Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Ruffled Sunburst Sea-Anemone Baby Blanket

My sister Abbie had a daughter yesterday - Hannah Joy Burzynski, f/k/a sprout - hooray! Hooray for palindromically first-named nieces! Hooray for symmetry and frills!

Here's the baby blanket I made her. I was in the home stretch of finishing up the fringe when I got the call yesterday that I was an uncle again, so last night I plunked myself down in front of an endless supply of ABC reruns on the computer and finished it off. Hooray again!

It's a variation on the classic pinwheel blanket and also a couple steps removed from the blanket I made for her first, Ethan, which was pieced together using pinwheel/lace octagons and squares. I'll try to post snaps of that one soon - it's from my pre-digital era.

Abbie's husband Ben is really math-y, so I've been thinking of all the math stuff you could teach a kid (or a grown-up for that matter!) with this pattern. Triangles, spirals, arcs, squares, octagons, 16-a-gons, for starters. Also multiplication and exponents, since it goes 4/8/16. Although it's not a true sunflower pattern, Fermat's Spiral
and all manner of fun with Spirographs. Then later on, more higher math series stuff like Factorials and Triangular Numbers and Fibonacci numbers... The body of the blanket is also kind of like a circular family tree, now that I think of it. How a propos.

I also ruffled and frilled and fringed the bujeezus out of this one... I knew the ruffley-ness would happen because I added more and more stitches as the piece got wider - adding 4 stitches per round would make it flat - adding 8 per round made it ruffle, and adding 16 per round made the ruffles ruffle. I found the fringe pattern in the first Nicky Epstein
over-the-edge book, which I also explored when I made Lowly the scarf (snaps soon!) and it added so much bulk to the blanket, it took on a weight and a life of its own!

Teddy Bear Sunflower? Sea Anemone? Gramma Tilda's shag carpet? Solar Corona? I've been looking a lot at Helle Jorgensen and My Art Grows Around Me lately, and I flatter myself to think that it shows...

I made this using plain old Lion brand yellow cotton on size 4 needles, and the fringey bits are incorporated into the bind-off instead of being sewn on - baby stuff is meant to get barfed on, and this should last for years (generations?) and hold up just fine in the wash. It's one heck of a wubbie. Please love it, Hannah!

For something so complicated, it's surprisingly simple and intuitive to make. If you'd like to take a crack at it, you can find the pattern here.


helle said...

That's the most beautiful baby blanket I have ever seen! Your little niece will love it.

Thanks for the mention. Come back and visit Gooseflesh again soon.

Marjojo said...

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your lovely e-mail! It's nice to know that people actually find my blog and like it. And I LOVE your sea-anemone baby blanket, it’s wild and gorgeous and sunnyfierytentaclycomforty and just beautiful and I wish I had made it. Got lost in the maths though…
Will put a link to your blog on mine, if you don’t mind. Come visit again!

Kent said...

Hey Daniel,

It looks amazing! I love all the 'tentacles' at the blanket's edge and the color you chose.

Nice work :)


daniel said...

Thank you all SO much! It means the world to me...

knitaly said...

Congratulations for your palindromically new born niece!
Your blanket shows some kind of mistery, I think it could even enliven...It might hide a secret formula as well!
Your niece will love it and have fun playing with its frills!

Anonymous said...

We received the blanket in the mail the other day, and while your niece is still a little young to express her opinions, the rest of her family LOVES it. Thank you so much not only for the gift, but for the incredible thoughtfulness behind the gift.
We love you, and Hannah can't wait to meet you, even though she doesn't know that yet :)

Abbie, Ben, Ethan and Hannah

Anonymous said...

Uncle Daniel,
Thank you so much for my new blanket. So far I mostly just look at it, but once I figure out how to work my fingers a little better, I'll be all over that fringe! I love you and can't wait to meet you.

Baby Hannah

Lolly said...

Cool blanket. and a perfect name! I'll have to check out more of your blog.

MG said...

Checked in on your blog via knitty! What a fabulously creative mind you have!!! Love all your little sea creatures, and especially the baby blanket! What a great uncle to have!!!!! Keep up the good work... Regards, MG