I’m not sure what to call the wedding blanket for my sister. It’s not quite a labour of love – I quite enjoyed most of it. And it wasn’t a gauntlet thrown down to challenge me. I suppose in all honesty it was a little bit like a game of patience and a test for my nerves of steel!
So to recap, in case you haven’t been following it, it all started back in mid-September. I sought your help in choosing a pattern, hit on Nicky Epstein’s Tree of Life blanket and cast on. I picked an oatmeal coloured alpaca aran blend.
Unbridled excitement at the beginning of a long journey
After completing the first set of Trees of Life, I hit on a snag. Despite ordering more yarn than I have ever done for one project, I calculated that I was severely short for the size of the blanket I intended to make. I also added another repeat (total of five pairs of Trees) so it was really quite a wide blanket. The supplier had run out of the alpaca. Minor panic ensued. Somewhat daunted, I picked another colour from my stash – a cocoa coloured 100% British wool aran. Boldly, I went ahead.
The complete pattern
Very glad I persevered if only for the fact that I have no idea what I would have done otherwise with so much of oatmeal coloured alpaca! I gave myself a target of 15 cms a month plus a month for the edging. I made such good progress that I had time off for good behaviour in November and December.
Two repeats done
After Christmas, I gave myself over to the project again. It had become a bit of a chore. By this stage I was carrying around a weekend bag of unfinished blanket just to work on it on my commute. I started feeling that I deserved the title of “mad knitting woman”.
And then it was done. Quite quickly as it turned out.
Not to be accused of being easy, I didn’t want to add the leaf edging suggested in the pattern. I thought a simple knitted edging would work. It didn’t. So I added a three row crochet edging with a picot corner.
I’m glad the wedding doesn’t have to be postponed as the present is not finished :) This is the single largest item I have ever made and it is quite an achievement. After 144 flowers in the Flower Garden and 15 pairs of Trees of Life, the blanket is complete. It’s about 175 cms long and 155 cms wide. It took 10 weeks or so of commuting and weekend knitting, over 70,000 stitches. Much thought about life, love, marriage and all those things that flit through my mind when I knit. I hope my sister has the best day for her wedding and a husband who loves and cares for her all her life. And my blanket, as company.
And me – I’m planning a bigger and much more colourful blanket for our new house. Suggestions welcome!