And I just couldn't resist posting the picture of all three blankets my daughter will get, as well as an afghan I knit for the baby. The other two blankets, by the way, are in cotton. I do hope she will be pleased. It should be easy to guess that this will be her first child and my first grandchild.
Now to some reflections on the baby blanket. They center on the finishing. I do like the way the crochet edging turned out. However, the way I prepared the edges with just plain zigzagging on the machine created a small problem. I found it difficult, if not impossible, to remove every little tuft of fiber that broke loose when I simply zigzagged those edges.
Next time, I think I will try a two-step process. First, I will straight stitch the edges on the sewing machine. I will cut as close to that stitching as I dare. Then I will use a stitch on my machine that mimics a serged edge, making sure that the needle actually goes off the edge of the fabric so that, hopefully, every last tuft will get enclosed before I start the actual crocheting.
I could also just fringe the blanket. But fringe is dangerous for infants. And fringe wears thin with wear and constant washing. I do hope these baby blankets will be used all the time, I trust they will be washed frequently!
I could twist the fringe ends as many people do. I have done that, but never have been happy with either the process or the results. I think twisted fringes can look quite elegant on silk scarves. But there is a sameness to them that I do not like. So, when I do finish off a fringe, I use a braided fringe. My braids are not terribly even, for I don’t get the practice that would be needed for really even braids. But they have, in my eyes, a unique look not possible with the polished finish that twisting the fringes gives. Braiding fringe, for me is is not unlike dyeing my own yarns. And there are so many different ways of braiding! It is always fun to try something new. And, perhaps most important to me, it is nice to feel the yarn in my fingers as I braid.
Here are my two favorite books for fringe designing:
Finishes in the Ethnic Tradition by Baiserman and Searle
Finishing Touches for the Handweaver by Virginia M. West