Friday, April 30, 2010

Taiwan Bulky Blanket

A friend of mine asked me to knit a baby blanket for her niece a while back.  The soon-to-come baby will live in Taiwan and her parents are very into Scubadiving.  S asked me if I could put the PADI Scubadiving symbol on the blanket somehow.

I dragged my feet on accepting this project, it seemed overly complicated and S can be a little hard to please.  At the same time though, she was SO excited and just wanted to be able to do send this to her little niece.  She asked that the blanket be blue, with the red logo.  I'm pretty sure she wanted to globe behind the diver, but I put my foot down and only promised the diver.

I chose the Bulky Baby Blanket pattern by Whitney Van Nes of The Purl Bee and CO using Spud & Chloë Outer (after all, someone else was buying the yarn!).  

The main blanket went fast on 9.0 mm needles.  Even the border went fairly quickly.  I made the border a little thinner than in the pattern (only increased once) and only ended up using one skein of the Spud & Chloë Sweater. 

When it came to adding the image, I scratched my head and thought for a while.  I had known it would be difficult to chart the image, which is why I didn't knit it in to begin with.  Duplicate stitch didn't seem like a better option.

I finally settled on using some felted sweater scraps and appliqué-ing the image onto the blanket.  I spent all night last night doing that.

What I love about doing the appliqué is that the blanket is now totally reversible.  There isn't a wrong side of the scuba diver, just a lovely blank sea of seed stitch. I appliquéd carefully so that my red thread didn't end up on the back of the blanket at all.

The appliqué-ing was quite tedious.  There were a lot of little pieces and they would stretch out of shape if I wasn't careful.  There were also little gaps to be left in between each piece and the overall image to replicate.

After I had done it all, I stepped back a bit and had my husband compare the image.  He pointed out a few areas to tweak.  I'd add a tiny piece of sweater, or carefully cut some away.  The final step was taking one strand of the Outer and stitching around a few of the red pieces to seperate them a little from the piece around them and to add a little definition.  One strand of outer tends to just pull apart, so this had to be done carefully and all ends had to be carfully sewn in too.

I chose to place the diver as though he is swimming up into the blanket and overall I am very happy with what I achieved with this blanket.  Am I happy to have it done, of course!  Would I commit to something like this again, I doubt it.

Project page Here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Melissa! You did an amazing job! What a wonderfully creative solution to your dilemma. Your applique diver is fantastic! I am so impressed! :)