TWENTY NINE KNIT BLANKETS. Sure thing, I'm in.
I came up with MAKE29 in September 2013. By December I was knitting my first blanket, with the plan to have 29 done by the following fall. I don't remember if I thought it would be hard. Probably not. And let's be clear: this wasn't hard it was just time consuming (and more than a little monotonous). I remember at one point last spring, doing the math and realizing if I knitted just two full stripes (8 rows) every day I'd be done in time to make this a September edition. Obviously, that didn't happen.
knitting with Ellerie on Christmas Eve.
In many ways, these blankets represent MAKE29 for me. They took almost the full year (though I did start before I was 29). They are entirely hand-made. They celebrate a project I had done previously. They were a labor of love and for the most part created while I did things I loved...
knitting a cowl in March because I was so tired of knitting blankets (you can see my current work in progress on the left).
I knitted while I chatted with Paul or my parents. I knitted while I watched Ellerie play. I knitted while I watched the Sons of Anarchy dig themselves into a hole (literally). I knitted while watching Ted meet their mother. I knitted while I watched Olivia Pope create more scandal. I knitted while I watched Leslie Knope get recalled. (There was a lot of TV watched, obviously.)
my mobile knitting station in November.
I knitted while I listened to podcasts and books on tape. I knitted through football games and so many movies. I knitted while walking back and forth, trying to rack up fitbit steps. Knitting is the ultimate in "keeps your hands busy" projects and this edition kept my hands busy.
So busy that I had to learn a new method of knitting. My wrists and hands ached from the English "throwing the yarn" method and so I taught myself the Continental style out of necessity. Above is a short video where I demonstrate the difference.
Throughout the year, I kept a journal of the colors and the date that I finished each blanket. I finished four in December. I finished one on New Year's Day then four more in January. Four in February, then four in March. Then just six between April and September. You can tell when I was like GO! again in mid-October because I finished the final seven in just three weeks.
Having this journal record is special to me. It makes me wish I kept more "notes" for my projects because it's so interesting to look back at my work flow. You can see from my numerous cross outs and eraser marks that the color plans switched constantly. I decided in July to start repeating some of my favorite color combinations, making 21 different versions total. It was fun to change colors, I was always re-excited about the project just having new yarn in my hands.
It was important to me that each blanket was "branded" and I added a small label to each that states the edition number and MAKE29. If I take away anything from MAKE29 it's that the details matter.
After over 11 months, 116 skeins of yarn and an estimated 160,080 stitches, the result is 29 hand-knit blankets. My original was made as a baby blanket when I first found out I was pregnant with Ellerie so clearly, these would make perfect baby blankets (and are machine washable which is a major pro with kiddos) but they are nice as lap blankets for adults too. They're small (about 3x3 feet) but thick and stretchy and just the right size to throw over your knees.