Commission from down under

My best friend inconsiderately moved to Australia a couple of years ago (bafflingly she wishes to live in a climate that isn’t grey and louring for seven months of the year) and has been the polite recipient of various items of babywear. She’s now commissioned a bedspread/throw/afghan type thing from me – pattern and yarn at my discretion. The only stipulation was that it had to be fairly lightweight and in a neutral shade. Also needs to be able to take a certain amount of punishment as there’s a one-year-old in the house and likely to be more babies at some point.

After scouting around various different yarns I picked Rowan’s all-seasons cotton. Because it’s cotton-acrylic it’s not as heavy as pure cotton and should be warm without being heavy. It’s also an aran weight which means it should knit up nice and quickly (definitely a consideration when it’s for a queen-size bed).

Pattern was trickier – I wanted something a bit lacy but it also had to be manageable in the knitting – so not knitted in one piece. Most lace designs aren’t designed to be used as blocks in a blanket/bedspread-type thing so finding something that would work as blocks was difficult. I thought about the hap shawl technique (knit a central square then knit each border outwards) but it would still give me an uncomfortably bulky number of stitches by the time I got towards the outsides of the borders. Eventually I found this design from Home Work 1891 – a book of lace patterns published in the 19th century and brought up to date on the Knit Wiki here.

Basic block

Basic block

Started the project on Friday evening and finished the first block on Monday morning, so hopefully the whole thing will be pretty quick to knit (if I don’t get enormously bored knitting the same block 16 times). The square is about 14 inches unblocked so I’m hoping to get at least another 2 inches out of it when blocked. I may knit a border on to the whole thing at the end.

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