My Material Life

A Blanket for Birthday No. 9

Last week I made the decision to tackle all the uncompleted projects in my rather large knitting basket.  Luckily, I had a long car trip to look forward to (very useful for knitting as long as you’re not the one driving) and with Samantha’s birthday approaching, I decided to begin the task by finishing this blanket that I started for her at least five years ago.  It’s a project from the book, Greetings From Knit Cafe.  I really like the projects in this book, and I did manage to complete at least one of them (the slouchy cardigan beginning on page 114) shortly after I acquired it (and after I found the corrections for the book online).  The blanket doesn’t really require any special instructions.  It’s simply a large piece of stockinette stitch edged with a round of single crochet.  It’s the yarn that makes it so special.

The blanket is knit with Zucca from Trendsetter Yarns in the color peony.  It’s from Italy – 58% tactel and 42% polyamid (i.e., synthetics) and it’s very soft.  I hope it washes up OK.  The label says cold water wash/no detergents, so we’ll see; I’ll try washing it this weekend.  The good news is that Zucca is still available.  I think I ordered it from this place.  The yarn used to edge the project in the book was a Gedifra Techno Hair.  I believe it’s been discontinued.  I tried to use a Patons Divine yarn in a shell pink to edge my blanket, but I thought it was too fuzzy and I really liked the apple green color used in the book.  So I went to Yarndogs and Candace (one of their knowledgeable staff) came up with the solution of using the two yarns shown above.  It’s not the same effect as the edge shown in the book (I wasn’t really trying for it) and now I realize that the apple green in the book was really just a blush of apple green, but doggone it, I still think it’s a good solution and sometimes you just need to call it good and get on with your life – you know what I mean?

Can I show you a few other pretty things from Samantha’s birthday?

These are (1) cut Lenten Roses in a glass bud vase, (2) another party bunting using a couple of IKEA fabrics I’ve shown before and sewn according to the directions here, and (3) a gift wrapped in hand-colored paper that Samantha’s cousin made using her school newspaper (clever girl!)

Below you can see the key lime pie (recipe here) that Samantha requested for a family lunch (we ate her birthday curry) and that I turned into a tart by using an old Martha Stewart trick (use a springform pan instead of a pie pan for the crust).  Also shown is a very handsome cat and a set of pink and cream rose net lights that I picked up at Yamagami’s Nursery a few years ago and that I think I’ve found here.  The rose lights make such a nice change in fairy lighting for this time of year.


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