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The Beverly Hillblankie

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Dear Ann,
OK. Let me just lay an image on you. I was going to show this to you when you were here in person last week, but to tell the truth I wasn’t brave enough to risk your unrehearsed reaction. This thing requires a couple of seconds to take it in, compose oneself, and think of something superfakeynice to say. I give you, the Abe Blankie:
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Green Acres is the place to be
Farm Living! is the life for me
Land spreading out so far and wide
Take Manhattan, just give me that countryside!

Now. You know I love me some Rustic Mitery Goodness. Even to my rustic mitery eye, though, this one is not All That It Should Be. Even after a bracing blocking, I’m not sure I can lay this on a new baby and his beaming parents. I think maybe I’ll go with more of a sure thing, giftwise.
Luckily, I have a new obsession in blanketeering. I’m having a rip-roaring time turning the Argosy scarf pattern into an elegant baby blanket.
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New York is where I’d rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Darling I love you but give me Park Avenue!

(I realize the blankets are singing the theme from the wrong sitcom. The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction are all mixed up in my memory, in a very pleasant way.)
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This is Rowan Denim in ecru. To make a bias-square baby blanket, I made the following modifications to the Argosy scarf pattern: I added 6 stitches to the central stockinette portion of each square. This means my initial cast-on was 15, there are 9 stitches between the 2 RS decreases, and I am casting on 14 stitches each time I add a new square. There are 16 rows of stockinette to each square. The second of the 3 charts can be completely ignored, since there is no ‘straightaway’ section to the blanket, as there is to the scarf. (If you are knitting Argosy, all of the foregoing will make sense to you.)
There is something so satisfying about this pattern.
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I think it has to do with stringing those lines of paired yarnovers across such a distance, never missing a one. It gives one that ‘damn I’m good’ feeling.
Happy Monday! Are you done with the book yet?
Love, Kay

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51 Comments

51 Comments

  1. Well, I for one really like the mitered square blanket. It’s unique, it’s bold, it’s interesting!
    The other blanket is nice but… it’s boring by comparison.

  2. All right, already – any minute now I’m going to give in and cast on Argosy. I’ve picked the yarn, printed the pattern, and have just been trying to, um, finish something else first? But I can feel my resistance weakening, especially with Kay pelting us with the miles n’ miles version of it. Is one of the chapters in the next book called Anything Worth Knitting is Worth Knitting Several Square Feet Of?
    I wish I had a hick baby over here, so you could unload that fonky blankie….

  3. Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
    A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
    Then one day he was shootin at some food,
    And up through the ground came a bubblin crude.
    Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.
    I like the Argosy… it might be really neat in a self-stripging/variegated color… hmmm… any babies in my future?

  4. and striping even!

  5. ha! there was a California Cheese commercial on just a while ago with the happy cows singing to the tune of Green Acres. I think I scared my boyfriend by launching into the actual theme song – watched about 20 episodes on DVD with my mom two summers ago. BEST SHOW EVER.

  6. On another (quilt) list someone’s puzzled by people knitting blankets. I thought ‘must send her to MDK’ and, like magic, you post a new blanket!
    I’m grateful you’re still argosy-ing Kay. The pics of your red version set me off on that and a wider version’s certainly calling. BUT I have a jacket rattling around in my head and I don’t need another distraction just now.

  7. I like both blankies. I’m very tempted to try the Argosy version. Thanks!

  8. hi ya – argosy looks good in hipknits sock anyway!
    will try and work out the blanket-
    on the ‘green acres’ – surprised myself a year or two ago by getting it right in a ‘what theme tune is this’round in a pub quiz -think i was th only one to get it!!!!

  9. You ARE remembering to account for the fact that Rowan Denim does that weird length-shrinking thing when it’s washed, aren’t you ? I see you’ve messed around with the pattern, and I hope that somewhere in those adjustments, you’ve incorporated the loss of about 4 rows in every 20 or so (once it’s washed).
    Reassure me please !

  10. The Argosy baby blanket is tres chic! The bebe and beaming parents will love it.

  11. a bigger border will hold those edges, I think. Love it. Love the colours. x x x

  12. You realize the argosy blankie is crying out, “plant dye me” do you not?

  13. I’m having a new grandchild the middle of the summer, I’d be glad to take the blue blankie off your hands so you won’t have to worry about reactions. I think it’s gorgeous. The argosy is sort of boring, maybe it’s the color?

  14. I do delcare that blankie is so Ghee’s Bend!

  15. I love the Abe blankie too, was also thinking of a back, or (gasp) some starch? But after being slept with, cried on and dragged all over the house, who will know? Argosy will make good things for baby to stick fingers through as well.

  16. I love the blue blankie – just block that sucker and if it’s still a little wonky around the edges, put a wider border on it. Any baby would be delighted with it. It’s visually interesting without being loud, and it’s going to get softer every time it’s washed. How fabulous!
    The Argosy blanket is now making my fingers itch to go get some yarn and start on one.
    For some reason I perceive all of your mitered goodness to be beyond my skills, but Argosy? Not so much. I no doubt have it backwards.

  17. Folks lemme tell the story bout a blankie called Abe/A poor country blankie meant to wrap a newborn babe/Though its edges rolled up and it was lumpy in the middle/It was still cute enough to hold someone so little!
    I’m fond of Abe, obviously, but Argosy is lovely and elegant!

  18. Kay, this picture is probably the only time the Abe blanket is likely to be displayed stretched out. . . it’s going to look amazing tucked around a baby, or folded in the crib, and the wobbly edges won’t matter one little bit. And, like someone else said, it is totally Gee’s Bend. (Funny, I typed that Gee’s BED — that’s its new name!!)

  19. “stringing those lines of paired yarnovers across such a distance, never missing a one”
    Dude. Do the words ‘Tempting Fate’ mean nothing to you?

  20. I opened your link, saw the abe blanket, and gasped, “Gee’s Bend!” It is so Gee’s bend in it’s lack of perfection in shape and seeming randomness. BTW, at the Old State House museum in Little Rock a new show of African American quilts is going up. The one shown in the Memphis Paper is very meitery!

  21. Somebody mention Gee’s Bend? That was my immediate thought, too! Sitting in the middle of Colts country with school delays of 2 hours and temperatures registering in the negative, I also thought… it looks warm and cozy! Send it here… QUICK! It’s freezing!

  22. I just checked! They have pictures!

    old state house quilt pictures

  23. You can totally give ME the blanket as a gift. :)

  24. OOh! I like the idea of Argosy as a baby blanket. I might actually make a baby blanket now. It looks like fun!

  25. I think there is a rule about bad song lyrics too early in the morning, non? Not fair to make me sing the Green Acres song before coffee…
    I agree with the blue blanket bigger border folks, and I’d be tempted to take the bottom row off, but I’m not sure of the scale. I’m sure you know what you are doing.

  26. Kay,
    You know that I mean it when I say that I love that Hillblankie possibly more than any other knitted item I have ever known.
    What else is there to say?
    Truly,
    Amber

  27. just luuuuurrrrve the argosy blankie!
    I can’t wait to make one of my own!
    and by the way, if you need someone to lay that abe blankie on, send it on over here, my way! :o)

  28. Awww, I *love* the Abe blankie! All homey and snuggly looking! I’d curl up and have a nap with it right now, if it were here. I’m sure either blanket will be equally appreciated. :)

  29. Superfakeynice? Me????
    At any moment I’m going to be googling lyrics from “A Chorus Line” or “Fiddler on the Roof” or “Deliverance” (oh wait it doesn’t really have any lyrics). Don’t start with the lyrics, puhLEASE! I have stuff to do today other than find the right song to say exactly how much I love that denim blanket.
    Eva Gabor should wear that blanket. Jane Hathaway the bank lady in the Beverly Hillbillies should wear that blanket.

  30. What a fantastic idea to turnt he Argosy into a baby blanket! Gorgeous!
    The other one isn’t so bad, but I would be hesitant to gift it, too. Unless I knew it was just right for the style of the recipients.

  31. I like the mitered one, I think it’s cute. The Argosy one will be elegant.

  32. The denim blanket is wonderful – and the Argosy is lovely.

  33. I am willing to have a second baby if that would get you to give me the Abe blankie (do you still have my mailing address?). Love it – and the Argosy one too, of course!

  34. When I first taught the nurses I work with to knit, they all made a garter stitch square out of dishcloth cotton. The idea was that we’d sew them together into a baby blanket for charity. Well, no square was the same size, many had accidental yarn-over holes, and several weren’t even technically squares. The finished blanket was crooked, garish, and much smaller than expected, leading us to decide it could only be appreciated by a premature infant with very poor taste. In comparison, your Abe blanket is positively elegant!

  35. Oh, I really love the mitered one. I love to be able to say things like “which color is red? where’s the black” to kids. And they can find triangles and squares and diamonds. And it looks so happy and friendly and really “child”ish. I love it. The Argosy is charming–and how smart to do it in denim.

  36. Book? do I hear the word book?

  37. You’ve taken my Gee’s Bend-breathe away…if only there were some hot pink in it, I’d think I were in Alabama. As it is, I am in Arkansas and you should all come visit the Old State House to see the quilt exhibit and our fabulous yarn shops – Handworks Gallery, The Yarn Mart, and up the road, Bella Lana. Yes. Three yarn shops in a 30 mile area. In the South. This is rare and wunnerful thang for hot-and-humid land.

  38. The title of this post made me laugh…I think the blankie is cute, if in a hillbilly-ish way — but the Argosy blankie is definitely elegant.

  39. I LOVE the first blanket. Just love it. It’s homespun. It reminds me of crazy quilts. It’s REAL. If you don’t want to give it to the baby, donate it to a shelter where some little child will love it forever.

  40. I think the mitered one is cute.
    The argosy blanket will be elegant!

  41. Thanks to you, my Argosy in Silk Garden knit up quickly….and I have started one in Linen Isle. Kudos to you for adapting Argosy into a blanket. C’est tres chic!

  42. Though I heart the baby blanket, doncha think the little holes in it are easy for little wee toes to slip thru? Just a thought…albeit not a positve one…

  43. I like both very much.

  44. hi ya – looking again at the argosy blanki! – does this mean that you don’t have to do the k2tog 8 times to block off the square? – you just need to keep increasing??????- i have baby wool and friends with babies to knit for ! – argosy scarf is taking over – - in more ways than one – i have a new litany of counting 1-7 etc!

  45. There’s a little hotel called the Shady Rest at the junction
    …Petticoat Junction…
    It is run by Kate, come and be her guest at the junction
    …Petticoat Junction…
    And here’s Uncle Joe,
    he’s a-movin’ mighty slow at the junction
    …Petticoat Junction…
    I can just see one of the gals dryin’ off with the Abe Blankie after a dip in the water tower (ewww girls- that’s the drinkin’ water) or perhaps Uncle Joe a-snoozin’ under it in a rocker on the porch…

  46. ‘A Bracing Blocking’ is that as in “Brace yourselves!” or in after-shave commercials? You now have shattered my beliefs of blocking as a panacea. I really don’t know what you are going on about, because the Abe Blankie has touched a place in my heart, especially the orange square. My first baby blanket (poor parents) was a series of broad garter stitch stripes and to add that certain je ne sais quoi, that was missing from broad garter stitch stripes, I tacked on some of that pom-pom fringe, like the stuff that is stuck on the inside of jeepneys or particularly garish taxis. The baby survived no death by pom-pom asphyxiation. So what that blanket needs is some ruffled edging. You meant it that way – take it there!

  47. It might not be a blanket that the new parents will swoon over, but it is a blanket that the kid can drag around with him until he’s campared to Linus one too many times and give it up. In my family that happens about age 12. Then it sneaks off to college inside the pillow case.

  48. Love the idea of turning Argosy into a baby blanket! I just finished my first Argosy scarf and started a second one for my mom! Mine is really narrow and It would definitely look great wider!

  49. First you get me going with the Argosy scarf, and now a BLANKET!!! Is there no end to this insanity and fun?? I finished my first Argosy and then promptly took up the needles again for another. It was so much fun, and I never was bored. Please post sometime the particulars of the blanket: yarn, needles, directions. I knit well, but do not design. I am a follower. I would have been right in line for the kool aid at Jonestown :)

  50. I wanna do the Abe! Only, it will be for my queen sized bed. yes, I know, am ambitious project. I am redoing our bedroom and cannot find a new comforter that i like. I think mitered sqaures will do nicely with the Charles Wysocki thing we’ve got going in the bedroom. I dug through the stash today and am ready to cast on! I plan to back it with my old red plaid flannel sheet with some batting in between. Maybe i through in some different squares too!

  51. I guess I’m a little late to the party, but I think I’d like the Abe Blanket better without the bottom row of solid blocks. I think it would be better balanced with the patterned blocks distributed more evenly. But maybe that’s just me. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!