About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Knooked baby blanket: Finished!

In spite of the title, I'm going to backtrack a little to start with. Last time I wrote about knooking, I was just about to try combining crochet with knitting. So how do did I get on?

This was my first attempt:


First attempt at combining knitting/knooking with crochet

Ian looked at this and said, You're not going to use that are you? I looked at it and I had to agree with him. Still, it demonstrated the principle that crochet can be incorporated into knooking work. I was really taken with the crocheted shell shapes that I'd just learnt, so I had another go:


Second attempt

I have to admit it's still a bit wibbly, but I wasn't about to scrap (frog?) another one, so I kept it. After that, I thought maybe I should try learning from someone with a bit more experience, rather than making it up as I went along. Taking inspiration from Ronda's All Twisted Up design, I tried alternating rows of knit and crochet, with some twists on the crochet rows. I've no idea how close it is to the orignal pattern - Ronda's working in 21st century American whereas my terminology, such as it is, is 19th century European. Anyway, I was very pleased with the result:


Twisty knit/crochet knooked square

Finally, I decided to add some crochet decoration to a knitted square, which I suspect is quite common practice amongst people who've never even heard of knooking, but I used the knooking hook throughout.


Balloons, or are they weeds?

My original idea was for a bunch of balloons, but when I showed it to Ian, he said, "Oh, I thought they were weeds." Weeds? OK, maybe they don't look very balloon-y. I'll settle for flowers, then.

I made other squares, too, and ended up with:


Set of knooked squares for baby blanket

You may notice that many, if not all, of these squares are not actually square. In fact, it's possible that no two are exactly the same shape. Fitting them together could be a challenge. But never fear - I had a plan!


Tapestry wool from the bottom of the sewing drawer

Using funky coloured tapestry wools found under sundry embroidery, darning, and other threads (mostly inherited), I would construct small sections of fabric to fill the awkward gaps.

The putting together of this blanket involved much rearrangement of squares, ponderous looking at it and going, "Hmmm." Pebble helped.


Pebble helping with the construction of the baby blanket.

Eventually, I got this (with apologies for the fuzzy photo):


Wonky knooked baby blanket

It was all going so well, right up to the end, which is where the yellow square with weeds meets the pink one at the edge - as if you couldn't tell where the problem is! I really should have unpicked the last bit and done it again. I nearly did. The only thing that stopped me was the nagging feeling that I'd probably introduce another problem, just as bad. Instead, I put it in the washing machine - mainly to check that it is indeed machine washable, as it's pretty useless to my sister if it's not - and tried to persuade it to be a bit flatter as it dried. That didn't make a huge amount of difference, so the finished baby blanket is not entirely blanket shaped.

I'm more worried that the tapestry wool sections will be too scratchy for the baby. The rest is lovely soft fluffy baby wool (most of which is not wool at all) but those bits are actual wool and the contrast in textures is striking.

I do hope it's usable and the baby likes it, but if not, I don't suppose my sister will be too disappointed. I don't think she really expected me to finish it anyway.

4 comments:

  1. That's very impressive, I know very little about knooking and look at all the different patterns you've made. I love the weeds/ balloons ;-) one, I can imagine that being a really dramatic technique on a bag or something! (And it actually doesn't look bad where the yellow square meets the pink one - I had to look twice, I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out!).

    I hope your sister likes it!

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  2. I'd never heard of knooking until I read this so feel as if I've learnt something this morning!
    A bespoke blankie, made with love - what's not to like?

    How would you have managed without all that feline help? :)

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  3. Thanks, Susie :-) This was a great project for playing around with lots of different stitches. When it comes to making clothes, I fear there may be a conflict between what I like to wear and what I like to make, as I favour very plain clothes, so I'll probably get bored long before I finish anything. Maybe I'll end up wearing jumpers with random decoration inserted where I got bored.

    Glad you didn't notice the dodgy join - it's probably just as well I'd parcelled it up before noticing how blurred the picture was!

    ju, I'm always happy to educate! I think knooking's only been around for a year or so - I was quite lucky to come across it when I did (in the wonder that is blogland). I love it - it's so much easier than knitting!

    Pebble also loves it - there's a fast moving stick, lots of dangly things to play with, and soft snuggliness when it's finished!

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  4. I think that it is beautiful, the baby and your sister will love it. We get the croched blankets out every winter and have a good snuggle up. Home-made ROCKS as it has a story and woolly weeds- what more could you wish for?
    Love the fact that the cat helped too :)

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