I’m knitting The Hoover Blanket from the Fall ’03 Knitty for the Sea Monkey (I’m pregnant, have I mentioned this little detail?). It is my first foray into the world of doubleknitting.
As such, it’s pretty simple. The garter stitch border is . . . about as simple as you can get. It’s garter stitch, after all. Then you get to the center part, where the actual doubleknitting is done, and, really, it doesn’t get any more difficult, to me. I’m doing variation two, with stripes, and I’m doing what is called in the instructions “a more elegant way” to acheive the stripes, knitting the main color stitches and purling the contrast color stitches on every row. I don’t know how much more elegant it is, but it seemed like it might be faster, and make things a little more interesting than just knitting every stitch on every row. My boredom quotient can be pretty low. I keep both yarns over my finger for tension, and just make sure to pick the right one for each stitch. The worst of it is every once in a while I have to drop the yarn so that I can get it to stop twisting together. Well, no, the worst was when I apparently knit a knit and purl stitch together, and didn’t figure it out until the next row, when I freaked for a few seconds, thinking I’d dropped a stitch and couldn’t find it. Once I figured out what happened, though, it was simple enough to fix.
I’m only about a third of the way done with it (it measures about 27″ x 9.5″ right now), but considering that I’ve mastered the “difficult” part, I don’t feel like I need to finish it to really call this a review. It’s a nice, fairly mindless (but not completely!) pattern. It’s knitting up quickly (would be faster if I didn’t take breaks to work on more complicated things), and I’m pretty sure I’ll be well pleased with the finished project. It’s also making me more interested in more complicated doubleknitting, like Triskellian’s lovely doubleknit take on the Selbu Modern beret. (I hope she posts more about it, because it’s really gorgeous and inspiring. Hint, hint.) I also really like the historical attachment to the Hoover blanket. How cool is it that my baby’s blanket was designed by a First Lady?
ETA: I’m not entirely thrilled with the edge between the border and body of the blanket, but I think that’s a case of me not keeping the yarn tight enough. I’m twisting the yarn, like I would if I were doing single knitting and changing colors, and on one edge of each side (opposite edges), it’s a little more obvious than I’d like, but I do think that’s me, and not the pattern. Also, I’m not keeping really close track of how many rows I’ve done between the extra border rows (the garter stitch border and stockinette stitch body have different row gauges, so you turn back and do extra border rows on both ends every 6 or 8 rows), but I think it’s coming out okay.