Wednesday, 1 August 2018

A Beatrix blanket



Inspired by Alicia and Beatrix Potter and a basket full of odd balls of wool, I knitted a little blanket, just right for throwing round my shoulders on a chilly winter's day when I'm working at home and it's not quite warm enough. But of course I am completely out of sync with the world and I have finished it now, during a heatwave. Undeterred, I am showing you anyway, because otherwise I'll forget or I won't get around to it.

In fact now I think about it, I have two quilts here that I've never posted about. One very similar to a previous quilt, but one gigantic purple beast that I really ought to photograph, just to document its birth and existence if nothing else. I'll get to it. I had an idea that I would take it somewhere really photogenic and do some amazing shots of it, a la Ashley at Film in the Fridge who drapes her beautiful quilts over vintage barns and old wooden fences and blossomy trees and makes it all look utterly delightful. But of course I never got around to it. I shall make it a summer project, and add it to a list somewhere, of which there are far too many, with hours worths of ghastly things on them. I am ignoring them in the hopes that they will go away and I'm spending longer than I should reading.

I'm feeling a little glazed actually. Maybe because I'm slacking. I think I do best somehow when I'm at full stretch. Otherwise I go all dreamy and vacant and before I know it the day has flown by and all I have to show for it is a pile of washing up and a small adventure. On today's small adventure we found a wonderful village duck pond with a duck house in the shape of a palace no less. I shall photograph that next time, it was excellent.

In the meantime, all the photos I have are knitting ones, so I apologise to those of you who are feeling the heat. It seems to be a problem in lots of places this year. Fires in the US and Sweden as well as heatwaves in Europe, Africa and North America. Maybe I should call it the Heatwave Blanket. Hopefully when I am shivering at my desk (well, dining table, you will recall I don't have an actual desk) in February, I will think back to these hot days and call up a little of their warmth. That's a thing I think, if you're really hot and you think about ice, it cools you down, and vice versa.

Anyway, blanket.



I remember The Tailor of Gloucester well from when I was little, I loved the story of the cat being sent to buy a twist of cherry-coloured silk, and the mice helping the tailor to finish the mayor's waistcoat while he lay ill, leaving just one buttonhole unfinished. There's something so evocative about the books of childhood isn't there? Maybe the imagination is so much more vibrant then, I don't know, but when I see the books now the memories are strong.


The blanket is a very basic thing, just lots of stocking stitch with a garter stitch border, and just the perfect size for one slightly chilly person. I don't get on well with fancy knitting, although I'd love to create something lacy and holey and pretty. The trouble is I knit late at night when I'm tired, with very little brainpower left. Alicia crocheted hers, which I love. The texture of double crochet is wonderful. But I am somehow more of a knitter. And I worry about how much yarn you need for a crocheted thing. I read something the Yarn Harlot wrote about the amount of yarn eaten up by crochet once, which terrified me. I know where I am with knitting.

Anyway, there it is, one Beatrix blanket, sitting nicely folded on the shelf, waiting happily while we enjoy these long hot summer days. Anything on your needles?

21 comments:

  1. Oh well, I'm one of those who waste an incredible amount of yarn on crocheted things - with pleasure I might add, and at the moment I'm crocheting shawls which will be Xmas gifts in a few months:=) I NEVER feel like knitting in the summer, but when the dark and dreary autumn comes around I normally knit a sock or two…
    Greetings from Sweden

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  2. Your blanket is beautiful, CJ. I just love the colors, and your stitches are so neat. I'm really impressed with the way they look. I love seeing the books on your blanket too. I didn't really know any of the Beatrix Potter stories as a child, only discovering them since I had children, but I remember seeing some of the illustrations somewhere and enjoying them a lot. I'm starting to get excited about another blanket again (not that I need more blankets, oh no), as I'm making good progress with stashbusting and can really get through a lot more with another blanket or two. The idea of new yarn keeps me feeling very motivated.

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  3. It's a beautiful blanket, CJ, and you should be proud---I learned to knit when I was about 8 years old and quickly dropped it when I discovered boys. My husband would love a nice blanket like this, he's always cold when I have the a/c cranked up in this heat!

    Jane

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  4. Absolutely gorgeous, CJ. I love both the blanket with it's beautiful colours, and the inspiration behind it. The Tailor of Gloucester was my favourite Beatrix Potter book. I very much look forward to seeing your quilts. On my needles at the moment are a Featherweight Cardigan (Hannah Fettig) for me, and a pair of fingerless mitts that I promised for a friend - I'm sure she will appreciate them in this weather! xx

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  5. Such a lovely blanket with beautifully even stitches. I’m guessing you worked it on a very large circular needle, or does it have joins ? The colours are almost edible. Love Beatrix Potter too. My Godmother would send me a new book each birthday and Christmas until I had the whole collection. I’m in sock knitting mode at the moment, lovely warm socks for chillier days. Not sure what I’ll make next. Waiting for inspiration to hit B x

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    1. I love that you had the whole set, how wonderful. Yes, I used the longest circular needle I could find and bunched it up a bit. No joining things for me, ever, if I can help it! CJ xx

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  6. I always enjoy your posts although I rarely comment. Pleased you are being able to relax a little through the summer holidays - your life sounds full on during term time! Love your knitted blanket, such gentle soothing colours and beautiful even knitting. Nothing on my needles, just finished a knitted Unicorn for my granddaughter (blogged on http://linda-koshka2quilts.blogspot.com) which she loved even though he's an odd looking soul! Sewing as always and contemplating some crochet.

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  7. I'm crocheting a blanket at the moment which is highly textured and gobbling up yarn like a gobble-monster but that means the blanket will be toasty thick and warm come the freezing snow and ice months. I will go and take a look at Ashley's photos. I'd love to be able to 'style' yarny photos better. Thanks for the link. Here's a link to mine if you would like to see it: https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/karoo-vintage-mystery-along/

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  8. Love the blanket, the simplicity of stocking stitch is just what you need sometimes. I’ve done so much crochet of late I yearn for some knitting. I too, was brought up with Beatrix Potter, somehow The Tailor of Gloucester seemed local and ‘mine’. I used to look in the windows of The Tailor of Gloucester museum as a child and I used to think I could see the mice all working away. Such a lovely tale. Hot and sweaty in Chicago too at the moment, here for a few weeks. CN x

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  9. Your blanket would be appropriate here right now, CJ. We are in a part of the US that has almost non-stop rain for over a week. I am currently sitting here with a shawl draped over my shoulders. My daughter and I love those books. Those three actually just accompanied us on our vacation road trip. Mr. Tod is a fun one to read out loud.

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  10. Lovely post and pictures. Happy knitting. xx

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  11. Your blanket is lovely and you will appreciate it when the weather does turn cooler. I don't think that I knew about the Beatrix Potter stories until I had my daughter then made sure we had the whole set. I also love the Little Gray Rabbit books.
    At present I am knitting a shawl with mostly garter stitch with interval rows with yarnovers.
    I wish you a relaxing August before school begins again.

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  12. Your blanket is absolutely delightful. I love your colour choices and your neat stitches. I shudder at the thought of all those purl stitches.... I am also more of a knitter, crochet does rarely tempt me. I knit summer and winter, nice yarn feels nice all year round. I am looking forward to seeing your quilts sometime this summer. No pressure! Enjoy your slow days. xx

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  13. Your blanket is lovely CJ and just think, as soon as it gets cool you'll be able to use it straight away and not have to worry about madly rushing to finish it! xx Susan

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  14. It all looks very neat and lovely. My knitting is rather ungainly and rustic in comparison! I have a shawl-type thing that's been sitting on my needles since the winter before last. Thin wool on fat needles which makes it lacy with no actual competence required on my part. Its very warm when you wrap yourself up in it, surprising given the holes. Anyway, yours is beautiful and I also love BP, went to an exhibition of her drawings at Mottisfont a while back, she is an absolute heroine of mine, a very talented artist and writer but also the most amazing ecologist, well before her time I feel. She had a hedgehog she drew who would bite her finger when he'd had enough. xx

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  15. It's perfect, and I love the name and thought behind it. I hope you and yours are doing well! I'm looking forward to a bit of blanket weather myself. We are roasting away without aircondlting here in SoCal in August. Sending hugs!

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  16. It is a gorgeous blanket, your stitches are so even and the color is perfect. You will love it in the Autumn when it is chilly, if that ever arrives. Hugs and happy weekend.

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  17. Love the colours, like a strawberry/chocolate ice cream sundae with cherry and chocolate sauce! I read all the Beatrix Potter books as a child, silly Jemima Puddleduck and Mrs Tiggywinkle were my favourites. I used to knit until the joint at the base of my left thumb became so painful and forced me to stop. I now crochet (inspired by Lucy at Attic24, of course!) and have a blanket of squares that's been half finished for too long. Another visit to the duck pond sounds good. Have a lovely week.

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  18. I love your blanket!!! The colors are great. The blanket and book would make a wonderful baby present. I need to remember that...... I have socks and a bolero and a sweater. Crazy since I live in Central Florida.......

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  19. I love it. I also seem to finish woolly items when the weather is hottest, I'm never seasonally on trend. But those rosy pink tones are just beautiful. It has a really vintage, nostalgic feel which works so well with the simple pattern.

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