Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rainbow Baby Blanket: Part 1, Colour and Yarn

 

IMG_3743Around the middle of March, I gave a sneak peak of a work in progress (WIP): a rainbow ripple baby blanket. I finished it a few days after my son was born. Both he and my cats (that’s Nike in the picture) enjoy hanging out on the blanket. This and the next blog post are about the decisions made during the designing of this blanket. This post is about the colours and yarn, and part 2 is all about the blanket size and design.

 

A Yarn Blanket in Warm Weather

Noah was a Spring baby and the weather has quickly warmed here in Ottawa. Knitted and crocheted fabrics are both warm in winter and very breathable in summer due to the pockets of air between stitches. When I dressed in costume at the Fortress of Louisbourg (celebrating 300 years this summer, check it out if you are in Cape Breton) I wore a heavy wool and linen uniform. It may have looked hot but given an ocean breeze, the fabric breathed well, especially the thigh-high wool socks.

 

Color

Bright rainbow colours! Why? When babies are born their eyes are not fully developed and they need strong and contrasting colours to promote eye development. Pastels were definitely out. And I couldn’t decide on any single color. I used a rainbow of colours (Roy G. Biv) because it can be used to teach colours and is also gender neutral (we decided not to find out Noah’s gender prior to birth).  I added rows of white between colours to increase the contrast. Here Noah is intently staring at the white, indigo and violet section.

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Yarn

I wanted this blanket to wear well and be long-lasting. I wanted to use a medium weight yarn – it is what I mostly use and works up more quickly than a finer or baby yarn. Acrylic yarn (in this case it was Red Heart Super Saver and Herrschners Afghan) was a safe bet:

  • readily available in bright colours
  • washes and dries quickly by machine
  • stain resistant

Some people find acrylic yarns to be stiff and not as soft as others fibres available. But I have a trick for that. The acrylic fibres can be softened and relaxed to improve by briefly steam ironing (pressing).

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To Be Continued

Be sure to check back next week for Part 2 of the Rainbow Baby Blanket to find out about size and pattern including a unique finishing crochet stitch :)

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