November 21, 2004
Knit Cafe Baby Binky
I've gotten a lot of finishing done this past week. Well, a lot for my new, slower-paced knitting life. I have finished the knitting portion of my Knit Cafe Baby Binky, and am now considering putting some sort of fabric backing on it. More on that below, but if any of the sewers out there have suggestions, I'll be happy to take them in the comments. (Ecstatic, in fact!) I also ripped out the collar on my Rowan Peace Cardigan for the third time and re-knit it to my satisfaction. It's now pretty and perky, rather than looking like a floppy mess. I achieved this superior look by 1) knitting the first row of picked-up stitches rather than doing it in seed stitch; 2) reducing the number of picked up stitches by six; 3) knitting really tightly; and 4) casting off in stockinette rather than seed stitch. I also considered using a sewn bind-off, but it didn't turn out to be necessary. Enough on that, though. Here's my finished Binky, with project notes:
Knit Cafe, Free Pattern,
My version was different from the others that I had seen in that it involved a series of randomly striped panels that were sewn together after the fact. My goal was to create a binky that had the flavor of a quilt, only soft, squooshy, and knitted. I could have achieved the same effect by doing the binky all in one piece and using the intarsia method, but that would have involved a lot of tangling and untangling. (It also would have involved intarsia!) Additionally, I think it would have had the effect of making things less random, and more planned, which I wanted to avoid. I have a wonderful friend who is an amazing quilter, and if there is anything she has imparted to me (besides my rather meager sewing skills), it is that in this type of project, randomness is key.
With that in mind, here is the pattern: Cast on 15 stitches and knit random stripes until the piece reaches a length of 24". Repeat once. Cast on 20 stitches and do the same. Repeat once. Stitch the four pieces together with the two narrower pieces on the outside edge and the two larger pieces in the center. Choose one of the yarns and make a single crochet edge to finish.
Like Kay, I am a die-hard matress-stitcher. I considered doing an edge-to-edge seam so that the binky wouldn't have pronounced seams, but decided that with this incredibly fuzzy yarn, that was just too much of a hassle. (I'm not a whip-stitcher by nature, but it's possible I will have to adjust - please feel free to tell me if you think I need to!) As a result, I ended up with this on the reverse side. Not the worst situation I've ever seen, but not gorgeous, either. When I went to the fabric store, I found a lovely cotton flannel that went well with the blanket to back it with, but when I got to the sales person I learned that it would not stretch and would consequently make the blanket (which does stretch) look misshapen. I'm no expert in this area, but that makes sense to me, and when a veteran seamstress speaks, I listen. She suggested stretch velvet. I'm not against this in concept, but in practice I'm not sure if I'm ready to make the velvet leap. It may be a little too loungey for me. Opinions? Suggestions? Anyone think stretch velvet is wave of the future?
Simple and random as it is, backing or not, I really like the way this pattern turned out. Shockingly, Moxie does, too. (This is the man who said of Birch, "I don't understand the holes." Yes, that's right. And it was my wedding shawl. Miraculously, we are still married.) He wants me to consider making a really big version for our bed. (This is no small task - our bed is custom-sized and technically larger than a California King. Still, I'm considering it. I have some great ideas for further funkifying this pattern, and any interest in my knitting on his part is more than an impetus for action.)
Impressions of GGH Esprit:
Possible substitute yarns:
Tips for Others Making the Knit Cafe Baby Binky: