Lisa’s First (Yarn) Love

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After having completed my first knitting project, the essential beginner’s scarf (a 2 x 2 rib no less) in March 2008, I felt I was ready to tackle a more substantial project. Of course, being who I am, a blanket was first on my list.  Back then, it was still necessary to request an access code to join Ravelry, which took a few weeks due to high demand and low resources, and so, as I anticipated my membership into the coveted online knitting community, I perused the books in my local LYS and came across the Big Bad Baby Blanket in Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘n Bitch book. I immediately fell in love with the look of the beautiful Koigu KPPPM yarn featured in the pattern, however, as I wanted to make it “bigger and badder”, my budget couldn’t support knitting it with that divine yarn.

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Weighing my options, I decided on Jo Sharp’s Silkroad Aran Tweed in the “Beach” colourway for its rustic luxury and proceeded to readjust the pattern to my desired size. The only obstacle remaining was that the Addi Turbo needles I needed weren’t in stock and I was leaving soon on vacation. I couldn’t bring myself to knit with any other needles and, even though I was a beginner, I knew what I loved!  Happily, the needles arrived just in time for me to grab them just before my flight and everything in my world was right again.

I knit and knit and knit and knit some more and was so pleased with myself, having completed the blanket pretty well and in timely manner.  Sewing in my ends in the seed stitch border, however, proved to be another story. Though I was shown multiple times how to achieve an invisible look, I just couldn’t get it back then. I still couldn’t read my knitting well and had to accept that it would be what it would be. Fortunately, the dreamy yarn was tweedy and very good at hiding imperfections.

In addition, being a novice, I hadn’t done the proper calculations and my chef d’oeuvre ended up wider rather than longer.  Still, if you didn’t look at the direction of the stitches you could turn it around and it looked just as it was meant to be, a nice 4 1/2’ x 6’ rectangular blanket!

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For many years after that experience, I tried to find Jo Sharp yarns again but they had  become unavailable in North America due to distribution issues.  Imagine my surprise and happiness when we stumbled upon the Jo Sharp booth at the TNNA trade show this year.  We immediately placed an order with the lovely Gretchen of Kingfisher Yarns (the current distributor) and are now very pleased to have added  Silkroad Aran Tweed to our collection. We hope that you will love this yarn as much as we do!

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I have rejigged the numbers in order to achieve the proportional result I should have had –  here are my modifications if you’re interested in creating a “bigger badder” Big Bad Baby Blanket too.

Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed – 22 balls OR 2000 m of worsted weight yarn
Needles: 5 mm (US *) 40″ circular knitting needles
Gauge: 18 sts and 26 rows per 4″ / 10 cm in stockinette
Finished dimensions: Approximately 58″ x 72″
Cast on: 248 sts

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–  Lisa

4 thoughts on “Lisa’s First (Yarn) Love

  1. Jill says:

    Thanks for the memories! I’m surprised that you thought the Silkroad Aran Tweed was a more affordable yarn! Still pretty pricey in blanket quantities. I love that yarn too, and I was determined back in the day to make a blanket from it. I don’t remember the pattern but it used several skeins in 5 or 6 colors, and I thought I would buy them one color at a time and save it up until I had them all. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep my hands off the lovely yarn, and it ended up in other projects LOL! Maybe I’ll try to hunt that pattern up again . . .

    • espacetricot says:

      Yes, there are certainly many more affordable yarns now. Jo Sharp wasn’t nearly as expensive in 2008 and, sadly, the weak Canadian dollar is wreaking havoc on pricing above the border at the moment😦

  2. Sharon says:

    Beautiful blanket. I agree with Jill though 22 balls is going to cost me around $367.00 to make. I may have to look for an alternative yarn.

    • espacetricot says:

      Yes, there are certainly many more affordable yarns now. Jo Sharp wasn’t nearly as expensive in 2008 and the weak Canadian dollar is wreaking havoc on pricing above the border at the moment😦

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