Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fracturing a Fractal

Before we get to the knitting portion of today's entry, let me take a moment to recognize that for a large part of the American population today was a day of BBQ, beer, cookouts...and generally acknowledging Dads.  For every Father, son of a father, brother of a know the drill here from Mother's Day.... Not one person on the planet could have accomplished anything without the part you played. Happy Father's Day.

Now onto the knitting portion.

Some time ago, Andrea, of Bad Cat Designs, was inspired by her daughter's love of math.  Math plays a huge role in knitting anyway, but for our Knit Along (To Infinity and Beyond) math concepts showed up in new and different ways.

Knitting a Mobius Strip, with lace included, was one, yes it is a math concept!  The Fractal Stole or Blanket was another.

If you will recall I knit a blanket from the Fractal pattern, fingering weight yarn, in a gradient colorway so that each square was just a little different, but as with all Fractals the further you went (in or out) the more of the same you got.  Like a Mandelbrot Set.  But, being me, I wasn't content to leave the pattern alone.  As with The Summer Squares Projects, I was sure that I could use that pattern to make more than a stole, or an adult size blanket.  I could use it in my Baby Blankets Through Time collection, I could use it for gifts, and for part of the knitting it was infinitely more portable than a full size blanket (and in the summer who wouldn't rather knit a smaller square than a bigger blanket that had to sit in your lap, warming you up when you didn't need any warming.)

The first step was the change up the yarn.  New Mom's are not the best at having to hand wash and block things when they need cleaning, and babies are not always sweet smelling little angels who don't spit up, drool or leak onto their blankets.  I wanted machine washable, and for convenience something that could go through the dryer as well.

Paton's Beehive Baby Sport came in colors other than the traditional (for American babies at least) colors of white, blue, pink, pale green and yellow, and I wanted neutral tones that potentially could be used places other than just around a baby!  Needle size also had to be adjusted and while I was messing around with gauge I played with changing up the border and how the squares attached to each other so that I had mini-borders between the squares. (More of that fractal thing.)

At first, the blanket was to go in my stash of blankets, but then I found out that someone I knew was expecting a baby this month,
 and nothing makes me finish things as well as a deadline, so I decided it was for him and his wife and actually devoted a little bit of time to it.

To keep things consistent, the lateral braid that I put in place around each square, also edged the border and kept it a little separate from the edging, and finally this past week I finished with grafting the two ends of the edging together.  Just in time, probably the last time I would see him before the baby is born was last hit the blocking mats Tuesday evening!

Yep, like I said, nothing inspires like a deadline!


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