Today I am super pleased to share that I finished the big white blanket.
The pattern is a very old one from Patons. Like the original pattern suggests, I knit the shawl in 3ply, but instead of using Patons I used Bendigo Woollen Mills in Luxury 3ply in Frost (about 180g of a 200g ball). I used 4mm needles.
There were a few things that I did in this shawl that I would do differently if I did it again. When I cast the shawl on, I had just moved and I didn't know where any of my crochet hooks were (I still don't - I ended up buying a new set). Therefore, I used Tin Can Knits' directions for a circular cast on that uses knitting needles instead of crochet hooks to do Emily Ocker's cast-on. I'm sure the fault is with me and not the instructions but my cast-on is really loose and looks a bit gappy in the middle of the shawl. I wish I'd waited till the crochet hooks arrived and I'd started the way I'm more familiar with.
The construction of the shawl is quite easy. In the centre panel, you increase eight stitches every second row until you have 220 odd stitches. You then use the principle of the Pi Shawl and double the amount of stitches in one row and then just knit until you get to the edging, so there are no increases in the feather and fan pattern at all. While I was knitting that section, I used four stitch markers, with one marking each quarter of the shawl. That was super useful and allowed me to catch mistakes when they happened. Then, once you have finished knitting the 440-odd stitch rows to the desired length, you knit about an 880ish row knitted on border.
I hated knitting that border. Flipping a giant blanket back and forth every eight stitches almost 900 times was not fun! I powered through most of it in a few marathon podcast sessions (thank you Knitting Go - the first and only video podcast I have ever watched but I wouldn't have been able to finish without it) and ended up three stitches short. I knew I'd started with the correct amount of stitches, so I'd obviously lost three stitches along the way. The thought of undoing the border made me want to cry so I just fudged it and hoped they weren't very important stitches. Once I blocked it, it was pretty easy to see each of the three stitches I dropped (in the middle right and bottom right of the above picture). However, since the recipient is a non-knitter and so they won't know it's a mistake, I've decided to call it a design feature and let it go.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. It looks all pretty and shawl-y now it's blocked and stretched but, once it's been washed a few times, it'll be soft and round and more blanket-like, which is perfect for a baby's security blanket. I just hope the mum-to-be (since she's American, really mom-to-be) likes the Bubbles Baby Shawl as much as I do.