A Small Obsession

Growing up in Michigan (blizzard of ’78 anyone), I was always chilled in the winter especially because we had giant picture windows in our living room (not the awesome gas filled triple pane windows of today) and there was no getting Dad to turn up the heat beyond 66, maybe 68.  But this gave us all the opportunity to enjoy snuggling under blankets. I’ve previously mentioned that I have more afghans than any one family needs and yet they are something I cannot resist.  Even when it really isn’t that cold (we have a wood stove and our house is never less than 70 in the winter), you won’t find me without a blanket.

blanket

The dream blanket.

One day, after I’d begun knitting for myself, I was browsing Pinterest and I saw this amazing cable knit afghan that could be a comforter or a rug and I was in love.  One thing I love about Pinterest is following people who share your interests and tastes and it seemed that everyone I was following was in love with this afghan.  Unfortunately, it was from a website based out of the Netherlands and there was no way I was paying 299 euros for it!  So, I decided to make it.  Copy a picture, blow it up in paint, count the stitches, make a pattern, find the perfect yarn, calculate yardage, put the skeins in online shopping basket and BAMMMM…$290 before the actual time it would take to knit.  Yikes! And that isn’t making it two sided like the one I could purchase.

It’s my fault that it was this pricey but I can’t help myself.  I have blankets that grandma knit before I was born that look better than ones that are just a few years old.  One truth in knitting, unlike in other crafts, is that you can’t do it for less unless you want to use lesser materials.  Today’s inexpensive acrylic yarns are just not what they used to be.  Kids, pets and frequent washing have turned most of my current afghans into plastic-y feeling, dog hair filled lap warmers.  The universal truth, “you get what you pay for” is so true in knitting.  The yarn I fell in love with for this blanket was Spud & Chloë Outer, a wool/cotton blend in super bulky that was perfect.  I managed to buy myself a couple skeins with a groupon and added more to my Christmas list (thanks Mom!) and in the end, it won’t cover my whole bed, but I have a perfect lap blanket for snuggling on the couch.

Multi-Cable Lap Blanket/Baby Blanket

IMG_2875

Oops, just realized I took a picture of my big mistake!

Yarn: 8 skeins Spud & Chloë Outer (480-500 yds super bulky yarn)
Needles: US # 13 circular 24” or more
Cable needle

Cast on 86 stitches using long tail cast on. Knit in 2 by 2 rib (knit 2, purl 2) for 5 rows. For the body of the blanket: first 4 stitches of every row work in garter stitch (knit right and wrong side).  Between border work cable chart 3 times (sweeping cable, purl 3, braided cable, purl 3) plus one more of 1st (sweeping) cable. End row with 4 stitches in garter stitch.

cable pattern

Sweeping cable is cabled every 10 rows. Braided cable alternates cabling every 6 rows.

I continued this for about 130 rows and then knit the lead in 2 x 2 rib rows for 5 rows again.  I bound off with the Elizabeth Zimmerman’s bind-off for a more flexible edge.  The finished size is approximately 30″ by 40″ (if I ever get around to blocking it).

If making a larger blanket I would add a bit more separation between the cables and add more cables as needed.

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