Rhymes With Fuchsia

Thursday, March 20, 2008

F is for Friends

When I first took up knitting seriously, it was mostly a solitary pastime, a way to keep from going completely loony while sitting by Taz's hospital bed or during his radiation treatments. Now and then hospital staff or other parents would pass by and comment on whatever I was working on, but I never found anyone else knitting at the same time I was.

How times have changed. I now belong to four knitting groups, not counting the one I never go to or the fact that knitting appears whenever two or more of us meet. So it wasn't much of a surprise that when Ruth announced that she was expecting, a plan for a baby blanket was soon afoot.


Since I volunteered to crochet the blanket together, I collected the squares: some were handed to me furtively, "quick, before she shows up," some appeared in my mailbox, and of course there were the two I made myself. It was awe-inspiring to watch it all come together.

At the top left is Jen's square, a mitered seed-stitch pattern. I think she held two yarns together to create the depth of color.

Anne makes the most gorgeous felted bags you've ever seen, complete with whimsical touches outside and satin lining inside, but, go figure, she was a bit nervous about trying lace. Not surprisingly, her feather and fan is splendid.

On the top right is my crocheted square. I don't think it's ever too early to start diversity training. The pattern is a very simple one, just a series of crochet stitches of different heights (height being the main distinguishing mark of the various basic crochet stitches) from the Ultimate Sourcebook of Knit and Crochet Stitches.

Directly below the crocheted square is Lauren's square. She adapted the heart pattern from another blanket she had made. Lauren is amazing: more about her in a minute.

Lynne's square is to the left of Lauren's, simple stockinette in soft and extremely pink Ultra Alpaca. It lights up the blanket the way Lynne lights up a room.

Next to Lynne's square and right below Jen's is Manise's, done in beautiful reversible knit and purl oblongs.

Amy's square is right below Manise's. I wish I'd taken a picture from a different angle so you could see this row better, because they're all great. Amy's is done in a knit-purl diamond pattern.

Dale's square also features hearts; she and Lauren managed to do two different and gorgeous heart patterns without ever talking about it. Serendipity is a wonderful thing.

Chris used another knit-purl diamond pattern, but her square is in variegated yarn with lots of pinks and purples in it. She managed to find a yarn that included pretty much every color in the blanket; this too was quite unplanned.

On the lower right is Kathleen's square, which I think might be Malabrigo. (Kathleen loooves Malabrigo. Well, don't we all?) It's very soft, anyway. The pattern is a knit-purl basketweave.

Liz designed a gorgeous cabled square. This is the back of it. Poor planning on my part, I know, but you can always scroll down.

And finally, my double-knit initial square. (In real life the blank space has an initial in it, but the WoolyBabe prefers to travel incognita.) We will not speak of how long it took me to realize that if you do an initial square in your basic reversible double knitting, the initials will be backwards on one side, unless you're doing something like MWM in block letters. Alas, the WoolyBabe was not considerate enough to have symmetrical initials, so I learned how to do nonreversible double knitting, that is different color patterns on the two faces. (It's really not that hard. Should you be desperately interested, check out the Ravelry double-knitting group, or ask and I'll try to explain it without sounding like a mistranslation from the Japanese.)

I mentioned that Lauren is amazing. She actually learned to crochet because she didn't want me to get stuck doing all of the edging and assembly. And a good thing, too, because, due to my gross underestimate of the time needed to put everything together, we were late for the baby shower as it was. Thanks, Lauren! I owe you one.

In fact, all of these women are pretty amazing, Ruth included, and I'm honored to share a blanket and a knitting group (or two or three) with them.


See you on the flip side, ladies.

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