Tuesday, September 18, 2012

peppermint stick baby blanket

I began knitting these squares last winter, and you can read about it here. I meandered through them, got them done, and then the heat of summer came and I didn't want to touch them. 

The whipstitching is supposed to be done with a contrasting color and that's what gives it the charm, in my view. But I was using yarn from my stash and didn't have any more chunky, or anything I could use for this. As I pondered the situation the idea kept coming to me about using strips of fabric instead, just cut fabric, unfinished edges.  So when we had a cool September day, I grabbed the pieces and set to work.

I took a picture to remember the layout

didn't bother to iron it - what for?

I am not one of those people who can imagine how a thing will look beforehand - I'm usually wrong about that. I was first going to use some cotton flannel in a pink design, but then this caught my eye (from stash). I thought the tighter weave would be better, considering it's all raw edges. Eyeballing it, I cut long strips along the selvage, and cut more as I needed them, zigzagging edges together on the machine. 

I used the thickest needle I had (probably given to me by Cyndi, who can do a little of everything), which accomodated the fabric just perfectly!  I think the strips were about a half inch or five eighths wide.

I whipstitched the squares together, and then went around the outer edge of the whole thing. I was rather hasty, and could have done it better. You can see here that the stitching looks bunched on this side.

Still, I liked that candy cane look! The fabric was really showing up well. 

Originally, I intended to block the squares before sewing, but so much time had gone by I simply forgot!  We had a cool day and I just eagerly got going on it. So, as I was going along, I could see the squares weren't exactly lining up. They are turned - every other one - the opposite way, and they're supposed to be perfectly square, but they aren't exactly, of course. Blocking would probably have fixed that.

Do you see what I mean? Some of them are off. But that seems to be my way - act first, think later. Overall, I still liked the effect.  I also saw that I'd been sewing too tightly, and the stitches were "bunched" on the right side, but hardly visible on the other. If I'd taken more care it wouldn't have been hard to do it evenly, but I was in a hurry!

When I finished, I decided to put it in the washer - to see how the raw edged fabric held up, and also thinking it might block it a little. And it did improve things!  It evened out that bunchiness somewhat.

I'm pleased with it overall.. And it seems that these days, the more homemade and uneven things are, the better, so I guess I'm living in the right era.  :D

I'm joining Ginny's yarnalong today - and I've started reading Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey. It's the story of Highclere Castle, where the series is being filmed. Not a strict history, or a biography of the place but more like a narrative - all true, though. It's interesting.


  1. Hi! I love the candy cane effect! It really did turn out great.
    Thanks for stopping by my humble little blog. :-)

  2. That was an interesting idea to use fabric to sew the squares together. I like it!

  3. Love the blanket! I have been thinking about knitting squares to make some blankets for my kids. Might be a good exercise for this winter. I haven't heard of this book, but it definitely sounds interesting. I really love the Downton Abbey series.

  4. Your peppermint stick blanket is so sweet! I love your choice to use fabric to stitch it together. I'll definately have to get my hands on that book. I just watched season one of Downton Abbey and I loved it.

  5. A very pretty and clever resolution to the problem! :)

  6. That is a such a clever way that you did that, and I love the striped look. What a fun way to tie it all together.

  7. I love this blanket. And the candy cane look. So very sweet and pretty and simple. Nicely done, Lisa!

  8. Very nice, Lisa! I'm in awe of anyone who does such handiwork. It's lovely!