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New yarn/new needles/new project

When I got home from work last night, my Knitpicks order was waiting for me. That means ten skeins of Swish, two sets of Options tips – US5 and US6, two 32″ cables (plus caps and key), a US2 32″ circular, a needle gauge (with a very *nice* magnifying strip) and couple more toys.

So. Swatching! This is going to be a baby blanket for my mother’s fiancé’s daughter-in-law, a woman I’ve only met once. Which means it’s going to be painfully tasteful – rich green with a tan border. The idea is to have alternating rectangles of seed and garter, with a contrasting garter border. This way it’ll be reversible. I needed to know how many st/inch so I could get the rectangles right – I want them to be about 6″ wide and 8″ long, to make a blanket about 36″ wide and 40″ long.

And here is where math gets fun. I want the blanket to be balanced, but 6 goes into 36 6 times, and six is an even number. That would mean it would begin with, say, a seed box and end with a garter one. I didn’t want that. So. The first and last blocks will be 3″, with five alternating in the middle. Nice and balanced. Since 8 goes into 40 5 times, it’s already balanced. My plan is to knit the first row of blocks until it reaches 8″, and then count the rows.

I attached the US5 tips to the cable, cast on (I used the knitted on cast on just to see how it would look) and swatched, sort of. It’s a blanket – it doesn’t need to be exact. I got 3.75st/inch – and that new gauge was very handy indeed. The magnifying strip made counting the stitches easy. So. 22 st for each block, with eleven for the side ones. 132 stitches. Place the first marker 11 st in, then 5 markers 22 st apart and then 11 more.

And here was where the Options really came in handy – I cast on with the size 6 tips, moved all the stitches to the cable and switched to the size 5s. Perfect. Then I knit four rows of garter and put the project down because the color change is next and I wanted to knit my lace at least to end of the current repeat.

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