The patchwork blanket came off the needles last week and it really is a monster. This is easily the biggest thing I have ever made – I don’t have exact measurements but it’s somewhere in the region of 90x90 inches and it looks like it will fit a queen size bed. It won’t drape down to the ground on a bed but it should work perfectly well as a comforter.
It’s off the needles but it isn’t quite finished yet – and I’m not even counting the hundreds of ends that required weaving in! I’ve had a different finish in mind for this blanket from the start. After I finished the cable knit blanket, I thought it would be great if I could somehow back it with a thick fleecy backing fabric but I’ve never backed a blanket before and I didn’t want that one to be my tester….after all it’s my favourite knitted item so far.
The whole idea for this patchwork blanket came about because I wanted to make a test knit to practice backing a blanket with. But I didn’t want to waste my time and make something that I didn’t need or want just for the sake of practicing. A huge blanket is definitely above and beyond “practice size” but it’s going to be something that I will actually use which makes it worth the time and effort.
I bought 3 yards of quilt-backing fabric for $10 a yard, more than I needed but I wanted to be sure I wasn’t going to run out – it’s 108 inches wide rather than the normal 44 inches - and then just like in quilting I laid the knitted blanket face down on the living room floor and spread the backing fabric on top. I pinned it together using curved safety pins that I use for quilting and then manhandled the beast to the couch. I’m using an embroidery hoop, which I purchased so I could hand-quilt the rainbow quilt, to keep the two layers from shifting as I sew.
I changed by mind about how to sew/quilt it together twice; first I tried using embroidery thread but realized after about 2 inches of stitching that it would A) take forever and B) use way more thread than I had. Instead I started quilting it with leftover yarn using a straight stich but I really didn’t like the look of the stitching on the front or the back. I finally settled on back stitching which I think looks very neat on the front and more interesting (and secure) than the straight stitch on the back.
It’s very slow going, especially moving the embroidery hoop every time, but it’s easy, mindless and perfect to pick up for a few minutes at a time. The only thing I still have yet to fully plan/decide on is finishing the edges of the blanket….but I hopefully inspiration will strike before I get to that part!