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 beginner on blanket
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blessed2bmommie
New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2006 :  05:19:34 AM  Show Profile Send blessed2bmommie a Private Message
OK...so don't go *anywhere* when you are working on a post b/c you'll lose it so here's the I'm *not* gonna type this whole thing again version. [**]

I have a young girl who I taught to knit. I taught her the knit st and she was to make a swatch. Well, she did and then I walk in the church office and I see she has knit a tooooooooooooooooon off her straights she went out and bought. With unnamed pink yarn from Wal-Mart b/c she tossed the band. I am only on *my* second project...maybe its cotton? She said she got the longest straights she can find. I have to see if she has packaging so I can find the sizing. She wants to make a blanket for her baby cousin! I was reading blanket threads and I saw pick a stitch, swatch and measure since its just a rectangle. Sooooooo...her swatch was with *my* circs I started her on originally...should I just use my check to find the gauge on what she's done? What about the unnamed yarn? How do I identify it? Otherwise, I was gonna have her look next time she goes to Walmart, I guess...

So, knitters where do go from here! You could imagine how proud I was when I walk by and see some knitting sitting there! She's 15, child of a single parent, her father was *murdered*, and she can have quite the tude. But, she is digging knitting! I wanna come back to her at Bible Study on Wednesday with a game plan completing her first project. I want to encourage her in this. But, I'm not *quite* sure how to proceed! Thanks yall! I'm glad to find this forum!

knits_for_preemies
Permanent Resident

USA
1957 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2006 :  06:15:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit knits_for_preemies's Homepage Send knits_for_preemies a Private Message
Hi, it's me again. Your 15 yr old friend sounds like a great kid--I'm so glad you can be there to assist her in her project. I have a feeling that her newly discovered skill of knitting is a real oasis for her (as it is for so many of us).

Before I forget, here's a solution to being interrupted when trying to write a post for KR: Don't type your post in the KR reply window. Instead, shrink your Internet window so it's out of your way, open a Word document and type away on what you wanted to say. You can either just let it sit or save it (I usually call mine something like KR post 9-25-06 or something mundane like that, since I'm going to trash it once I'm through). That way you can come back to it when you get a chance without losing the whole thing. Once you have finished, highlight your entire post and right click on your mouse, then click copy. Now go back to KR and "paste" your post into the KR Reply to Topic space. Presto, you have it all done.

I learned to do this the hard way--my aging computer has the nasty habit of "locking up" constantly for no apparent reason. It didn't take me long to start copying/saving things I wrote in Word. Rewriting a post is NO fun.

Back to the blanket.
WalMart carries Caron Simply Soft yarn (worsted weight) which is very soft and comes in pretty colors. Bernat Softee Baby (sport weight) is another really soft one. I use it most of the time for charity knitting. Easy care, beautiful colors and reasonable price. The Red Heart is really bad and scatchy. Feels bad when you are knitting and feels bad when you are through.

Is she planning to use the knitting she has already done, or is she going to start the blanket from scratch?

If the needles are not marked on the end, you can find out what size needles she bought by using a little sizer with holes in it for measuring (just be careful not to scratch your needles with it, many of them have terribly sharp edges).

For a blanket, I find that using circulars is so much easier than long straights. You buy something wth around a 30" long cable in the needle size you need. I think WalMart has the Boye brand. They are fine, but just be sure to check for smoothness of the joins before you buy--I just open the package and check--no one has ever said anything to me about doing this. If you have a Michael's near by, they carry Susan Bates and some others (Lion Brand, Clover). If the cable is a bit kinky, you can straighten it out somewhat by holding it over steaming pot of water while stretching the cable out straight. This will relax the cable a good bit.

I guess you'll have to ask her on Wednesday about the yarn--maybe you could look ahead of time if you are over there at WM, and notice what the labels look like and where the brands are located on the shelving. Then maybe she could describe the label--for instance, "Did it have a big red heart on it?"--a la Red Heart. I'm guessing that she probably chose some yarn that had the word "baby" on it--namely "Red Heart Soft Baby" or "Bernat Softee Baby". My question would be, did she buy enough. It would be helpful if you can have an idea of how much yardage she bought and the weight of the yarn--is it worsted or sport weight?

I'll do some looking at pattern links I have and get back after a while.
Barbara
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rather be knitting
Seriously Hooked

USA
954 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2006 :  10:16:15 AM  Show Profile Send rather be knitting a Private Message
Looks like you have found yourself a new knitting pal. I hope you are able to get her going on her baby blanket. Ditto on everything Barbara said -- except i don't find Red Heart as nasty as some people do ;-) The Caron Simply Soft is much softer, but i've found some colors of Red Heart are softer than other -- and all of them seem to soften up quite a bit when you wash the finished item. I'd encourage using worsted weight for a first blanket instead of sport or baby weight (the knitting will go quicker and a blanket is not a small project for a new knitter).

For patterns, check out --
www.knittingpatterncentral.com
There are lots of free patterns there (in a lot of different categories). Your friend should be able to find something she likes there.

Happy Knitting -- claire
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knits_for_preemies
Permanent Resident

USA
1957 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2006 :  10:18:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit knits_for_preemies's Homepage Send knits_for_preemies a Private Message
Here are a couple of ideas:

This pattern is for a 15” square baby blanket. It uses sport weight yarn, such as the Bernat Softee Baby. (NOTE: You will probably have to copy-paste this link into your address window--I couldn't get it to pick up the whole link on the preview screen for this post when I clicked directly on the link.)
http://knitting.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.nancyhearne.com/drawingboard/littleblankets.htm

I’m looking at the first one listed—Garter Stripes—it’s simple but pretty.
This pattern is for a small preemie blanket, but you could just increase the number cast on to get it wider. The gauge is 5 stitches = 1 inch-----so you would just figure out how wide you want it to be and go from there.

5 x width you want = number you cast on

Ex: For a 25” wide blanket you would cast on 125.
30” wide cast on 150. You’d just have to estimate how much yarn you need based on the size blanket you make compared to the pattern.

I would think 25 x 25 or 25 x 30 might be okay—if the blanket is too big it might take her forever to finish. Just look at one of the blankets you liked to use a lot and see what size it was.

Another is a simple basket weave pattern: (just involves K2P2 combinations so should be easy. She would just have to keep up with a few rows.) I couldn't get the link to work on this one, so if you want that pattern, just let me know and I will send the pattern to you in Private Message.

Hope some of this helps.

Barbara
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blessed2bmommie
New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2006 :  05:53:21 AM  Show Profile Send blessed2bmommie a Private Message
OK! I had to think and get some info on this one....thinking with my now *23* mo around is near impossible. She's sleep so here goes! I saw her Wednesday and she's cluesless! Me: "Is there a heart?" Her: I can't remember! [:00] So how does one identify a mystery yarn? She said she was trying to find the longest needles she could b/c and those were all she could find. I need to take a look at her needles. She said the stitches were crowded on there. She wants to make a big blanket! I warned her it would be time consuming;but, she's raring to go! She wants to use her current knitting.

Soooooooo...I guess I don't have that much info! I forgot about her needles Wednesday. I've got a check so see sizing.

Thanks yall for giving me a hand here! :) Meanwhile my soaker leg ruffles aren't done b/c I don't have enough sense to figure it out from the video. (needs to be crocheted) I'm doing a gauge swatch for split crotch pants. (I EC my daughter)
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knits_for_preemies
Permanent Resident

USA
1957 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2006 :  09:04:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit knits_for_preemies's Homepage Send knits_for_preemies a Private Message
As long as your friend enjoys what she's doing, I think all will be fine. If the stitches are crowded on the needles, though, she/you may have to purchase the 32" circulars in the same needle size just to accomodate the blanket size (if she's going with a crib sized blanket). True, it will take her a long time, but you may not be able to get her to change her mind on size.

If it's any comfort to you, my very first knitting project was a huge cable afghan done in about 5 very long strips that had to be joined together. I was about 16, maybe 14, and it didn't bother me a bit that it took a long time. I'd never done cables before---just went by the directions in the little book I had, and all was fine. It turned out great. It was for my mom, so there was a lot of love there in the the knitting as well.

Barbara
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