The 5 year blanket

I started my first ‘real’ job about a month after graduating University. I woke up on Saturday morning to my brother & dad telling me there was a Mini Cooper (one of my favourite cars) for sale in the paper for a good price. We went to take a look at it and next thing you know, I’ve got my first bank loan set up to buy my first car. All kinds of rather grown up things happened all of a sudden back in the fall of 2004. I started working on a blanket to help keep the back seat warm and cargo bay protected in my new baby.

While there was quite a lot of life that happened in those five years, the blanket never quite got finished. Not before I sold the car and move on from that first job. It wasn’t worked on at all while I was away living and working in the UK—a dream since high school. I didn’t start working on it again until after moving across the country and getting set up here in Montreal. Two years into living here and the blanket is finally finished now that I’m finally settled in a routine again.

In my usual fashion, this blanket has been ripped out and restarted 3 times. The last time was in October. I had originally planned for the blanket to be the exact width of the back seat of the Mini, but as I no longer own the car, I decided I wanted it to be wider and more couch friendly.

Also in the last restart of this blanket, I realised that when crocheting, it’s more effective to work the ends in as a project’s worked instead of in knitting, where they’re left to the last to be worked in. Definitely a plus for crochet in my book. As this blanket had been worked narrower twice already, I was working with many smaller lengths of yarn. Instead of leaving them loose, I split felted them as I worked which is something I kind of really enjoy doing.

All these things really made it enjoyable to work on while watching tv. Add on the turn in temperature in the fall, and having a blanket on my lap to work on during CSI really made this project fly, relatively speaking to its previous progress.

It was also kind of a race to the end of the yarn. As I worked it became clear that the scarlet was going to be the deciding factor in the final blanket size. It did run out halfway through the second stripe of a pattern repeat, but luckily my brother Mr. Peabody has quite the supply of Briggs & Little sport which doubled up is a decent substitute for the Heritage.

It looks rather nice on my first couch doesn’t it?

Honesty is clearly the best policy

Yes I lied. I am not yet fit to call myself a Monogamist Knitter just yet. The Pink Lopi Raglan is not my only project on the go. I know, I know, I know barely a week since declaring my monogamy I’m already having the wandering fingers. But it’s not what you think! This other project, it’s crochet and it can’t get around much anymore. I don’t want to leave it lingering on the couch feeling unwanted watching as newer pinker things get all the attention.

So in the evenings, I’ve been working on the Mini Blanket when on the sofa watching tv. I am, of course, crazy-perfectionist even when it comes to the crochet and have begun this blanket entirely over again. But for why? Because it was already a millionty feet long, I had like 4 more skeins to put into it and it was just too darned narrow for my tastes. Yes. Could have finished it and then crocheted along one side, but then I’d always know that it wasn’t perfect and I had to compromise.

This blanket’s purpose has changed since the initial chain row. Originally it was going to be a back seat/cargo blanket for my Mini Cooper. I never finished it in time to use in the car before I sold it. I loved that car. Now, my Mom loves that car, so I still get to visit it when I’m in town. So the original width was based on the width of the Mini’s back seat. I even left a big button hole for the seat belts to go through.

My first bout of crazy when I first dug this blanket out to re-start was to rip back to the button hole for seat belts and then keep going. Crazy, but only a half restart. This time: complete do over. Yes. I’m THAT crazy a perfectionist (not that this is the first time I’ve completely restarted a project and likely not the last).

But I think I’m being a little bit smarter about it this time. Instead of ripping it all out and starting from the beginning again, I have started with the unused skeins and am going to work through those before ripping back the other blanket. That way I can use the other one in the mean time. It’s more like I’m starting another one, rather than redoing the previous one.

Newer, Smarter, Faster?
Perhaps. For the colour changes, I’m working the ends in as I go instead of just leaving them until the whole things done. I’m folding in the ends over the top of the previous row of the same colour and crocheting around the yarn AND top of the previous row. Does that explanation make sense? Oh and because of all the ripping & cutting that this yarn is been through, I’m using my now favourite Spit/Felted joining to avoid EVEN MORE ends to work in (thank goodness for the Briggs & Little Heritage and it’s 100% wooly goodness).

I’m four full stripe repeats through and I’m loving the new width and I think it will manage to eat up all the yarn quite nicely. The scarlet will be the limiting factor.

Out of the Basket

And onto the couch.

Pattern: Stripy Throw — Simple Crochet
Adaptations: Doubled all rows to create bigger stripes
Materials: Briggs & Little Heritage in Washed White, Scarlet, Navy Blue and Light Blue
Start Date: Fall 2004
Finished By: Still going.

Blame it on too much cutting with an exacto knife. Blame it on the sad projects staring up at me through Ravelry. Blame it on a chilly apartment while watching tv one night this week and not wanting to turn the heat on just yet. Blame it on what you will, but this blanket is on the go once more!

A wee bit of history for this 3 year old project. I graduated University in the spring of 2004. I then got a job at my University after a month or so and woke up one Saturday morning to my brother bursting into my room exclaiming that my Dad found a Mini for sale in the paper for an affordable price. I am NOT a morning person. It usually takes me at least an hour to properly wake up and be coherent. But this REM interruption worked better than a triple espresso ever could.

Long story short. The three of us headed down to check out the car. I test drove it, as did my Dad. Some serious impulse shopping kick set in and the wheels were in motion for my first Major purchase as a working adult. I love that car still and would buy another Mini in a heart beat. They are too too too much fun to drive!

This blanket was started to live in my back seat to be a seat warmer in the winter (leather gets REAL cold)/cargo blanket for when the back seat would be folded down. I even worked in a gap for the seatbelt! The colours were selected to go with the lovely yellow exterior and are somewhat reminiscent of other Mini colours of the time. But I didn’t finish it in time to use in the car before selling it to my parents so that I could afford my London adventure.

The nice thing about selling my car to my parents is that I get to drive it when I go home. It’s like getting to visit the dog at the farm after it got sent away.

I’m pretty far along, but have plenty of yarn to go through still. I’ll keep chugging as long as the yarn holds out. If fall ever shows up, I’ll have a finished blanket in no time!