I'm still here. Or maybe I should say that BOB is still safely tucked indoors all cosy and warm. Joe's told me (read 'ordered' ;0) that I sit back and take it easy now. So that means lots of crafty time for me, and consequently a finished alphabet baby blanket for the nursery!
The inspiration for this baby blanket is Debbie Bliss' Alphabet Blanket from The Baby Knits book. I used her lacy alphabet charts to create the intarsia alphabet squares with Rowan 4 ply cotton, and needle size US 4.
When the blocks were completed and sewn together it looked a tad small. And a little unpolished. So I pulled out some Rowan Cotton Breeze in a lovely bright pink to add a crochet border around the entire blanket - 4 rows of double chain and then one row of scallops using a 2.5 hook (I'm a self-taught crocheter - don't inspect too closely!)
So far, so good. Except I was thinking of little baby fingers plucking at the back of the intarsia squares: it could really do with a backing. Which is all well and good except 1) I have no clue how to do that and 2) there isn't a functioning sewing machine in our house. So I trolled the Internet for adding a backing to knit fabrics, by hand. I came across various different techniques, and am thinking I might have employed them all (and a couple I'd made up too!). Whatever works I say - and it seems to.
In case you are interested in the backing details:
I washed both the knit blanket and the flannel first, to make sure that any shrinkage happened before the 2 were permanently attached. Once dry, I laid the knit fabric out, taking care not to stretch. And then measured the dimensions of the blanket minus border. I then cut and hand tacked a piece of the cotton flannel to match this size.
Next I added a blanket stitch border to the cotton flannel, using the same pink cotton yarn that I'd crocheted around the entire border - I used this as an 'anchor' to crochet the flannel and the existing border together. But before crocheting, everything was pinned in place, including the intersection of every block to the backing (later I hand tied some of the pink yarn at each intersection). After all of that was done, all that was left exposed was some of the blanket stitch border on the flannel and so I added another couple of rows double crochet to cover that up and backstitched the edge of it to the flannel backing.
It was quite the labour of love you could say! And any experienced sewer/crocheter may be shaking their head in disbelief! But it all worked out, and at this point I have nothing but time on my hands as I play the waiting game! Oooh I'm happy to have this done before the wee one makes her arrival.