Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another boy? Oh boy!

We recently found out that my brother and his wife are expecting their third boy this winter.  That makes 5 grandson's for my parents (and 0 granddaughters).  Let's just say that when we all get together there will be lots of noise and lots of activity!

My sister-in-law is a knitter.  She could probably knit just about anything for her new baby that I might knit for her as a gift. Which means that I really had to get creative on this one.  The tricky thing was that I wanted to start the gift before I knew that the baby was a boy.  I got a little hint that the baby's room colors would be pink and brown if it were a girl or aqua and brown if it was a boy.  So, I figured I would just start knitting something brown and add the gender specific color at the end.

I kettle dyed some really soft 50% alpaca / 50% wool worsted weight yarn (watch for it in the shop soon) in a soft, muted brown.  I must have overdyed that yarn 4 times to get the exact shade that I wanted.  Brown is trickier than you might think.  Who knew?  I didn't worry about using superwash wool, as I am confident that my sister-in-law knows how to properly care for handknits.

I wanted to knit the baby a blanket.  Believe it or not, I have never knit a baby blanket.  I guess I just figured it would be totally boring and cost an arm and a leg to knit.  The nice thing about a blanket, however, is that the baby can use it from the time it's a newborn all the way through it's childhood.  A sweater or hat has a very limited lifespan for a baby, you know?  They grow so fast!  

Finding the perfect pattern took me weeks.  I figured a blanket pattern that was knit from the center out would be great, as I could just add a colored border at the end.  And, I wanted the blanket to be really special as I envisioned it becoming a family heirloom (I can dream, right?).  My first thought was to knit the gorgeous, lace blanket, Undercover by Beata Jezek.  For whatever reason, however, I had a lot of trouble with the pattern.  After frogging it for the third time, I decided to try something a little less "involved".  (Someday, when my kids are older, I will be able to sit and knit a lace blanket with no mistakes.  Until then, I am better off sticking to patterns with less counting!)  Then, I came across Sharon McMahon's The Spiral Blanket of Awesome {Design Your Own}.  It was perfect.  I was a little worried that my yarn would be to plain for such a simple pattern.  But, the kettle dyed brown had just enough variation to make it work.  When I received the news that the baby was indeed a boy, I dyed up some aqua yarn for the border.  The pattern calls for either a ruffle (for a girl) or garter stitch (for a boy).  I wanted something a little flashier, however, as the yarn was pretty mellow.  I decided on a horseshoe lace like this.  It's pretty without being too feminine.  Just right.

The funny thing about this pattern is that because it's knit in the round, it looks a bit like a giant hat as it's being knit.  I can't tell you how many people looked at it quizzically then asked, "Is that"  Like they were thinking something went terribly wrong and I had no idea how to knit.  Funny.  I can't wait to finish it up and "open" a flower blossoming!  So cool.

My Ravelry notes can be found here.

Can't wait to see that sweet boy wrapped up in his fuzzy alpaca blanket!


  1. That is going to be a beautiful blanket!

  2. The colors look amazing together!! I am looking forward to seeing it finished. What a lucky ittle guy to get your first baby blanket!

    Until my son was born my Mom was the grandmother to 5 girls (my brother has 3 girls). We enevr thought we would have a boy!

  3. I'm in love with those colors together! I have the only two sons currently on the grandchild list...I have one daughter, and my brother has four! Of course my siblings are just starting out on the married + babies part of life so I'm sure there will be more boys down the road... I can't wait to see your finished blanket! :)

  4. Eeek! I feel like a cheater for having seen this post, but I am glad I did! This looks amazing, and like a newborn photoshoot waiting to happen. It'll be an heirloom for sure... I think that's the plus to knitting for (children of) other knitters. We are the only ones who really understand how much time and yarn investment are involved! Love it!

  5. That is so beautiful! I love the aqua and brown together.
    I'm glad to see what a blanket looks like being knit.

  6. We also have 5 boys in our family (all under 5), Everyone is waiting for the next pregnancy to be announced, and see where that takes us!! The best thing is all these little boys so close in age are growing up as great friends! I love aqua and brown together, a great choice!

  7. My parents had 10 grandsons between their 3 kids until finally my sister and I each had a girl! Believe me, after having 4 boys in a row, I only knit it pink for a long time!