Monday, April 16, 2007

With a Little Help from My Friends

It takes a strong person to admit they need help. A few months before my pregnant knitter friend's due date, she called to ask for help. She'd purchased several skeins of a yarn she LOVED to make a blanket for her baby. Now that she was well into her pregnancy, she realized she was running out of time and would likely never finish it and would I please help her. Of course, I accepted the task. It sounded so easy....the main component was a garter stitch piece all in one color....then an easy border in a contrasting color...
Just after I accepted this task, new babies starting coming at me from all directions, so it was many hats & bootees later when I sat down to start working out this particular project. In fact, the recipient of the blanket had already left the womb by this point. As I am adamantly against gauge swatching, I just determined what my gauge should be based on the yarn's label & then how many stitches I should cast on to assure I'd get a perfect square, all the while thinking that, should it not turn out so perfect, it's only a blanket. Well, "it's only a blanket" quickly became "it's only a scarf." At the end of skein 1 of 4, I realized I was getting a BIG 'OL RECTANGLE that was not at all acceptable or recognizable as a baby blanket.
I was lamenting to my Moma about such things and she suggested that I use her handy-dandy dishcloth pattern. That way, I could increase for 2 skeins & decrease for 2 skeins & was sure to get a square. The next part went rather quickly for a BIG 'OL SQUARE of GARTER stitch. Happily, the FO was indeed recognizable as a baby blanket. But there sat the skein of contrasting color staring me in the face... My friend was so excited about the contrasting border, that I had to complete that part. I mean, who wants to disappoint a hormonal new mother?!
Since I'm as anti-crochet as I am anti-gauge swatch, I combed thru my knitting manuals to find an acceptable knitted border. First I picked up every other stitch around the blanket. I tried a simple rib stitch. It looked terrible. I tried a simple garter stitch. It looked awful. I was desparate, so I turned to *gasp* the directions for crochet. I learned that I am really bad at crochet & that it's harder than it looks. It was time for me to ask for HELP!
Moma came to the rescue again. An accomplished knitter and crocheter, she volunteered to complete the border. And she did. Beautifully.

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