I love knitting and spend a huge part of my day with knitting needles in my hands. I like to make gifts for people I know (believe me if you stick around here long enough you will hear just how crazy I go around Christmas time, making gifts for my rather large family) and there is no occasion I like to knit for more than a new baby.
A few months back, I was on Facebook and found out that two friends from high school had not only found out that they were pregnant but had found out that they were SIX and a HALF MONTHS along already. This sent me scrambling for my yarn and needles. Six and a half months along meant less than 3 months to knit something for them. And of course, as people who know me can tell you, I always have to make things hard on myself. So instead of going to Ravelry and picking out a cute, quick baby blanket pattern, I had to open up my stitch guides and design something. My friends had just come back from a trip to Ireland and their house is decorated with lots of little Irish touches, so I decided to do something that suggested an Irish Fisherman Sweater. I picked out a bunch of different cables out of various stitch guides and started knitting.
I quickly discovered that this was not a blanket that I could knit casually. There were 8 different cables (most of which were knit twice) and they each had their own patterns and each of them had a different number of rows in their pattern repeat which meant balancing a lot of different sets of instructions and keeping track of each cable individually. It was very slow going and it was demanding knitting. I had to pay very close attention to what I was doing. And I think I was ready to be done with it long before it was actually done. But it is done now and not a moment too soon since the mommy-to-be has started talking about possibly having a c-section in the (really) immediate future.
So here it is (apparently just in time) – The Aran Sampler Baby Blanket:
Truth be told, the cables I knit in this blanket were chosen for their appearance but as I knit, I began t realize that there was some unintentional symbolism here. The center cable and the vines with bobbles reminded me of a trellis with fruit vines growing on them and I began to think that it represented a wish for fruitfulness and abundance. The diamonds and the little coins on the edge represent wealth. The two Celtic knots suggested being connected to friends, family and people who love you. And the ropes seemed to suggest strength and security. And I cannot think of better things for a new little life just entering the world.
And now, that I am done with this big, ambitious project I am going to knit something quick and mindless. I have another baby blanket I should start working on (what is with all these people having babies at the same time!?) but I think I need some recovery time before I start that.