Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weirdness Happens (An Illustrated Triple Whammy)

So I designed a small baby blanket to use up my leftover yarns, because I really couldn’t have a stash in the tiny flat in Greece; there’s no place to store it.

The plan was simple: start with 4 stitches on 4 needles and knit in rounds until you run out of yarn. That way, even if the blanket is rather small, it will be perfect for a very premature baby.

I alternated one knit round in coral and one purl round in pastel pink. That way the two colors became thoroughly mixed and to the eye looked like one color.  I put in a cream stripe, and that’s where the first bit of weirdness showed up. Was it just me? I laid out the work and asked Demetrios what colors he saw, and he, too, saw bright pink and pale green! An optical illusion. He could hardly believe me when I said there was not a single stitch of green in the whole thing. (And the more you stare at it, the greener it looks.)

The second weirdness showed up because I decided to make a spiral. So picture this. We start out with a simple square.

We shift the corners one stitch to the right as we go, making a pinwheel pattern.

To use up all our yarn, we make stripes, which worked in the round become squares – and voilà.


Apparently pinwheel patterns need to be done without stripes, or else with very narrow, very close ones.

I decided to throw out the entire project. It was a pity, because the blanket was already 17 inches across.  I took if off the needles, laid it flat, and smoothed it out. That’s when one more surprise then showed up. Each edge was shaped like stretched-out, distorted S.


The “squares”, still not aligned with one another, were actually the same shape as the edge, the curves becoming more and more pronounced as the project grew larger.

EPILOGUE:  I actually salvaged this one!  I added more stripes, so instead of looking like mistakes, they formed a progression.  Instead of trying to correct the curves of the edges, I exaggerated them, pinning out the finished blanket and steaming the curves permanently into place.  No way to fix the weird color illusion, but that's kind of fun, I decided.

The Finished Result.  Not Great, But Not Too Bad
 My neighbor took this for you because I don't know how to use a digital camera!  She uploaded it, too, and e-mailed it.  As both sides are alike, I accidentally laid it backside up, so the spiral is going in the other direction, but never mind.  Click if you care to enlarge.  Lean back from your computer a bit if you want to see the "green" effect more clearly.


elizabeth said...

nice! good save!

Shamassy Monica said...

Are you going to show us a picture of the blanket?!

Anam Cara said...

Yes, we want a photo!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Okay, here it is, courtesy of my neighbor, Frances.

Anam Cara said...

I LOVE it! It is unique. Fantastic. Glad you kept the directions. I think you could sell them on etsy or whatever that website is.
Makes me wish I could knit so I could make one. A REALLY BIG one!!!!!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

You DO? You actually love it? Oh, my, there's a surprise. Thank you.

Chocolatesa said...

That's beautiful! I'd love to have a baby blanket like that for my kids one day!