Last year, I cast on the Oat Couture Prairie Blanket and got 12% into it before something more interesting grabbed my interest.
I had wanted to knit one of these when I was 15 years old, but the first time I tried it, I wasn't as capable of reading the wrong side of my knitting or following a moving texture pattern, never mind doing both simultaneously. I've done a little more knitting since then.
It's not for SharkBean. The red isn't speaking to me for SharkBean, beautiful as it is. Also, after watching Shark Week, it is vaguely reminiscent of chum. Not a bad thing, just an observation.
(Side note: Beth had a great name for the color, "Blood and Romance". It had nothing to do with chum. Unless she meant "Fish blood and guts" in the "blood" bit.)
I have someone in mind, but really, until she tells me that she's expecting, I'm not handing over this beauty. It's not the next "hardest thing I've ever knit", but I like it for lots of reasons.
It's a brilliant variation of the classic dishcloth blanket, which I knit 7 million of in high school (for the NICU at the local county hospital, the same folks who get all of our Head to Toe hats). The dishcloth blanket, according to my Aunt Constance, is the ultimate in blankets-that-stay-on-babies. But dishcloth blankets are SO BORING TO KNIT.
Miles and miles and miles of garter stitch, which is either (a) what hell is like or (b) penance for doing something horrible. It's the knitting equivalent of having to write lines. ("I will not say nasty things about acrylic yarn.") Over and over and over again until your hands fall off.
Somehow, the traveling rib on the second border (because there is a small garter border on the outside, THEN an eyelet, THEN the traveling garter rib!) makes knitting this a particularly potato-chippy knit. Also, it's a really sophisticated design, especially for something as utilitarian as a baby blanket.
A really cool baby is going to do all sorts of unmentionable things to this beauty. Probably in a leather jacket and sunglasses, like in "Look Who's Talking?". (Wow, dated movie reference, much?) Or in a suit, like a mini Tim Gunn. (Phew! I hope that gives me some cool cred back.)
Why a baby blanket if it's not for SharkBean? Everything else in my UFO bin is either (a) a fitted sweater or (b) a boring vanilla sock. This is literally the first thing I was excited about working on. Not because it's a baby blanket, but because everything else feels a little pointless right now. (Also, it was the first thing that I grabbed that I could just grab and knit on. I might be a fickle knitter.) I see a lace binge in my future. (See? Told you.)
I tried starting a baby sweater, but it didn't work out. I'm going to wait for a pattern to physically attack me before I try knitting for SharkBean. The question is, do I knit a vent for the dorsal fin, or an incorporated cover? (Just in case.)