I finished casting off last night, just after midnight.....and I love it! I will share a better picture in a week or two, once I've had a chance to block it properly (it needs it!) and sew in the last few ends. I'm going to use a needle and thread to firmly secure the little tails in place, so they don't worm their way back out (I heard about this trick from Heidi a couple of years ago, but this will be my first time trying it). I'm so glad that I decided to use bigger needles and use multiple strands of yarns to get the same general weight.
This definitely won't be my last such blanket. For the last couple of days, I've been dreaming of making another one in mostly shades of red for my bed in the summertime. My sister Sandra suggested that it would make an awesome bed covering - and I have to agree. I think I'll have to tinker with the pattern a bit to end up with a more rectangular shape, but have a few ideas already on how I might accomplish it.
In case you're curious (and so that I can find my notes when it comes time for my second one), here are the detail and notes.....
- 8mm needles
- multiple strands knit together to get the same basic, bulky? weight (up to 4 yarns at one time, mixing fingerling, lace, sock, DK, etc.)
- approx. 140 stitches per side at the end (560 in total)
- save all large balls for the outer rows -- they eat up yarn. 8 rows of pinky purple used almost all of the yarn from an former, very long scarf (originally a kit for Lu).
- very heavy - much time is taken just moving the stiches along on the needle in the later rows
- hot to work under - perfect for cool winter nights, but not really suitable for summertime knitting
- every row takes longer than the previous one...and in the end, it took more than an hour just to do the knitted cast off.
- generally increase 1 stitch on either side of corner (8 in total), every other row....but in last row before casting off, increase 2 stitches on either side of corners (16 in total) - to give a bit more ease around the corners
- the pattern calls for starting with 9 stitches. I think next time I would start with 5 -- just to get a tighter centre.
- next time, I'd knit a wider garter stitch border.....and make 'hidden' increases in the border (instead of yarnovers) and maybe throughout the whole blanket?