Josephine’s Fichu

Over the summer, I found out a dear friend of mine was going to be a father. Immediately, I decided to make a little blanket for the baby. When I found out he would be having a little girl I looked through my stash for some baby girl-friendly yarn and found La Jolla by Baah Yarns in Berry Cocktail. It was hot pink and purple and totally Rock ‘n Roll.  

Baah Yarn in La Jolla, in the Berry Cocktail colorway
 I don’t know what possessed me to pick a fingering weight yarn for a baby blanket but I was undeterred. I scoured my library for something that would work for my yardage-in-stash and I found a pattern that was beautiful, but it kind of scared me. It was Anne Elliot’s Fichu from Jane Austen Knits, Summer 2012. It’s supposed to be a light gauzy wrap knit in lace weight yarn. I thought I could make it with a slightly heavier yarn and call it a baby blanket. I gathered up my yarn and all the courage I could and jumped right into the provisional cast-on I’d never attempted before. Yikes! Two false starts later and I was on my way!

The main part of the blanket is knit flat. From there, the outer edge is cast on, and a lace border finishes it off. All in all, it is an enjoyable knit. The flat pattern repeat is easy enough to do while watching TV. The lace part required a little bit more concentration, and toward the end it took an hour to get through one round. The pivot edging is cute and adds a nice little touch but it should not be attempted when your mindset is GET IT DONE because those stitches will stretch on and on like the hallway from Poltergeist.

The biggest problem I had with the blanket was not from the pattern at all. In fact, Human Error caused a major upset while simultaneously launching an adventure. As I mentioned before, the pattern called for lace weight yarn and I substituted with fingering weight yarn. However, I failed to factor in the extra yardage, and late in the game, I realized I was going to run out of yarn.

I was on a roll. I was getting up early and knitting before work, after the kids went to bed, and every time in between. Before I even started I decided to alternate my yarn balls since hand dyed yarn can have some very distinct changes between hanks. I was coming to the end of both yarn balls and I needed to come up with a solution quick. As luck would have it, I was headed out to Las Vegas for work and I looked up the LYS’s and called to see if they had my yarn. Yes, both places did but I was on my own as far as color went. I ended up buying a substitute yarn and something extra for myself but I wasn’t completely happy. To add insult to injury, I lost my pattern somewhere between home and Vegas. An entire magazine that was usually glued to the crook of my arm had vanished. I took about a week to look for the magazine before I gave up and bought the digital copy from the Interweave store. There was only so much I could do before I ran out of yarn and I had to decide if I really wanted to use the new substitute yarn or if I wanted to slide down that slippery slope of online yarn shopping so I could match my colorway. Hello, yarn.com!

A number of years ago I rushed to yarn.com to make an emergency online order when I ran out of yarn and resources to obtain one more skein of white yarn I needed for my Husband’s Doctor Who scarf. Some time between then and now I developed a taste for Craftsy discount dumps and Mystery Boxes. I couldn’t  go on like that anymore because I was mindlessly spending, so I gave up online yarn shopping unless it was an absolute emergency. Hello, emergency.

Ravelry helped my search. It has that handy little feature that lets you look at all the online retailers available for a particular yarn. There were some cute little independent shops that had one or two skeins left but I decided to go with yarn.com because the number of skeins in stock guaranteed I wouldn’t be met with an unexpected backorder. Unfortunately, that one purchase kind of spawned a mini-spree but I’m doing much better now haha.

The new skein of Berry Cocktail turned out to be a little darker than the rest of the lot I had but I didn’t care. The darker hue on the edges would be badass.   

I integrated it into the blanket and used only the new yarn for the last 12 or so rows. My confidence began to waver when I was about six rows in and thought I might run out of yarn for the edging. It was close. I only ended up with 9 grams of yarn left after the final snip.

I’m happy I made the blanket for Miss Josephine and I can’t wait to do it again some time for myself. But before I send it off to its recipient, I have a little bragging around the office to do.

A look from the corner
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