What colors should the Hoover blanket be? I wanted a cream border, which settled over half the problem. My first idea was to have several runs of narrow stripes in each of five jewel tones, separated by wide cream bars.
I wanted to start working, but the Weatherwood knitting store didn't have many colors to choose from: greens, blues, purples, and lots of cream. The proprietor kindly let me study a Rowan color card. I selected colors to order later online and bought a few there. Since the store was in Weatherwood, the only circular needles carried were Addi Turbos.
Two huge questions: total yarn consumption? total time consumption?
I could get upper and lower bounds out of my test swatches, but those were a factor of two apart (oh, was I longing for my kitchen scale!) Early on I set up some spreadsheets. Every time I finished a row or a ball, I updated. Sadly, what the bottom garter stitch border told me was simply inaccurate. The stitches are significantly larger in the double-knit section and it takes time to pass a stitch (waaah).
Just to be clear: I started with a pattern that had double fabric over most of the blanket, where every stitch in the double fabric section is handled twice. Then I increased the size. Then I switched from worsted-weight to doubleknit-weight. This is as much knitting, total, as between three and six "typical" baby blankets.
In Canada, there was more time to knit than I was expecting (no internet access in my dorm room!). I wanted to work as long as possible with the yarn I had, so I decided to (a) make the blanket one giant rainbow, with each stripe using a full ball of colored yarn (b) have at least two shades of each color, one dark, one light— that way I could use the lavender left from the test swatches.
Still, I was going to need more cream, and some light blue, before I got home. The best yarn store in the city was only two bus stops away, but they were very Debbie Bliss focused; the only Rowan was bulky wool tweed. I coudn't find a Canadian online yarn store, so I ordered the next few balls from Yarnmarket. The rest, enough to complete the project, came from Stitch1Knit1: with international shipping, it was still like 30% less per ball than any U.S. source I found.
Except: remember how I wanted two shades of each color? Rowan had discontinued their light orange. I finally snagged Laughing Hens's last ball.
Beaker soon assured me that both pacakges from England had arrived in Granolaton. In Canada I waited and waited. I had to stop working for a week, and finally re-ordered the same colors, but sent to Granolaton—I didn't think they would show up before I left.
The package had gotten hung up in customs, of course, and then the notice slip got lost by my dormitory (or my roommates?) for several days. I picked it up at the post office and paid the like, 25% duty (on top of the high US price for the yarn) two days before I left.
Meanwhile, I tried to figure out how to knit on the many plane trips I had coming up. The Canadian shop didn't have any totally-non-metallic circular needles in the size I needed, so I got bamboozled into a set of Denise needles... not that that's a bad thing, long term, but the shop had stocked and priced the set when the US$/CAN$ exchange rate was, um, different. I paid a good US$15 extra for them.
Once I got home, I studied the colors that had come in
and decided to scale back: I had three blues, three greens, and three pinks, and I cut out the medium blue and the darkest green.
Of course, that last picture gives away quite a bit about progress since... details to come.