Sunday, 16 March 2008

Babette Blanket

Phew. It's finished.

I started with 1800 gm of superwash sockyarn in 17 colours. A few weeks, a lot of hooking, sewing and (let's be honest LOTS AND LOTS of) swearing later I am left with 290 gm of yarn and a blanket that I expect will keep me warm and comfy whatever else may be going on around me.

I did a lot of whinging during this project. Stitching up the 272 squares seemed like a never ending task. But eventually it did end and I began the border. I couldn't decide on a border and changed my mind a couple of times before deciding to finish the blanket off with a single round of each colour (well, most colours, I didn't have enough brown, dark green or gold/yellow). The extra wide border helped use up more of the yarn (I wanted to minimise the leftovers) and added some much needed width to the blanket.

I finished the last round on Tuesday night and did a little happy Babette Blanket dance when I wove in the last end.

Turns out that the happy dance was a bit premature.

Friday I decided to block the blanket (why? why? it didn't really need it). I soaked it in the usual manner, squished out as much water as I could which wasn't very much. Considering this dripping mass I had a great idea (moron). As it is superwash yarn I decided a few minutes in the washing machine gentle spin couldn't hurt (why? why?) and so I tossed it in.

A few minutes later I pulled out the blanket to find that the centre of about a quarter of the 272 blocks had - well - errr - self destructed. I should have taken a photo for you all to gape at in horror - because it was horrific - but I confess sharing my disaster was the last thing on my mind at that point.

I was gutted. Of course it was entirely my fault -- these squares start differently than the granny square technique I've used in the past -- and it is obviously far less forgiving of a slapdash finish when weaving in ends.

I cursed and considered trashing the whole thing.

But of course I didn't. I sat at my kitchen table, with a very damp blanket on my lap and began the long process of fixing the squares. The good news is that crochet doesn't unravel from the starting end, so things didn't get worse.....

I worked off and on repairing the blanket and in all it took over 9 hours to get it back to the finished state. As the state of the blanket improved, so did my mood and yesterday I did manage to get a photo of the last damaged square for historical purposes.

The finished blanket is 54 inches x 90 inches -- a good size for a single bed (it's on a double bed in this photo) and perfect for curling up on the sofa. It's almost 3 times the size of the Babette Blanket pattern as written (43x40 inches).

The finished weight of the blanket is 1500 gm.

I used mostly Indigo Moon Vancouver series superwash fingering weight yarn, in a rainbow of 15 colours. I supplemented that with 2 colours from Dream in Colour Smooshy sock yarn. All from Socktopus which has an amazing selection of really special sock yarn (including my favourite Duet Sock Yarn!).

The blanket is exactly what I set out to make.

It's not elegant, it's not sophisticated, but it makes me smile. When I wrap it around myself I feel warm and cosy.

It's sort of a hug in supewash!

34 comments:

Amanda said...

That is gorgeous! And seriously snuggly looking. I'm glad everything worked out ok after the mini-disaster. I'm not sure I could have remained composed if that had happened to me. Well done!

Jacqui said...

Wow, that's great a real winter blues buster but what a horrid shock when you washed it, I would have cried!

did you see http://theraineysisters.com/ the Lyra is finished - go see. it's all your fault :o)

clarabelle said...

Soo, it's truly, truly stunning! And well done having the grit to mend it, after the washing machine disaster. It really is gorgeous!

Kai said...

It's beautiful! I'm so glad you got all the squares sorted. *hugs*

HPNY Knits said...

stunning! very Gustav Klimt and an adventure as well. not only is it going to be gorgeous, warm cosy and lovely- it will have a cool rescue story.
its a masterpiece.

I shall learn from your experience and block the squares before I join.

fleegle said...

It's adorable, Soo! And I must say that I send heavy items to the dry cleaners to be "blocked." The do a terrific job.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!! I can't imagine what you felt like taking that out of the washer.
It looks wonderful and I'm glad you can fix it.
I don't think I will be using that loop start for my crochet squares anymore!
Ronni

nurhanne said...

"but it makes me smile" - perhaps the best kind of knitting there is :-)

lv2knit said...

It's like a ray of sunshine and has a vintage appeal!

Joan said...

Absolutely stunning! I see the Klimt comparison has already been made-- it's superb!

WandaWoman said...

That blanket really gave you a scare with the center squares disintegrating. I'm glad you were able to fix it. It is gorgeous to me. As I continued to gaze at the blanket, all I could think of it was how beautiful it was and how it reminded me of something and then it dawned on me, that it reminded me of Gustav Klimt. Definitely a work of art!

B. said...

It's HUGE! Your patience and fortitude are admirable -- the thing about putting a granny-square superwash blanket through the washing machine and having the centres unravel has happened to me, but as I am a lesser woman than you I set the thing aside in a huff (it's still not finished).

Fantastic colour choices, too!

cpurl17 said...

Its gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!

Kay said...

Is your heart still actually IN your chest after the washing machine mishap?

Kudos to you for fixing all those little squares and ending up with a bright, sunny, gorgeous blanket. <3

Robynn said...

Wooooow! That looks fantastic!

I'm busy plotting a Babette of my own, also using Indigo Moon. Now what I want to know is, how did yours come out so much bigger? Was it a different yarn weight or what? (I want a huge one too, so this is very necessary information!)

LittleBerry said...

it's beautiful I can sympathise with your trauma after my ALpine trauma :S

It reminds me of a piece of Klimt art

Temperance said...

It is beautiful, everytime I see one of these I keep thinking I need to learn to crochet so I can make one too. Your's is definitly making me think it would be worth it.

Batty said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you are simply amazing! In the time it took you to crochet up that entire gorgeous blanket, I've barely completed a pair of socks and a half! Babette is beautiful, happy colors and all.

Very Klimt, but more colorful. It's incredible.

Beverly said...

It's absolutely gorgeous. You should be very proud of yourself. Excellent work.

yarndancer said...

It's a beautiful blanket! Well done, all your hard work came out really well!

Opal said...

Wow! That is one gorgeous blanket. I'm glad you were able to avert disaster!

Kim said...

Love the blanket, and since I'm your favourite sister, I'm sure you could make me one!!!
I love my socks, their perfect for curling!
Kim

missmalice said...

Oh that is just beautiful!! Even my hubbie (who generally just says mmm when I ask his opinion) of his own accord said it was gorgeous! Very Hundertwasser! A work of art.

Alice

cinnamongirl93 said...

I love the yarn quilt! It is fabulously funky! Nice work!

Moggle said...

It's beautiful and I'm glad you were able to rescue it.

z's momma said...

I love it! What a gorgeous blanket. I'm so glad that the centers were fixable. And now, you can throw it in the washer.

modelwidow said...

Oh wow! that is so beautiful and cheerful. What an awful thing for the washing machine to do, so glad you could sort it out. It is well worth all your time and patience.

Melly said...

It's wonderful, bright and cheery just how a blanket has to be! It makes me smile too and stand in awe of your discipline! Great work, my friend!
Happy Easter to you and your family!
love and hugs
Melly

Laura said...

Gorgeous and well worth the headaches! I had a near-disaster blocking a superwash blanket too not long ago. Ten minutes in the dryer helped a little. I attribute it to the superwash treatment keeping the wool from blooming as we would like it to.

beadntat said...

The blanket really is a work of art. I admire your guts for taking the energy to fix all those loose squares. I had a similar thing happen to a 3-d crocheted blanket I once made. I guess I wasn't thorough enough in securing the ends. But it was in my former Red Heart days and I didn't feel enough love for the project to fix it. Call my wimpy ;-)

DeltaDawn said...

Are you kidding? That blanket is absolutely both elegant and sophisticated and yes, Klimt-esque! And your fortitude in finding the middle all mucked up - whew!

Darcy knotty Knitter said...

This blanket is so beautiful:)Hugs Darcy

Theresa said...

Wow, I'm impressed! I've coveted this blanket for a long time, but still haven't worked up the courage to even think about starting it!

Anonymous said...

I am SO GLAD I found your wondeful blog! First of all, I LOVE your Babette Blanket, among all the other amazing things you've created. I esp. love that this hard-won blanket makes you smile :) It made me smile the minute I laid (layed?) eyes on it. Hurray!!!
Cheers!
treblemaker aka Kim