Not Frogged

This post is for the knitters, and for moms with baby blanket experience.  I need a little advice.

DSC01939Several months ago, I cast on for Serenity and it was a very happy start.

Oh – wait.  This is an I’m done with it report, not a finished object report, just to be clear.

I was using Caron One Pound, because I knew a sturdy acrylic was necessary for the household where this was supposed to be going to live.   Never again.  I’m sure the yarn was part of the problem; it REALLY hurt my hands.  Now, I’m no yarn snob.  There’s a time and a place for just about every yarn on the market, but this one’s time and place is going to have to be somewhere I’m not.

I used a size 6 Hiya Hiya circular needle, and THAT is where I think I went wrong.  The #6 was great for the start – actually, I crocheted the ring in the center, but you can see any of my crocheted in the round FO reports for more info on that – but given that I was using an acrylic and one can’t REALLY block acrylics, I think I used have switched to a #7 at some point.

October 2010 012

What say you?  That’s as blocked as the baby can get.  Now granted, there’s some puckering around the outside edge because I bound off immediately after a cable, because I’d had enough, and yet, I was fond enough of the pattern that I couldn’t just frog it.  I had originally intended to gift it to Gretchen as a crate pad, but I discovered that it is just the right size to drop over bare feet in this season of transition from sandals to socks. 

Now, here’s the question.  Is a fancy, cabled blankie that needs blocking a less than ideal gift for the average mom?  I’m thinking that regardless of the fiber content, most moms want a machine wash and dry and use kinda’ blanket.  I don’t want any of my blankets to ever end up on a top closet shelf because they aren’t practical.

This is REALLY important to me right now, because one of my nearest and dearests is expecting #3.  She is the sort who will treasure, use and properly care for whatever I give her, but since this will be her third child under the age of 4, I want to make the right blanket.

DSCN1049

Baby #1 Blanket, 2008

DSC00936

Baby #2 blanket, August 2009

I’m hoping for a girl, but they aren’t finding out this time either, so I’m thinking I’ll knit in a red of some sort this time…  just because that seems right.

Thanks in advance for your input!

18 comments on “Not Frogged

  1. Nichole says:

    I’m thinking they want the wash & wear type… no fussy blocking…

  2. km says:

    I should take the time to photograph all our well loved blankies. All were acrylic. All were knit by my Gram except the last one for 5 that my Gram’s friend crocheted while Gram was undergoing chemo. There are some lace lace patterns and while people report that lace is bad for little fingers, my kiddos all liked to intertwine their fingers with yarn. I’m off to the library as a mid morning errand, but I might be able to photograph some later today…and don’t worry…this is something I should do incase any of those blankies are lost in a house fire.

  3. gMarie says:

    I think in a really soft acrylic that lovely cabled blanket will be fine. Use a needle that lets the cables shine and doesn’t suck in too much. It’ll be wash and use and you won’t need to block.

    I say go for it. Knit what you love. I knit that round blankie (#1) out of Cascade Quatro and I did block it before gifting, but I know it’s been washed, dried and thrown around since then.

    they are meant to be loved and look like carp within about 6 years, anyway – right? g

  4. Marjie says:

    What G said. I think the cable blanket is beautiful, and, frankly, if it doesn’t lay flat, no big deal. The kid isn’t flat either. Many of my handmade baby blankies have ruffly edges, and who cares whether it’s by design or by accident? The fact that someone cared enough to make me something is absolutely all that matters.

  5. Uh huh..what gMarie and Marjie said. Knit what you love, and don’t worry about the blocking thing…I seriously cannot imagine blocking a blanket at all, much less one that will likely be babies favorite, and could not be parted with for that long!

  6. anniebananie says:

    Go with something washable – what about superwash wool instead of acrylic or a blend? And I love the cable blanket. Adorable. Could you put a crochet border around it to help with the curling?

  7. AlisonH says:

    I would say microfiber super-soft acrylics, but then I’m doing a Malabrigo Rios superwash wool for my own grandson-on-the-way. Blocking is for a christening gown type object, the day to day stuff will be loved just as it is.

    By the way, that lace pattern has long been on my to-do list for an eventual afghan. I love it.

  8. OKay Tom must not only be master blocker but magician, he blocked my new Dai Teiru shawl which was made from Caron One Pound also and it blocked really well

    I would think though a good Superwash wool will fill the bill on the new baby blanket i too have used Rios, and i have some Elann superwash that worked well for me.

    I also used Paton’s Look at Me (discontinued but still out there on ebay) and Bernat’s Softee which is good in a pinch!

  9. Michelle says:

    Make something washable and durable, but pretty and not too complicated. New mom will be thrilled with whatever you make!

  10. Blond Duck says:

    Red is very Christmasy! 🙂

  11. Amy says:

    When I knit for babies, be it a blanket or socks or a sweater, I never use acrylic. It may be cheap, but I’m paranoid, as I’ve heard that it isn’t fire-safe. Now, I may be wrong … feel free to correct me. But I’m just a worry-wort.

    I really like baby blankets that are round. There is just something about a pin-wheel that I love!

  12. Sue says:

    Little kids love to drag their favorite blanket around thru grass and mud and whatever so something washable is most important. I say make what you like, but make it easy to clean.

  13. Kathy says:

    It is a beauty but I agree the #6 needles with this yarn is a pain to the hands.
    I think you’re on the right track thought about a new mother blocking a baby blanket. While a fancy blanket is appreciated most moms(that I know) appreciate an easy care garment/blanket.
    Cast on something fun and enjoy the knit, I’m sure it will be appreciated.

    p.s. Gypsy wants to know why you’re keeping the cable pad when Gretchen truly deserves it? LOL

  14. Knittysue says:

    20 years ago I knitted practical blankets for my triplet nieces..to this day they still use and love the heck out of them. I think because I used acrylic and they are washable is probably why they’ve been so loved. With my grandson my daughter needs washable only also. My sister has a hand wash and block blankie from her daughter that is yup in the closet for special use only. I’m making diagonal baby blanket out of various Lion homespuns that I have for my granddaughters and made a square version for my grandson for Christmas.
    Love the blanket you made..I’m not brave enough for one of those yet.
    Have a great day….

  15. Dianne says:

    My next baby blanket for a very special baby will be this one:

    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lullaby-blanket

    (Hope the link works.)

  16. lacey says:

    Well I don’t know if this is the best advice, but it is a suggestion. I think last year I knit a Niece in Law a Harry Potter scarf. Since finances were tight and I knew she would not know the difference I picked up some caron or red heart, i’m not even sure which. The yarn was ruff and lumpy after it was finished. I knew it wouldn’t block being acrylic so I used a steam iron on it. Well I had to use an iron to iron the gryffindor patch on. Is kind of melted together making is look and feel soooooo much better. So you could try steam ironing it. But that is not to say that it would ruin it or not. Again this is not advice, just a suggestion.

  17. Bubblesknits says:

    Yes…wash and wear. No blocking. And nothing too lacy that baby can get it’s wee fingers/hands tangled in. I had a horrible experience with DL and a lacy handmade blankie. A strand from one of the open eyelets got wrapped tightly around one of her fingers and cut off the circulation. It was wrapped so tightly that we had to cut it off. Still don’t know how she did it, but babies are weird that way. lol

  18. Margaret says:

    Ditto what Lacey said. You can pin it out and block acrylic with heat, just enough to “kill” the memory in the yarn that makes it scrunchy, but not enough to melt it. Once heat blocked it should stay that way even if washed. But, I’d swatch it to check how much heat to use. It’s pretty, looks like a nice cozy car seat size.

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