Sunday, January 2, 2011

Knitting Nautically

 I picked up the Nautical Blanket kit from Knit Picks in May with the intention of finishing it for my in-laws for Christmas.  I figured that would be enough time to finish it, and it truly is the perfect thing for them.

The blanket consists of 30 squares, 26 of them look like the nautical flags of the International Code of Symbols (corresponding to each letter of the alphabet), and 4 squares that have two-colored stars on a white background.  Each square has a border that is knitted on, then they are sewn together.  At least, that's what the pattern calls for.

I knit the squares, off and on, until I finally finished the last one in November.  Instead of knitting on the borders, as the pattern says to, I decided to crochet a narrower border onto each square before sewing them together.  I used a simple whip stitch to sew them all together, and then thought it needed something more.

I had always planned on adding a border around the blanket, as I thought it looked uneven around the edges without one.  Since I was wanting a more finished look, the border was mandatory.  I settled on a simple cabled border that resembles a rope, tying it in with the nautical theme.

I finally got it finished, washed, blocked, wrapped, and ready to ship on the Tuesday before Christmas.  At this point I wasn't sure it would make it there in time, but I headed to FedEx to see what they could do for me.  They gave me an expected delivery date of Christmas Eve, but made no guarantees that it would actually make it.

Each day I anxiously went online, hoping to see that it had arrived.

And on December 24, it did.

They LOVED it!  They called early (for them - different time zone) on Christmas morning to let me know how perfect it was and how much they loved it.  They called it an heirloom, and have it prominently displayed on their front room couch. :D  It is wonderful to create things for people who enjoy them. 

Here are the details:
Neither the pattern or kit are available any longer.  The blanket is made out of Wool of the Andes worsted in the Winter Night (blue), Caution (yellow), Grass (green), Red, and White colorways, using a total of 45 balls of yarn.  Knit on size US 6 needles.  The finished dimensions are 5 feet wide by 6 feet long.  Due to the overall size of the project (could be overwhelming to a novice), and the use of both stranding and intarsia, I would say this project is better suited to advanced intermediate to advanced knitters.  Of course, if you're a fearless beginner, it's great for you too!

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