Friday, December 13, 2013

The Hive Baby Blanket




I learned to crochet while my sister was pregnant with her second child.  I didn't have a lot of money, but I had time.  (That was before I had two children of my own.  Now I don't have money or time.)  I started making some granny squares and at some point decided to make enough to make a blanket for my sister's baby.  She wanted to wait to find out the baby's gender until the delivery room, so I needed to find a yarn that was gender-neutral.  I have never been a fan of straight up pastels - pink, yellow, blue - for babies, so I needed to find something a little less traditional.  I ended up with Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in Watercolor.  In my opinion, this yarn is/was perfect.  The price was right for a project that involved several skeins.  And I thought the color was great for either a boy or a girl and I thought it wasn't so babyish that an older child would refuse to use it.

So that was over 9 years ago.  My sister loved the blanket and showed it off to everyone who visited her in the hospital.  She ended up with a second boy and I am pretty sure he still has the blanket somewhere.

Fast forward a year and a half and I am pregnant with my first baby.  I found out I was having a girl, so I started work on a pink blanket.  And I still haven't finished it.  Oops.

While I was pregnant, my husband's sister announced she was expecting and she wasn't going to find out gender in advance.  I got to work on a blanket using the same yarn as before in a different pattern.  She ended up with a girl.  Blanket was a huge success.

Then my brother and his wife decided to start having babies.  They didn't find out gender with any of the three.  Blankets for all, same yarn, different pattern.  They ended up with three boys.

Somewhere in the middle of that last batch of boys, I had a boy of my own and knit him a blue blanket.  Daughter is jealous because I finished his but not hers.  Oh well, she will get over it.  (And I have made her a ton of other stuff in the meantime.  Don't feel too sorry for her.)

So, anyway, for that last baby, what will likely be my last niece/nephew, I searched high and low for the perfect pattern.  And by high and low, I mean I searched Pinterest.  And I came across this gem - The Hive Knit Dishcloth by Being Spiffy.  (Head over to her site and show her some blog love.  This pattern is only possible because of her.  I am not creative enough to come up with stuff on my own.)  I fell in love.  Yes, it is a dishcloth, but I loved the pattern.

I did a few test swatches to make sure I understood the pattern and to see what the back would look like and test out a few modifications.  One thing I decided to change was to "tack down" the vertical bars so you can't stick your finger through.  I actually like that you can stick your finger through, but since I am making it for a baby, I thought it might be asking for trouble if little fingers can get in there and stretch and tug and tangle all my hard work.  So I changed the middle row of the pattern (rows 7 & 17) slightly so it attaches.  And, just for fun, I left one in the middle of the blanket somewhere unattached.

The night before leaving on vacation in July, I cast on the starting row.  Standard cast on, nothing fancy.  However, I have a serious problem with casting on and knitting too tightly, so I always hold two knitting needles together and cast on around both.  When I have the right number of stitches, I pull out the extra needle.  (That's a bonus tip,  You are welcome.)  I knit most of the two hour drive to our vacation destination (don't worry, my husband was driving not me), and I knit for a little while in the hotel, and I knit a good chunk of the way home.  And it felt like I made NO progress.

In August, I knit for most of the six or seven hour train ride to and from Chicago.  The minions on my fingernails helped.  (Also, I highly recommend Amtrak when traveling with children, but that is a whole other discussion.)

My sister-in-law's due date was mid-September and I was really hoping to have it done so I could give it to them right after the baby was born.  Well, baby Owen was born and the blanket was still not done.  New target completion date was Baptism, which still hadn't been set.  I knit off and on, whenever I had time in the evenings and on the weekends, and I finally finished it in mid- to late- November.  Baptism was December 1.

I love how the blanket turned out!  But mostly I was glad it was done.  If I had it to do over again, I would use two strands of yarn held together and use larger needles so that it would go faster.  Or I would magically become a faster knitter.

So, without further ado, here is that pattern.

The Hive Blanket

With US size 7 needles, co multiple of 8 plus 2. [I cast on 170.]

Row 1: Purl across.
Row 2: Knit across.
Row 3: Purl across.
Row 4: K1, {p3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front), p3} across to last st, k1.
Row 5: K1, {k3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in back), k3} across to last st, k1.
Row 6: K1, {p3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front), p3} across to last st, k1.
Row 7: K1, {k3, p2, k3} across to last st, k1.
Row 8: K1, {p3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front), p3} across to last st, k1.
Row 9: K1, {k3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in back), k3} across to last st, k1.
Row 10: K1, {p3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front), p3} across to last st, k1.
Row 11: Purl across.
Row 12: Knit across.
Row 13: Purl across.
Row 14: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front), p6, slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front)} across to last st, k1.
Row 15: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in back), k6, slip 1 purlwise (yarn in back)} across to last st, k1.
Row 16: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front), p6, slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front)} across to last st, k1.
Row 17: K1, {p1, k6, p1} across to last st, k1.
Row 18: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front), p6, slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front)} across to last st, k1.
Row 19: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in back), k6, slip 1 purlwise (yarn in back)} across to last st, k1.
Row 20: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front), p6, slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front)} across to last st, k1.
Repeat Rows 1-20 until you reach the size desired length of the blanket. [I think mine was 403 rows total.] End with Finish Rows 1-3.

Finish Row 1: Purl across.
Finish Row 2: Knit across.
Finish Row 3: Purl across.

Bind off knit-wise.
To edge left and right sides, crochet across once, then crochet back in back loops only. (Or use your own favorite edge.0
Finish off and weave in ends.


And that's it.  I hope you enjoy this pattern.

And here are some photos of the finished product.
Close up of the front


The crocheted edge


The back of the blanket


Front at an angle - I love this pattern!





Front of blanket - I love this pattern!


The blanket is finished!!!


The whole blanket - complete!  (Just ignore that it looks uneven on the sides.)

All folded up, ready to wrap.

Baby Owen with his new favorite blanket

1 comment:

  1. It turned out amazing!!! I love it! So much work, but so worth it.

    ReplyDelete