theraineysisters knitting and so much more

October 25, 2009

From Sally — Blanket Excuse

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Tweed Baby Blanket — surly @ 12:56 pm

I’m supposed to be doing many things: writing up the Topsy Turvy Moebius Pattern (coming soon), working on my Christmas knitting (is it really almost November?), writing, making my son work on his college essays, cleaning, etc. Instead, I got distracted and knit something that wasn’t on “the list.”

A couple of years ago, some friends had their first baby and I knit them a wonderful fair isle baby blanket. They’re expecting again in early December, and I wasn’t planning on knitting something for the second baby but then I started — as a middle child — to feel a bit guilty. Didn’t this baby deserve a blanket all her own? I didn’t have time to knit one as complicated as the one I’d done the first time, so I made a quick little Tweed Baby Blanket, designed by Jared Flood.

I know they’re expecting a girl, so I hunted in my stash and found two colors of Rowan’s Cash Cotton: purple and pink. Soooo girlie. But those were my daughter’s favorite colors until about the age of five or six, so I figured I couldn’t go too wrong.

Here’s the finished product.

As I often do, I made a slight change to the pattern. This change was necessitated by my crappy knitting. Really. I had finished the blanket and picked up stitches all around it for the border. My pick up was horrible. Truly horrible. See:

Look at that edge. Ghastly. I think the problem was that in order to get the proper drape for the blanket, I used a 7 U.S. needle. That’s fine, but it made the edge floppy. Usually, when I pick up along garter stitch, I pick up in the “nubs,” but that didn’t quite work here because of how many stitches I needed to pick up. I tried to pretend I could live with it, but I couldn’t. I would have been embarrassed to gift this blanket with that sloppy looking edge.

To correct the problem, I picked up my stitches in the blanket fabric. That give me a very nice, firm defined edge. However, doing that kind of pick up means that the pick up is not at all attractive on the wrong side of the blanket. Although this blanket isn’t completely reversible, I wanted it to look nice on both sides.

I purled my first row to better mimic the border’s lace pattern and to disguise the pick up. Then, after knitting two or three rows in stockinette, I took a new ball of yarn and a new needle and picked up all the way around again in the purl bump of my pick up on the wrong side of the blanket.

If you look carefully at those pictures, you can see that I picked up by going from the top of the stitch into the bottom (the opposite of what I would usually do) so that it would look as if I had purled a row. That way, it matched the right side. I then purled several rounds to create stockinette stitch. I now had two stockinette facings surrounding the edge of the blanket.

On the next row, I knit the two facings together by putting the needle through one stitch from each facing and then knitting them as one stitch.

This is how it looked when I completed that row:

And here is the wrong side of the completed border.

It’s a nice easy way to create a finished facing. It would work well on a sweater knit in fine yarn.

28 Comments »

  1. From Susan — Very nice finished edge!!

    Comment by lv2knit — October 25, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  2. Beautiful serendipity! So interesting how a so-called “mistake” is often the beginning of something great! And that children is why we love to knit.

    Comment by shawlwoman — October 25, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  3. Very nice finished.

    Comment by Samy — October 25, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  4. Lovely blanket, and great technical tips too. Maureen Mason-Jamison uses a a related technique for the inside of collars and for finishing steek edges.

    Comment by Laura — October 25, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

  5. I learned something!!! I’m so excited. Wouldn’t that make a great hem on a sweater too?

    Comment by Maria — October 25, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

  6. What a GREAT idea. I never like the borders on my blankets for the same reason. This gives a great finish!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Deb in PA — October 25, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

  7. HI…when is ‘soon’??? I know I sound like a 5 y.o. but I’m anxious to get started on your moebius pattern – it’s the prettiest I’ve seen and believe me, I’ve scoured ravelry and elsewhere……please be soon ‘soon’….thanks!…Ruth

    Comment by Ruth — October 25, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  8. This is a great technique, and you illustrated it so very clearly. I’ve used it to encase steek edges, too. The blanket is lovely, and the colors are highly likely to be adored.

    Comment by twinsetellen — October 25, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

  9. Awesome! Thank you for sharing the technique, I’ve noticed that beautiful edge right away and wondered how it was done. Thank you!

    Comment by Julia — October 25, 2009 @ 8:57 pm

  10. I like that! The blanket is wonderful, and the extra weight on the edging will help it drape even better. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Lisle — October 25, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  11. I just finished an on-the-bias baby blanket with a similar problem. Thank you so much for the helpful tip- for next time!

    Comment by Rosemarie — October 25, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

  12. Very clever! And the colors are terrific. Thanks for the great explanation on how you pulled it together.

    Comment by Wendy O'C — October 26, 2009 @ 6:15 am

  13. That is a very cool trick! Why didn’t I think of that?! Thanks!

    Comment by Liesl — October 26, 2009 @ 8:28 am

  14. What an inspired technique. One to remember.

    Comment by LOWL — October 26, 2009 @ 8:28 am

  15. Impressive!

    Comment by queenie — October 26, 2009 @ 9:59 am

  16. So clever! nice tidy edge.

    Comment by lilly — October 26, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  17. What a beautiful blanket! And thanks for sharing such a great tip. :-)

    Comment by Kym — October 26, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

  18. I am terrible at picking up stitches neatly so I’ll file this away for later use. Thanks!

    Comment by MaureenTakoma — October 26, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  19. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing the careful details of this wonderful finishing technique.

    Comment by Jennied — October 26, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  20. Holy Moly! That’s an impressive finish. I think I’m too lazy to be so fastidious. Well done!

    Comment by Valerie — October 26, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

  21. Yikes! That is absolutely incredible! Thanks for sharing such a cool technique. It looks absolutely fantastic.

    Comment by delores — October 26, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  22. I like it! I can think of all sorts of uses for it.

    Comment by 2muchfun — October 26, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

  23. How clever! A beautifully executed finish! Bravo!

    Comment by Susan — October 26, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

  24. I’ve done a similar finish on the top edge of a striped knit-from-the-top triangular shawl. My concept was to hide the bad edge *and* all the ends from the color changes. I just grafted the two sides together — but it looks even better with the edge knitted after. I’m about to try it on the bottom edge of a sweater I knit where the garter stitch bottom keeps flipping up… Thanks!

    Comment by Mary — October 27, 2009 @ 8:46 am

  25. That’s a great technique and was shown to me by a machine knitter, who uses it often. It can look even better if you use the same colour yarn as the blanket to pick up and knit the first few rows, as any unevenness is hidden in the shadows.

    I use a crochet hook to pick up from the edge, and work a single crochet before transferring to the hook; it binds the edge, almost like a hemming stitch, and has no wrong side.

    Comment by Catherine — October 27, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

  26. Ingenious! I love it! That is a technique that I will copy.

    Comment by Astrid — October 28, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

  27. This is brilliant! I love the way you solved this problem that bugs so many of us. Thanks for the great pictures, too, they really help us visual types.

    Comment by Valerie — October 29, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

  28. Love your teaching, with instructive photo accompaniment, of this wonderful finishing technique: thank you so very much.

    Comment by Linda — November 7, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

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