23 September 2015

Autumn Essentials | Handmade Cable Knit Blanket & Pattern Link

This week I wanted to keep up the theme of my Autumn essentials, or what I love to do to make my home more cosy in time for fall.

I love blankets! I love having one in my living room and cosying up in one watching TV on cold afternoons. Normally I would quite happily invest in various blankets and throws, but this Autumn I decided I would like to try and make my own. 

Shortly after my surgery I came across a great little crafters site here in Ireland called The Crafters Basket, where I picked up two 400g skeins of Aran blend wool. I then began to search the web for some easy to follow blanket patterns. Since I am loving rustic, simple decor at the minute - I was particularity interesting in looking for something quite Celtic looking, so a blanket with a cable design was top of my list. 

Eventually I came across this great pattern on Lion Brand, and to make it even better, it was totally free! Click here to see the pattern > 

I was planning on picking up a cream yarn for the project but agreed with my hubby Shane that an off grey colour would go much nicer with our current living room decor. 

Before I started this project I unravelled and balled my two skeins of yarn. You don't generally have to do this with knitting projects, but I prefer to do so in order to make sure my yarn doesn't knot midway through the project. 

This blanket was so surprisingly simple to make. Initially I was looking for something I could knit in one go and not have to worry about stitching together afterwards, but stitching my completed panels together at the end was not as bad as I thought it would be. 

You may also be wondering why I am knitting from two balls of yarn. Well this pattern requires you to knit with two strands of yarn at all times as you will see in the image below. I believe that is what gives this project its chunky, cushy texture. It really is no different to single strand knitting - you simply need to remember to treat the two strands as you would one! 

I started off by casting onto UK size 10 knitting needles:

The pattern actually calls for a size 13 but I could not find the correct size anywhere in time (and I'm incredibly impatient), so just went ahead with the 10's. My gauge therefore was slightly different to the original pattern.

I knit to the first cable row, as per the pattern. Cabling may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but I guarantee once you have done it a few times you will want to cable everything you knit! It really is quite simple and gives beautiful results. 

To cable you simply knit to the column in the centre of your piece, then as per the pattern slip however many stitches off to a separate needle. You will then need to work interchangeably with your piece, knitting across as normal before twisting your work back into place and picking the "slipped" stitches back up in line with the rest of your work. It sounds complicated, but it really is simple and effectively creates that beautiful Celtic twist. There are tonne of really helpful videos on Youtube on how to cable in your piece. 

You then simply follow your pattern until you finish each panel. I ended up with four panels to stitch together, and the real beauty of this project is you can add as many or as few panels as you like. I plan on adding two more, mostly because I love giant blankets.

To stitch the panels together I had left extra length of yarn on my cast off and then went in with a knitters darning needle connecting the pieces together one at a time. Another great thing about this pattern was that the design of the pattern hides your connecting stitches very well, so I didn't need to worry too much about being too meticulous or neat here once the panels were connected securely.

You may also notice that the twists alternate, one panel twists to the left, while the next twists to the right. This has to do with whether or not you slip your stitches for cabling to your needle at the front or at the back of the piece. The pattern I included above has more details about this. 

My finished blanket (for now). As I said I do plan on adding two more panels when I get a chance to pick up more yarn. Yes this project did use two whole skeins!

I love this blanket so much! It super cosy and warm and took me just under two weeks to complete start to finish. It goes perfectly with my Autumn decor and is something that we will cherish for years to come. 

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