My work-life balance has been pretty heavy on the work side lately, so I'm even more behind than usual in responding to blog comments. Replies are coming, I promise.
Rachel reminded me that I haven't even mentioned what colors I'm using for stripe study. I actually have a picture for this one but I haven't gotten it off the camera yet (or double checked to make sure it came out clearly since the battery was just about dead when I took the shot). So I'll just give a quick answer for now: dark blue for the thick stripes and vibrant green for the thin stripes and wide boarder.
And try to distract you from my lack of evidence of stripe study progress with some baby pictures.
I knit a bit on my latest garter stitch-based baby blanket for Tadpole during a break from work this weekend (yes it was one of those weekends) and that got me thinking about baby blankets more generally.
I've knit two blankets for Tadpole and we use two handknit blankets for her, but they're not the same two. As I typed that I could have sworn I've knit three blankets for her but I must be counting the one on the needles in that list (or the several I have in my mental queue, although you'd have to discount each queued project by the likelihood of completion in order to have the several equal one . . . but I digress).
I'll start with the ones we use. First up is a great reversible, machine washable wool blanket that my sister made for Tadpole (pictured above). It's mostly a "going out" blanket that we use with the stroller or car seat because it squishes up nicely and doesn't take up a lot of room.
Mr. Tinks and Frogs also uses it as an extra layer of warmth when Tadpole goes out in the Bjorn. It's a fabulous all-purpose blanket. (Thanks again, M!)
Next up is the bear claw blanket that I made a few years ago. I was a bit hesitant to use this one at first because, not to put to delicate a word on it, babies tend to get fluids of various sorts everywere. And I really like this blanket. Yes, I know that Baby Ull is machine washable but I know happened when I machine washed my Baby Ull socks: they shrunk and pilled and got all fuzzy. That's fine for socks that had a too tight-bind off on the cuff to be a favorite pair anyway, but not what I want in a blanket that took me over a year to complete.
So we started off slow and easy: it's tough for a sleeping baby to get a blanket dirty (ok, that's not entirely accurate but we have lucked out on that front).
Then we took her to the appropriate setting - our LYS.
Babies just need more yarn. Or at least their parents do.
The bear claw is still a sleeping blanket.
It's showing a bit of wear - the ends are starting to come a bit loose and fray on the wrong side. That's understandable since there's nothing sticky about a machine washable wool to keep the ends secure. I'm not worried about the piece unravelling. It just looks well loved, as it should.
That's two blankets, one I made and one we received as a gift. The third we've used only for pictures. I'm sure you'll understand why.
The Honey Baby blanket is filed under "baby knit" but it's much more for me than for her. All those yarn overs would be lots of fun for little fingers to investigate, if I were willing to suffer the accompanying distortions to the stitch pattern. I knit this piece as a work of love for my daughter before she was born and it's a beautiful manifestation of the feelings I had for someone who was more of an idea than a reality for me at that point. This isn't a blanket to catch spit-up and drool or cheerios dropped during a car ride home. It's a keepsake that I get to hold onto until I'm ready to give it up; a reminder of the tiny baby who is growing up much faster than I ever expected.
The fourth blanket - the one I inched forward this weekend - falls somewhere in between "keepsake" and "every day." I'm making this one as another crib blanket, something a bit lighter than the bear claw, and as such it can be a bit more intricate than the stroller cover. But I want to make sure we actually use it. So it can't be too delicate.
That's the balance I like to strike with blankets for baby. You really can't have just one. There's the every day, use it anywhere blanket that's your go-to piece as you're heading out the door. Maybe you have another one or two in the same category or a bit more delicate that you use for quiet time. And then you have your heirloom piece that's purely sentimental. And knowing that you have one exquisite piece to represent all of your warm, snuggly, clean, and sleep-filled thoughts about the little one lets you roll on the floor with the everyday blanket and wear it threadbare with use.