The Shale Baby Blanket is freshly washed, blocked, and off to her recipient! As is tradition with any Brooklyn Tweed pattern, this stunning pattern was a delight to knit. While it looks intricate, it's actually quite simple to master. It's a four row repeat--three of which are simple knits and purls. If you can handle knitting multiple stitches together, yarn-overs, and passing stitches over, you're golden. If not, this is a great pattern to expand your knitting skills. The pattern used about 5 skeins of yarn, and I ended up knitting 52 repeats of the lace instead of the 58 called for in the pattern.
Since this blanket is for a tiny baby, I initially selected Knit Pick's Brava Worsted for its practicality. I wanted something that could be easily tossed into the washer and dryer, and quickly added back into rotation. I will say that, as I neared the end of the project, I began to question my yarn decision. I've knitted other children's projects with Brava before without issue, but this lot had quite a few ties-offs, knots, and frays in the middle of the skeins. And while soft, it had a strange hand to it. By the time I got to the end, the blanket had already started to look a little worn, which makes a little concerned for how this will wear over time. I'm not sure if they changed their production methods, but it was not the same knitting experience.
Which leads me to this:
I do adore this little blanket, and I'm sure it will be well-loved by one sweet baby girl. And while I love creating something that's made with the end user/practicality in mind, the time and effort put into the making is wasted if the quality of the end product is even slightly lacking. This is why I plan to buy only natural fibers from this point on. I'll use up what's in my stash, of course, but will only purchase the fibers I love the most from now on. The care and upkeep of a project knit in wool requires only slightly more thought and effort--but I'll be content knowing that, if carefully preserved, my recipients are receiving an heirloom piece that can be passed down from generation to generation.