Over on Knitting Daily, there has been much talk of being a fearless knitter. As a still-somewhat-new-knitter, I find it very easy to be a fearless knitter. For example, I've found that a lack of experience and knowledge as a knitter makes it easy to explain away less-than-wise choices. No one is more accustomed to frogging and not getting things right than a beginning knitter, so I've learned that being fearless and learning new things go hand-in-hand. Not being fearless would mean that I would still be in stockinette or garter-stitch land. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I do like a challenge.
So, when Susoolu asked at a WI meeting for craft items for an upcoming rally, I offered up one of my recent FO's. It didn't occur to me until after Susoolu had collected the item that it might be judged, and this struck a bit of fear in me. What would be said about an item that was made by a beginner who had no idea that it would ever be judged?
So I ask you: Opening yourself up for critique and criticism by submitted a knitted but not-intended-to-be-judged item for judging... fearless knitting, or foolish behavior?
Hooded Baby Blanket
Start-End: March 19 - May 9, 2008
Pattern: Hooded Baby Blanket by Nikol Lohr
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Lake and Charcoal
Needles: US8/5.0 mm
Modifications: Added the "waves" cable pattern (#125) from the Vogue Stitchionary Volumne 2: Cables
New-to-Me Techniques: Cabling without a cable needle
This is pattern is an easy quick knit, perfect for baby showers. The pattern itself is a great canvas to which you can add anything you would like for extra personalization. I had a lot of fun with the cable pattern, though I wish I had left one or two stitches/rows around the pattern to make picking up for the border a bit easier.
The Cotton-Ease is a real great yarn to work with. It is a 50% cotton/acrylic blend that looks lovely but is easier on your hands than 100% cotton.
As for cabling without a cable needle, I found this tutorial from Grumperina, which is very easy and straight forward. There is a moment of potential panic, as you have live stitches off needles, but depending on what your project is, it shouldn't be too scary. It is a very slick trick and I'm glad I learned how to do it.
As for the WI rally, the items were judged, and all told I think I came out of it pretty well.
The judge's decision
Not bad! That's 19/20, with the comment that the item may be heavy for a real little baby. It's a fair enough point, but I do like the use of cotton in a baby blanket/hooded towel. As for the recipient, it will soon be mailed off to a little guy who had a rough and early start on life, but is doing ok.