I'm delighted to announce that issue #17 of Knit Now magazine contains my 'Stippling' baby blanket pattern!
This design originally came into being early last year, when I decided to make something up for my boss, who was expecting her second baby. Her background is Scottish/Welsh, so I thought something Celtic would work very well. I hit The Book of Kells for inspiration, and decided to concentrate on one of my favourite aspects of that document: the stippling. This is a technique whereby some really beautiful patterns are outlined by a whole bunch of little red dots (which, as I've painted illuminated manuscripts using this technique, takes a lot of time and patience, I can tell you). So I came up with some motifs that looked like Kells-style stippling, and turned it into a double knitted (reversible) blanket. I was very pleased with how it turned out:
The blanket was a huge hit with my boss, and also with the nurses on her maternity ward, who kept threatening to steal it. :)
I submitted it to Knit Now last spring as part of my 12-in-12 challenge, and they were very enthusiastic. They also thought it would look wonderful if one of the yarns had long colour repeats. So we searched high and low for a yarn which:
- had long colour repeats
- was soft enough for babies
- was machine washable
- had at least 50% natural fibre content (this is the magazine's standard)
- was aran or worsted weight (the gauge needed for the blanket)
This actually turned out to be a very difficult task, but at last we found "Mochi Plus", from Crystal Palace Yarns, who were very receptive and enthusiastic about the project! Their "Plus Solid" yarn was perfect for the second, non-variegating colour (it's the same as Mochi Plus except with solid colours), and we were off:
(Although in hindsight, even though the rainbow yarn looks amazing, the motifs would probably show up more clearly on the variegated side if you used a colourway where the hues were all more closely related, such as 'Georgia Peach', 'Drama', or 'Grateful Grapes'.)
This pattern does seem to inspire covetousness, as Joeli, one of the technical editors for the magazine, has also threatened to steal it. :)
I used a particular cast-on for this pattern that wouldn't fit in the magazine (due to perfectly understandable space limitations), but they put it up on their website for reference. It's a really good cast-on that I've been using in a lot of my double knitted designs lately: link to the tutorial
If you're interested in getting your hands on this pattern, it's sold in shops throughout the UK. Elsewhere in the world, it's less available in stores, but you can order the magazine from their online shop. Much further down the road, I'm hoping the pattern can be part of a collection that I'll be trying to find a publisher for.
I hope you like it!