Tag Archives: knitting

yet another blanket

It’s clear I have an obsession with making blankets. I really like to curl up in them and am assuming this is why they’ve become my favorite craft project.

IMG_8803_edited-1This is the first blanket I made for Martian. I’m excited it’s one of the few blankets that I’ve made that will stay at our house, as most of them have been gifts. I originally started with cream, gray, and olive. It’s so hard to pick gender neutral colors. Once I got started the olive didn’t feel right so I dropped it and went with just cream and gray. (My photos came out very gray and white, but it’s actually much more cream.)

IMG_8801_edited-1At some point while knitting the blanket I looked at the skein wrapper and realized it was hand wash only yarn. I had just picked the softest yarn I could find at JoAnne’s in colors that I liked. Whoops. Rookie mom mistake. I guess this will be more of a special occasion, photo blanket. I’ve already got a second knit blanket started in washable yarn.

IMG_8806_edited-1I’m still trying to improve proportions. The intended dimensions of this one were 32 x 39 and it turned out to be about 29 x 44. At least I managed to get the stripes going the direction I intended them to go! Here is my model helping to show off the size of the blanket.

IMG_8605_edited-1A few rows in, I realized I was going to have a mess of tails to knit in after I was done. Knitting all the tails in is my least favorite part of knitting by far and I hadn’t thought about how bad it would be by switching colors every two rows. The tails above are just from one gray and one cream stripe. I went in search of a better way and YouTube totally came through. I learned how to knit the tails in while you start the next color. It makes one side of the blanket ever so slightly more bulky, but it’s hard to tell. And very much worth the time savings. Love that I keep learning new techniques with each project.

I was hoping to share some photos of the baby’s room this week, but the awesome solar system mobile I ordered from Pottery Barn turned out to be huge and just didn’t work in the room. (Yes, we’re doing everything in our power to make sure this kid is a nerd.) I’ve moved on to plan B, but it will take a week or so for that to arrive and some time for me to put together and get hung up. Hopefully it will be ready before Martian makes his or her arrival, but I’m not stressing.

Instead a little peak of the blanket in the room, just waiting for it’s person to come home and snuggle. As we all are!

Project: 12/35 (I just turned 34 last Monday which means I have 12 months to complete 23 projects. Yeah.)
Time: 3 months of TV, plane, and road trip time
Tutorial: nothing for the knitting, but I used this video to learn how to knit in the ends as I went
Cost: $30 (six skeins of Paton’s Classic Wool Yarn, on sale for $4.99 each)

blanket redemption


After the blanket beach towel of 2013, I really needed to prove (to myself?) that I could properly knit a blanket. My good friend Alyssa is having a baby in early March and her baby shower is this coming weekend. In need of a good dose of girl time with a few of my favorite ladies, I decided a few weeks ago to fly down. Before the holidays I had started a baby blanket for her as a gift and I’m so excited I’ll get to give this to her in person at her shower.

I wanted something sweet for a baby girl, but not something overwhelmingly pink and purple. I was totally inspired by this color palette from PurlSoho.com. It’s beautiful, but a little out of my price range. Once I’m a better knitter I might splurge on one of their amazing kits, but for this project I went to Jo-Anne’s with this picture in mind and found similar colors in the Vanna White yarn line (I know, really?). But look at that bright pink, it’s so amazing. Someday!


Photo credit: PurlSoho.com


It’s a bit more square than I intended, but square > beach towel, so we’ll call this an improvement. IMG_7812_edited-1

I also learned a ton from my last blanket. All my “seems” (no idea what they are actually called) are on the back side this time. I figured out how to count ridges so each color band is the same width. There are definitely some mistakes and one small hole in the middle pink color, but I’m really proud of it. IMG_7813_edited-1IMG_7810_edited-1

I’m loving knitting because it’s one of the few hobbies that doesn’t take extra time. I knit when we watch TV, fly, or take a long car drive. It’s easy for me to do because I don’t care to knit anything with an actual pattern, so that might be a different story. It’s also a really easy hobby to pick up only when you have time.

Total cost was $31.96, including new needles in the correct size for the yarn.

Total time is a bit of a guesstimate. I didn’t time the whole thing, but on occasion I timed doing one ridge (two rows, one each back and forth). I found that a ridge takes about 15 minutes. Each color had 23 ridges and there are 7 colors. I hesitate the write this because I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying it out, but that puts the total time to about 2,415 minutes, or just over 40 hours. That sounds like a lot of effort but keep in mind it can take you as long as you need and hours sitting in the car, on a plane, or binge watching TV shows really add up.

my first blanket


I finished a big project this weekend – my first knitted blanket. I got into knitting back in 2005 or 2006 when the whole “stitch + bitch” trend hit 20 and 30 something females. I made a few scarves then dropped the hobby for years. As I started having fun crafting this year I decided to try knitting again.IMG_7321_edited-1

This blanket was another idea I found from the enJOY it blog. I really should rename my blog “It is possible for a non-crafty person to recreate Elise’s crafts”. Sort of like the Pinterest Told Me To blog, but mine would be Elise Showed Me How. I loved the simplicity of the blanket and how it required no pattern* and only the garter stitch.


I wasn’t really sure who I was making the blanket for so I went with neutral colors. I think it’s sweet that I thought my first blanket might be gift-worthy. That is so far from the truth. But each hole or wonky spot was definitely a lesson in how to make the next one better. IMG_7333_edited-1

It turned out to be very autumn-ish. I started with the white and it looked very much like candy corn at first. With the addition of the last three colors I think it turned out not too bad. This project was the first time I tried to pick a color palette. It’s not something I’ll ever be great at but I think I’m getting better with practice.IMG_7343_edited-1

So here’s the funny part. When I say no pattern was required, I meant that I didn’t have to follow a certain number of stitches or rows in a specific stitch. It was just all knit/garter stitch. However, I decided that the recommended width was way off. It was my first time knitting with circular needles, which allow you to make something large like a blanket but make it very difficult to visualize the actual width. I cast on an extra 100 stitches. And in the end I ended up with a beach towel shaped blanket.IMG_7339_edited-1

It is supposed to be thick vertical stripes of each color. Instead I have thin horizontal stripes. As I write this it is draped around my shoulders as a shawl. We’ve got our fair share of laughs out of it. IMG_7347_edited-1

It ended up being a six month project. Thanks to Project Life, I know I started in June. Or at least that is the earliest picture I could find of the project. I have no idea how much I spent, but my guess is somewhere around $40. I worked on it mostly while watching TV and I think on a flight to Boston. I love that I created something (somewhat) useful. It also feels great to have a project that’s been sitting around forever completed.