Purl Dreams Finish!

Purl Dreams FinishedI bought this pattern at my LYS–Unwind–just a couple weeks ago and I had to start it right away, even though I don’t really have any plans for it. I just love the idea of creating a square blanket in plain ol’ stockinette.

This blanket is an example of my favorite kind of project: it’s (relatively) easy to knit and yet the finished product looks elegant and complicated. It was perhaps a little tricky at the beginning to juggle the dpn’s and get into the “swing” of the pattern, but once you get going, it’s quite easy. This is a perfect “sit in front of the TV” project.

This is “Purl Dreams” in a slightly less complete state:

Purl Dreams WIP

The only difficulty I had was deciding how to join one skein to the next. Since the piece is seamless and knitted as one piece in the round (or, I guess, technically, in the square), there are no edges or seams to hide the loose ends in. I used a variation of the “Russian Join” so the joins would be very secure and stand up to all the wear and tear it’s bound to be subjected to by an active toddler. My final photos were taken pre-blocking, but it’s still difficult to tell (especially on the front side) where one skein ends and the other begins.

Although the pattern called for ivory, I chose a pretty mauve/pink with a chocolate brown border because those are such popular colors right now for girls. I would gladly do this pattern again, however I would probably arrange to do all my joins in the diagonal furrows of the yarn-over increases. I think that would hide them better and probably create a smoother final product.

Overall, though, I think this is adorable and I can’t wait to do more patterns like this square shape–next time with stripes?

Li’l Monkey Blanket WIP

Lil Monkey Blanket WIP
Li’l Monkey Blanket, designed by Carmen Watkins, from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch n Bitch: The Happy Hooker book, WIP

Well, I’ve struggled through making what seemed like 100 million granny squares of different descriptions, and the blanket’s building blocks are now complete. Ellen Bloom of L.A. is my Beat calls granny squares “the building blocks of the universe” — who am I to quibble with such wisdom? Now I’m fixated on arranging them in the absolute perfect way in order to better showcase the sock monkey faces I’m going to attach when I finish them. Phew.

I must admit that, while I love the simplicity and speed of making granny squares, I absolutely dread seaming them all together. My distaste for seaming (and I know I’m not the only one) goes so far as avoiding certain patterns if they involve too much seaming or involve coming up with elaborate non-seaming alternatives. For the most part, I’ve managed to avoid having to do a lot of seaming and still feel like I’m living a fulfilled life as a knitter.

I probably wouldn’t have done this pattern either if it hadn’t been that my brother and sister-in-law are going with a monkey theme for the bedroom of the soon-to-be Cutest Niece in the World. Now I’m glad I did.

More pictures tomorrow after I make some monkey faces (you know what I mean).