If you’re Rhinebeck-bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night–details here.

Moderne Baby Blanket Pattern: HAUNTED

Dear Kay,
OK, I have a confession to make. The whole, entire time you were working on that Moderne baby blanket from the book, and you were using Araucania Nature Cotton, I feared that it was doomed. I didn’t want to say anything, because I hoped I was wrong. But I wasn’t. How did I know? Because I am at this moment sitting on the version of that blanket that I attempted myself, and it is barely worthy to be used as a chair seat napkin.
Witness this haggish piece of knitting:
You’re looking at Blue Sky Dyed Organic Cotton, one of the world’s great yarns. Soft, fluffy, cuddlier than a guinea pig. A baby blanket out of this stuff ought to be a piece-of-cake, slam-dunk no-brainer, right?
I bought this beautiful yarn in a flurry of excitement a couple of months ago. It was going to be great: I finally got to make something from the book for actual use by a baby. But hear me, woman. I know this sounds crazy, but once you start making this pattern, the yarn changes color. I knitted for a very long time, enough to finish about half the blanket, and the next morning, I woke up to discover that my beautiful chartreusey green turned mustard yellow. I don’t know why this happened, or how, but it did.
Look, when we were cruising up I-65, your blanket didn’t look THAT bad–maybe like something you’d find at Babies R Us, but in the nice part of Babies R Us. Something happened to that blanket, something unholy.
Charisse’s blanket is beautiful. Charisse’s blanket uses Rowan Calmer, the suggested yarn. See what I mean?
I don’t want to spook anybody, but after seeing two blankets undergo creepy transformations, I have concluded the following:
The Moderne Baby Blanket pattern on page 79 is haunted. That pattern has a bad mojo about it that wrecks anybody’s attempt to make it in any yarn other than the one specified. All I can say to anybody thinking about making it: proceed with caution! Danger! It’s the Amityville Horror of blanket patterns!
PS I am about to pass out at the fact that Stephanie is coming to town today. So excited! There’s so much I need to explain to her. I’ll start with George Jones and go from there. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that the Yarn Harlot is coming to Nashville. It’s going to be quite a night at Threaded Bliss. A full report to follow, of course.




  1. It might be the cotton–I knit a baby sweater in what I swore was a green color in the ball (one of the organic Blue Sky ones), but when done it just looked tan. Hmmm.

  2. This is why you two are the Knitting Mavens. I cannot see anything wrong with any of these blankets. CANNOT SEE IT! I think I must be a muggle in the world of Amityville Horror. I’d be the chick going “Hey, this room looks fine to me” as the blood poured down the walls and the creepy ax murderer came out of the shadows to chop off her head.

  3. Have fun with Stephanie!

  4. What is wrong with those blankets? I find them bright and cheery! Certainly, unique!
    My cousin painted their Victorian townhouse a soft peach… nice, everyone thought, until, from down the street it looked like a huge, gleaming Dreamsicle!! Size (apparently in painting homes!) does matter.
    See, it could be worse!

  5. Mustard or no, that blanket is fantastic.

  6. I love that blanket Ann! But I’m sure Kay appreciates you trying to make her feel better about hers.

  7. Erm, well your colours look fine to me, Ann! And (whispering here) I don’t think you should be going round saying that patterns from your book have bad mojo – that’s just Not Cricket, you know. Unless of course, the Rowan rep has hypnotized you to further Calmer sales. Do I hear the Twilight Zone music? Is The Truth Out There? Are you Mulder or Scully? The world needs to know…..

  8. I can’t wait to hear why you have to explain George Jones to Stephanie, or what it is about him that you are explaining.
    Colors are just so hard. I’m glad I’m not the only one that struggles with them.

  9. I know a very leetle when it comes to colors. I’m guessing that the red tones are cancleing out your blue tones. I think if your green was more bluey to begin with it might have enough strength to stand up to the orange.
    One way to avoid this is to stick with one side of the color wheel. Like say, use red, orange and yellow. Or blue green and purple.

  10. someone needs to give us a foolproof guide for combining colours. i have too many unfinished projects that involve more than one shade of a yarn. the finished projects all use one colour only!! or black and white!
    p.s. i finally have a blog now and you are there as the number one link!
    say hi to stephanie from we canadian knitters!

  11. First of all, LOVE the book. If the stars align next week, I’m trekking to Omaha because I want to see some of those projects up close and personal! Secondly, I have a question about the log cabin blankets. When you pick up stitches in garter stitch, the new colors shows through on the wrong side – but when I see photos of people’s blankets, there doesn’t appear to be any stitches showing – what are you doing to keep that from showing? Are you going back over it in the original color? Or do your stitches just not show through?

  12. I just learned in a couple of my classes about Simultaneism (or Orphism)- painters who studied how different colors change when placed next to each other – Sonia & Robert Delauney were the founders. She also designed textiles (I don’t know if they were knitted). Maybe the colors look different when knitted than whem in the skein and that’s throwing things off. Hmmm…

  13. The best book I’ve seen to take colour down a notch or two is Sally Melville’s 3 in her series. I’m always amazed that white can look pink or blue or green depending upon what is next to it, but I think both blankies will find a good home somewhere.

  14. one woman’s trash……
    at first, i thought you were joking – it took me awhile to figure out that you truly don’t like the colors, which i think are sublime – bold, bright sassy leo that i am. i wonder if horoscopes provide insight to our color choices?

  15. Hmm. I’d just decided to make that for an expectant friend, and now the two of you have gone and put the fear of Rowan in me. Will advise…

  16. Maybe Tahki Cotton or Brown Sheep Fleece would work with this blanket. I cannot try it until August because I have put myself on yarn purchasing restriction. I am trying to knit down my stash.

  17. Oh, did you take Stephanie to the Loveless for a real southern breakfast? I love that place and go every time I’m in Nashville!

  18. I just finished the book – very enjoyable! I am not a new knitter but I still found the ideas fun and interesting. I wonder if you could add more detail on how to sew the edgings to the jean jackets – I can do the lace, but how to sew it on?

  19. I gotta agree with Rachel. I don’t see anything wrong with the blankies. Maybe it’s my monitor?? In fact, they’ve even motivated me to try a log cabin blankie of my own – after I do the hand towels.
    It was lovely meeting you last night at Threaded Bliss, Ann. Thanks for bringing Stephanie to Threaded Bliss.

  20. I’ll second Sally Melville’s explanation of color. The problem with the beach ball blanket is, I agree, with the blue. It doesn’t match the other colors in saturation, or tone, or whatever the right word for it is.
    the problem with the other blanket is? I actually kinda like it, but hard to say looking at it through the computer. I suspect it is a warm vs cool color thing like someone else said — the green needs more blue to work with the red.
    My son and I are making log cabin blankets out of cotton fleece. He chose 8 colors and I have (gasp) 10. So far we like the colors but so far they are mostly still on skeins. Will report on how the colors work when knit.

  21. Oh you’ve reminded me of the time years ago when I bought the most wonderful (in my mind) array of Rowan yarns for a striped sweater. It didn’t take long for me to realise it was going horribly wrong. When I took the unused yarn back to Liberty the sales assistant just didn’t understand what I was saying.
    I know exactly what you mean.

  22. Oh, dear. I read this post immediately after I came home from the yarn shop with non-Calmer yarn to make this very project. Timing, it would seem, is everything.

  23. “haggish?” harsh.

  24. I’m having so much fun with log cabin knitting I can hardly stop! I had a pile of pastel shades of Classic Elite Premier on hand at home, and I’ve just started a Baby Moderne. So far, so good. I’ll send pictures when there are more than 3 shades done. I’ve also pulled a pile of Koigu, at your suggestion, to do one; yellow/pink/orange shades vs. blue/purple/greens. I think using the variegated yarn will make it look even more quilt-like.

  25. An excellent book on color, including how colors interact, is The Elements of Color by Johannes Itten:
    I took a Color class at my LYS and we used the book as a reference. It is amazing how our perception of a color changes when it is next to another color. We learned some rules and techniques to prevent or cause those changes in perception to get the desired effect.

  26. And please bring the book tour to Seattle. We have lots of great yarn shops and friendly knitters.

  27. Hi, Ann and Kay! I do know what you mean by haunted yarn and bad mojo, and I agree — don’t even attempt to fight it! All is not lost, though, as Calmer comes in a wide range of colors, including a gorgeous soft tangerine and a kiwi, colors akin to those you had chosen in the Nature Cotton. I’d love to see the blanket done up in the softer, more pastel colors of Calmer. Anybody, anybody?

  28. I must commend you both on a wicked wonderful book! This is the first book I’ve seen in a decades that really got me charged up to knit several items depicted. Many thanks to you for the contributions to our community and craft!

  29. I love those colors. It takes me right back to my 1970s New Jersey suburban kitchen. And in the very best way. 🙂

  30. I like the blanket, really do. If I had a baby (no, I don’t, still single and childless) I would love such a colourful and lovely blanket. Come to think of it, I would love such a blanket even to myself. But I am the one who is knitting a fish blanket from small leftovers of every possible colour, gauge and composition…
    Your photos are great!


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)