The fact that I couldn't remember my Typepad login was a pretty good indication, though. Life here has been hectic -- and for the most part, very, very good -- but hectic. For example -- this little project? A joint effort between me and the rest of the PTO, plus some extra helpers, all for my Co-VP's new baby. This took up more time than one could have thought possible. It was like the wormhole of baby blankies.
(Just look at all those ends to weave in. Oy.)
Behold, the Circle of Friends Blanket, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. My beloved Miss Daphne has led similar group projects more than once, and even as I was proposing this to the rest of the PTO crew, I vaguely remembered her saying that gauge can become an issue, particularly if the knitters have varying skill levels.
Miss Daphne does not lie.
Truly, I should have mentioned the whole concept of gauge before we got started. I know that. But since everyone had to go out and buy the needles specifically for this project, I felt a little guilty saying, "Okay, but that's not measuring right. Get thee back to Hobby Lobby and drop another seven dollars." It didn't seem like the most encouraging tactic to take with a group of new knitters -- particularly those who were only learning to knit for this one project and then never casting on again. And honestly, how far off could they be?
As it turns out, pretty damn far.
And I was the worst of the bunch. Everyone used size 6 needles, but in order to match the gauge of the strip next to mine, I had to drop down to 3's. And when I did that, I was infinitely tinier than the strip on the OTHER side of me. And since I couldn't lay hands on a pair of 4's if my life depended on it, I had to go back up to 5's. That KnitPicks Options set is looking better and better all the time, I tell you.
In the end, though, it turned out pretty spiffy. Stern blocking and a firm hand with the seaming helped. It's not perfect, of course, but we weren't expecting perfection -- we just wanted to make something cozy for a baby whose mom is one of most warm-hearted people I know.
(Naturally, I forgot to bring my camera when we presented her with the blanket at the last PTO meeting. Believe me when I say that Baby E is cute enough to hide any flaws in her blankie.)