blanket woes

My poor forearms need a break. I'm not sure if the source of my muscle soreness is riding my bike for the first time in months, the horn recital music I've been practicing this week, all the knitting with bulky yarn, or all of the above, but I need to take it easy so I don't get injured. I knit and practice a lot on a regular basis, usually without any problems, so I suspect the biking is the culprit here.


I finished up the first big piece of my uncle's blanket the other night, which means it is ostensibly half done. I laid it out on the living room rug and took this horrible photo:

There are a couple of problems here, alas. The pieces don't fit together as they should, for one. You see how there is a significant gap between the larger piece and the smaller piece? They are actually supposed to fit together nice and snug. This was a gauge error on my part. I should have checked my row gauge more carefully to be sure that I was actually getting twice as many rows per inch as stitches per inch in garter stitch. I wasn't, and the straight garter sections came out a bit longer than they should have, so it's all wonky now. 

This could mean a total re-knit. I could have cried.

But wait! There's another problem here! You can't tell from the photo above, but the blanket is coming out pretty big. It measures 45" across, and the final length would be in the ball park of 67-68" or so. I had thought I wanted the blanket that big, but looking at it the other night, I wasn't so sure. My uncle isn't a big guy to begin with, and if I were to continue on with this blanket, it would engulf him completely, which isn't exactly what I was going for. I was going for comfy lap blanket, not adult-size swaddling clothes.

Cast on fewer stitches and start over? Total re-knit? Again, tears. I'd love to give this to my uncle while it might actually still be useful for him during his treatment. There's not much point in sending someone who lives in central Kansas a bulky wool blanket at the end of July.

No, I came up with another solution: what if I just take the pieces I've got already and arrange them to make a square, then fill in the middle with another piece of knitting? 

See what I did there? I remembered the construction method for that baby blanket I just finished, where you start by knitting a large garter stitch square on the diagonal. Why not do that for the middle of this one? It's not as clever as EZ's original design, but the garter stitch in all different directions will still look pretty cool when it's all said and done. Also, I might finish up in the next week or so. I feel urgency with this project, so I have to let go of my perfectionist tendencies for now.

(Clearly, my perfectionist tendencies do not apply to my photography skills.)

I'm already thinking about what to knit next. This blanket is my absolute top priority right now. I have some socks which have been on the needles for months and I'm sick of looking at them, so I'm going to wrap those up, and then...I'll either tackle a couple old WIPs and/or start something new. I can't get too stoked about a new wool sweater for myself when spring is finally making a long-awaited appearance here, but there may be one or two test knits for Thea waiting in the wings. That's always fun. Also,  Afghans for Afghans has a new campaign going that I'd really like to contribute to: 500 sweaters for students at a brand new all girls' school in Farza, and it would feel really good to use up some lovely-but-neglected stash yarn on a couple of those.

What about you guys? How far in advance do you plan your knitting? How often do you stick to a plan?


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