It may have taken a while, but the Tunisian Solar System Blanket is ready for release. This blanket is possibly one of my favourite graphed blankets I have ever made. I certainty have put more work into it than any other blanket, but I think that all the work has been worth it. I absolutely love how this blanket came out and I hope that it is something that Oliver will want to keep forever and maybe pass down in his family until it is too worn out to be used!
I started this off with a concept in my head, which was swiftly changed and directed by Oliver. He knew exactly what he wanted his blanket to look like. He knew it needed all the planets, and not just the main 8 planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) but also wanted the 5 dwarf planets (Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, MakeMake and Eris) as well as the Asteroid and Kuiper belts. He also wanted me to add all the moons, but seeing as some of the planets have over 60 moons, I drew the line at just adding Earth's moon!
Initially I spent at least a whole day working on the graph. I used stitch fiddle and flicked back and forth different images on google, trying to get something that was easily recognized as the planets in terms of colour and appearance, without going overboard on hundred of colours and therefore ends! (There was enough ends due to all the space rocks anyway!)
Once the graph was finished and printed, I simply sat and made the blanket. I used Tunisian Knit Stitch, partly as I love the stitch, but I also wanted to see how a graph would work out in it. I am so glad I chose to use this stitch as I love the blanket in it. It probably took a good 3 weeks worth of work and some days I did a lot of hours on it. There were mistakes, some little that I wouldn't even be able to pick out now if you asked me! Some were larger, I completely misread Neptune (top right planet) and whilst it annoys me that it isn't as round as I intended, it wasn't enough to make me rip out the 25 odd rows and do it again. Oliver hasn't noticed anyway and he seems happy with it!
Once the blanket was finished I added rows of purl stitch as a border partly to finish it off, and partly to combat some of the curl issue that can occur with the Knit stitch. The ends that were produced were some what overwhelming. I never actually sat and counted them, but I would estimate them at well over 200. As soon as I saw them I knew I wasn't going to sew them all in. Instead I tied them off, trimmed them down and used some lovely space fabric to sew onto the blanket instead. They are all hidden now and whilst it probably didn't end up being much quicker than sewing them all in, I preferred the process much better!
The pattern for this blanket comes in couple of pdf's. Firstly there is the Pdf with the information, the notes, the resources, and the written pattern. Secondly there is the graph pdf. This is a large blanket, 200 stitches wide and nearly 200 rows, excluding the border, and so in order to allow the graph to be readable, it is spread over several pages, which you can print, and tape together to make a large workable graph.
A lot of work has gone into this blanket, so it will be a paid for pattern. You can find it on my Etsy store here. I hope you you all enjoy this pattern, it is a bit of work and time consuming, but I think it is well worth the effort put in especially for a space lover!
See you next week,