I finally decided on a baby blanket to knit. It is one I have been admiring for a few years and not really had the "excuse" to knit it. It is Debbie Bliss "Alphabet Blanket" the pattern is featured in her book ~ The Baby Knits Book . For the yarn I used some Jaeger 100% Cotton yarn that I had in my stash, I have 9 balls and I am keeping my fingers crossed I can finish it with the yarn I have, plan B is to buy another white cotton yarn and knit a simplified border with that? I'll see how I go...
I started knitting it last Thursday and have pretty much knit a little every day and this is the product of 5 days of knitting. I have enjoyed the pattern so far, it is instinctive and I can knit and watch TV or sit at soccer practice and still keep my concentration on two things at once. It keeps my interest with the different blocks of letters, YO's and knit and lace patterns.
I was however, very disappointed with my knitting. Cotton yarn has no give. I realized that my knitting was uneven in the tension and I learned that there was a term for this “Rowing out” where the knit row on stocking stitch is knit tighter knit than the purl row.
Gosh after knitting all these years I had no idea that there was a term for such knitting. After a little research on the web and in "The Knitters Handbook" by Montse Stanley I learned that there are techniques in overcoming this rowing out. One is to knit the "purl" rows with a small needle , another is to reverse knit the row for the purl rows and the last is to just try and adjust your tension and correct the purl rows with some extra care and less speed. You learn something new every day!
I am a fairly quick knitter and I couldn't stand the thought of slowing down my purl rows, however I am irritated that my knitting is uneven and I do like to do things properly so I decided to compromise by using a smaller needle on the purl rows. I think the texture of the knitting has improved since this adjustment. Its still not perfect but better. I hope it will be good enough?
Maybe I am trying to be all too perfect and forget that this is a hand made craft with in-perfections and thats what makes it so wonderful, that it isn't knitted by a machine and not absolutely PERFECT. I am torn myself, with this "perfection".
In this last photo you can see a close up of the first row of letters "Y and X" with the rowing out. The top of this photo you can see the newer knitted rows with a smaller needle for the purls rows. It makes a little difference :-)