Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chameleon Blankets

Just as easliy as a chameleon changes colors, so does this project. They can be used for security blankets because they are thick, soft and portable, a pet pad to keep hair off furniture or car seats, or a baby pad to give the tadpole an easy-to-clean pad to lay on or for diaper changing.

It's ultra-easy so it's a great beginner project and it's a great stash buster for more seasoned knitters who have built up yarns they don't know what to do with (guilty). Plus you don't need a lot of any yarn which works out for those who shop and only get a skein or two with no project in mind (guilty, again). Because you are carrying three different yarns throughout the project, even the garter stitch which normally would become mind-numbing isn't. You are paying attention to catching all the yarns, the textures vary, it's so fast to finish there isn't time to get bored. It's Zen-ful in nature.

Using a smaller needle gives the pad a firm, dense structure. Most novelty yarns are synthetic making them machine washable. There really isn't a down side to this.

About 175 yards of each of the following:
an eyelash style yarn (Bernat "Boa" makes an incredibly soft pad)
a nubby yarn
a bulky or chenille yarn
US 9 circular needles

Using one strand of each, throughout project, cast on 45 stitches. Knit every row (Garter stitch) until desired size. Bind off.

That's a good basic formula of yarns but try your own combinations. If you change the color of one yarn part way through, you will get a striped project. I've made sure 2 yarns were constant throughout the project and if I had to, I'd change the color or go to a similar yarn on the third that ran out. I just eyeball color combinations. If it looks good next to each other, it will probably work. In fact, they may not look like a combo of yarns for a "thick" blanket, but when you knit, it will be dense. So try it if you are not sure. And dark yarns aren't any more difficult to work with.

No, cat/small dog nails do not get hung up on the yarn. I don't know why. I know it defies common sense, but I have been using them for a couple of years now with no problems. With babies, avoid the nubby yarns or anything they might want to "pick" at. For an older child (security blanket) you have more choices in yarns.