour scheme of peach walls, red feature wall and various woods and now a brown leather sofa… so there are lots of different colours. I looked for a beige/cream/peach colour that might match in with the walls, but didn’t find anything I liked really.
So I looked at red colours to match in with the feature wall, but trying to match what the image on the screen is, to what the wool might look like and then to what the feature wall is painted is quite difficult… I eventually narrowed it down to 2 balls which I bought to swatch up. These were the Drops Andes in Red (3946) and Robin super chunky in Claret (0032). The Drops Andes is a 65% wool, 35% alpaca mix which was conveniently 35% off this month, and the Robin super chunky is 100% acrylic.
Drops Andes – Red
Robin super chunky – Claret
Now on the screen these don’t look too different… but in person they are very different. The Drops Andes is much browner, rusty red whereas the Robin super chunky is much more vibrant like a traffic light. Both wools feel quite nice but the Drops Andes is a much better colour match for the feature wall.
I decided to swatch up the Drops Andes with a similar pattern to the Bernat blanket. I decided on a 3 cable pattern with borders to show the different styles. The three cables were a 2 strand raised cable, a 3 strand raised braided cable (cable B from the pattern) and a 3 strand flat braided cable (cable A from the pattern).
Long tail cast on – 34 stitches (9mm needles)
Garter stitch bottom border (6 rows)
Increased 9 times
2* 8 row cable repeats with 4 stitch wide seed stitch border (2 strand cable, cable panel B, cable panel A)
Cable panel A switched out to 5 stitch wide seed stitch panel with 1 knit and 2 purl border.
Switched to 10mm needles
One side seed border changed to garter stitch.
2* 8 row cable repeats
Decreased 6 stitches
6 * seed stitch top border
I-cord bind off
29.5cm wide (width of 9mm section)
26cm tall (full swatch)
34.5 cm wide (width of 9mm section)
30.5 cm tall (full swatch)
I really like the 2 strand cable and the cable panel B. I think these will work really well together. I also quite like the seed stitch panel with the knit border. The I-cord bind off will probably also feature in the final blanket pattern.
I would like it though if I could have a matching cast-on and also binding on the sides of the blanket. I looked up a few methods, finding the I-cord cast on was easy enough, but the I-cord binding was much more difficult. Most of the bindings aren’t knitted in situ.
I tried another swatch with a few different methods of i-cord binding. None look particularly amazing, at least not from both sides. I’ll have to look into it a bit more, although the cast-on and bind-off are looking fairly decent.
The next big stage is to calculate how much wool I will need, order that and get started on the full sized pattern that I’ll be knitting it from! I definitely want to make sure I’m prepared though, so I don’t muck up a massive project with some stupid mistakes.