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February 16, 2013 / KristenMakes

Seven Years’ Wool

Trent and I just this past week celebrated our 7-year anniversary!  Normally we don’t make a big deal out of anniversaries, but my colleague mentioned something to me that upped the ante for me.  Apparently the proper gift spouses give to each other on their 7-year anniversary is to be WOOLEN!  How exciting!  I mentioned this to Trent, which got a laugh; he agreed, how perfect!

Immediately I started on the workings of a gift idea for him us.  I have for years been wanting to knit us a blanket so this was a great time to start.  So (Spoiler Alert!), it’s not yet finished, but patient husband is happy to wait.  I take the project of a blanket very seriously (which is why it has taken me years to knit us one) because as a potential heirloom piece, it must be perfect and not something we’ll quickly tire of.  So first I trawled through Ravelry for blanket ideas and inspiration and presented a few to Trent and we decided together.  We like the idea of chevrons best.

Zig and Zag Sock Yarn pram blanket

Zig and Zag by Skein Queen

hexagon curtain

Hex’Addict by dame-en-noir

So with the pattern chosen, I went through the cones of yarn in my stash.  I had a really nice cone of 2/17 Nm Lambswool (which is a categorisation of wool for machine knitting, close-ish to 4-ply) which we liked the blue shade of.  Also I had a cone of very fine cashmere/wool blend in grey.  Swatching is very important to me in order to get the right colour and technique, so I cast on and played about with plies and different types of increasing/decreasing.  I wanted something solid, not striped, but I wasn’t sure what thickness or exact shade I wanted, so that uncertainty led to a bit of playing around in the swatch too.

swatch breakdownI then machine-washed the swatch (gentle cycle!) and tumble-dried it at work for a short time.  With wool off the cone, washing/drying is pretty necessary as it is greasy for machine-knitting.  Upon washing the grease disappears and the fibres ‘burst’ to yield a completely different fabric altogether.  Trent & I examined the swatch carefully and luckily, we both agreed that the top section was our favourite.

I altered the pattern slightly because the increases were Kfb‘s and the decreases were sl1 knitwise K2 tog psso and I wanted to  try to achieve something a little more line-ish (huh?).  So after a lot of experimenting, I settled on using Make 1 Right for the right-leaning increase and Make 1 Towards for the left-leaning increase.  I tried pairing M1R with M1L but that took too much yarn away from the centre stitch, making it tight and small, so I compromised.  This also makes the left increase slightly higher than the right increase, which is kinda nice actually.  For the double decrease I used my favourite, S2KP (Slip 2 knitwise, K1, Pass slipped sts over).  It’s just so neat, so perfect!

So the blanket has begun…

Blanket

…as you can see it has a long way to go.  But I have a new and trusty helper: my yarn bowl cat!

Yarn bowl

This nervous-looking feline was a sweet Christmas gift from my dad, who braved entering a wee little yarn shop in Cocoa Village (Knit & Stitch Boutique) all on his lonesome to get this awesome gift for me!  I’m so impressed!  This kitty makes a great knitting companion!

Oh!  And I suppose you want to know what I got from the husband for my wool-related anniversary gift?  A DROP SPINDLE!  I’m so excited!  This is something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, but never allowed myself the pleasure of buying.  Nay bother, the husband did it!

SpindleThe dear man forgot however, that to use this, I need fleece!  I have no fleece yet to begin.  Again, nay bother!  I have Edinburgh Yarn Fest coming up next month – I now have a very good reason to shop!

So back to the anniversary, we had a lovely day getting to know our new town of Galashiels!  We took a few different walks around the town and tried out some tasty waffles at Waffly Good.  This country life is nice, quiet and filled with sheep.

Walk

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8 Comments

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  1. Sue / Feb 16 2013 9:46 am

    I was excited there for a minute; you don’t usually start your blog with a baby blanket! But I like your blanket better. It will look great. Love the “cat.” What a good dad. Mom Orme

  2. Marilyn S / Feb 16 2013 10:55 am

    So fun to see you posting again…. The new blanket looks like it will be awesome! Looking forward to seeing the finished product…. Glad the yarn bowl made it home in one piece! I want to explore Galashiels, too….
    XX Mum

  3. indigorchid / Feb 16 2013 11:57 am

    I love how both your moms/mums are the first to comment! Happy 7 years – I’ve got the same number coming up, but just in dating years. Hehe.. maybe I can make it a wool situation anyways? 😉 And happy exploring your new area too!

  4. Houseofpinheiro / Feb 16 2013 1:19 pm

    Lovely blanket x

  5. Vicki Kate / Feb 17 2013 6:22 am

    Congratulations on your anniversary! That’s going to be such a beautiful blanket.

  6. Crafted by Caly / Feb 18 2013 8:32 am

    Congratulations on your wedding anniversary! I had no idea that 7 years is the WOOL anniversary – I missed that treat out.
    The blanket’s going to be beautiful – looking forward to the tadaaaaaa…..
    Carly
    x

  7. Rue / Feb 18 2013 10:06 pm

    Congrats! And add me to the list of people who wish they knew wool was the appropriate gift for a seventh year anniversary (that was last year for us). Of course, I don’t think J would mind if I did wool a year late.

    That is going to be one gorgeous blanket!

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