Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chloe's Quilt

Baby Chloe arrived earlier this year, the second daughter of a coworker. At the school where I work there are many knitters and a few crocheters so we joined together to create a quilt to welcome this little one into the world.

I'm thoroughly pleased with how the project turned out. I'm even more proud of the fact that, of the 20 squares, there were 17 individuals who contributed. Some are experienced knitters or crocheters, some are beginning knitters, and a few are occasional knitters or crocheters whose fingers remember what to do (and whose gauge is incredibly, remarkably, enviably even).

A few close-ups:

I love the top-stitched acorn as well as the pink stripe running down the sage green square ("It just needed a little something," said M.).

The varied colors and plethora of textures should delight the eyes and fingers of any babe placed on top.

I had managed a group knitted baby blanket once before and, having learned a few things from the first, more closely managed this one more than the last. For issues including color, yarn type/washability, and gauge, I preselected the wool and colors. We used Mission Falls 1824 Wool, which I like for baby and child pieces because it is washable and comes in many vibrant colors. Those making squares were able to choose their favorite colors from the pot and were allowed to do any stitch pattern of their liking, with the sole request to leave selvedges around the sides to aid postproduction work. I did suggest the squares be 8" square, but that was a rough guide for some. In the end, having shapes of different sizes made for a more interesting quilt, as I crocheted filler rows in the interstices to add even more color to the overall effect.

I love the lime green square in the top row, above. It looks and feels like a knitted bobble stitch but it is crochet and is more solidly made than a comparable knitted stitch; T. will have to show me how it's done someday.

For additional color, and to aid sewing the squares together, I crocheted two rounds of single crochet in a contrast color around every square.

L. knitted in our school's logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the middle square above. The square to its left was crocheted by A. who has master knitter blood coursing through her veins. I am proud that we have two male knitters on our staff: L. knitted the orange square to the right of the acorn square and B. knit the green square on the bottom right. He knocked that one out in a couple of hours; he learned to knit last October. We're proud of B.

After sewing all of the squares together by the backs of their crocheted edges (and wet blocking it all) I crocheted two more rounds of single crochet around the entire shebang (which came out to approximately 4 feet x 3 feet), wet-blocked it all again, hand stitched a piece of incredibly soft brown corduroy with lime green polka dots to the back, and securely sewed a mismash of green buttons to the square intersections.

I'm really proud of how it turned out, that so many people had a part in it, and that it delighted the mother and father of the little one for whom it was created.

1 comment:

knittinbrit_in_wi said...

What a wonderful idea. I've always been concerned with doing one of these projects because I was afraid of the squares not being the correct size; after reading your post and looking at the pics I can see you solved this potential problem beautifully. Now, I need not fear getting some gals in on one of these for a friend who is expecting a baby late this summer.

Beautiful job!!