Published July 4, 2014 by Jackie

I’d been wondering over the last few days on what to blog about next, and thought it might be good to talk about my ‘turn-to’ blanket, Vivid by Tin Can Knits.

I am addicted to making this blanket, I currently have four on the go at the moment, one slow one for me, one extra large one as a wedding present, one quick turnaround in Aran, and one that has gone a bit wrong in the joining, so am putting that on hold for a baby that’s due a bit later in the year.

I also used the pattern as the basis of a communal project of two blankets last autumn for a colleague, and participated in the construction of two blankets for knit-group friends who have recently had babies

There are at least three other people in my knit-group ~ that I know of ~ who are working on their own Vivids, and am pretty sure they are as addicted as I am!

I think it’s an absolute classic! Any weight of yarn will work, you can use it to stash-bust, it looks impressive to gift to a non-knitter, and it is a comparatively easy knit, and tho the centre requires a little more attention than the outer garter border, I suspect it would be an easy introduction to lace too. A couple of useful new techniques to learn, and you can either use dpns, short circulars or magic loop, as you prefer.

From my Ravelry notes, this is the method that works really well for me:

“As with all my Vivid projects, I use a crochet hook to cast on, knit 1 row off the end onto a single dpn, then start increase row and transfer onto 4 needles, at the same time, for the lace section. Switch to 24” circ on final round of lace, ready to start garter edge. Casting off with surprisingly stretchy cast-off (over-needle YO between all stitches)”

So, in order of creation, here are my Vivid projects:

1. In pink cotton, from the bottom of my stash, I started with one for me. I have about 20 squares made, and am aiming for either 6×6=36 or 6×7=42. This just ticks away, every so often I work another square. Very old Jaeger Sienna cotton ~ this has been an RYC Classic label for many years now ~ I have no photos of these squares yet, but I shall attempt to remedy that soon

2. Two communal blankets based on Vivid: a work colleague adopted siblings, around the same time as we knit a blanket for another colleague’s new baby. Seemed easiest to make a patchwork blanket that other colleagues could work garter squares for, and I threw in Vivid squares, 9 for each blanket. One blanket was mainly made from Natural Dye Studio Dazzle Sock, and the other from Angels & Elephands Hand-dyed sockweight.

3. A fingering weight Vivid, using deep stash Natural Dye Studio Dazzle HT. This is making a very fine weight blanket, and I am trying to use a variegated yarn as the lace centre and the undyed base as the border. Looks great, but I went off-pattern and decided to use a 3-needle bind-off, and it just isn’t working! I have put this to one side, and see Vivid 5 for its replacement.

4. Denim Vivid ~ having gathered a collection of shades and oddments and full balls of Rowan Denim, I took them on holiday with me, and at almost exactly the same time as my friend Cathy, decided to knit a shades of blue Vivid. Cathy’s is in Rennies, double strands. The darkest indigo squares are filthy with dye, both making washing and blocking leaches more dye, but the lighter shades are okay. Shortly after I started, my nephew told me there’s a wedding invite coming out shortly, and having enough Denim to make a 7×7 blanket, I should get something almost double-bed sized.

5. Fast-track Vivid: aran weight, for a baby due in a couple of weeks, gender unknown. This is replacing the one that has gone wrong in the construction. I dived into my stash and found some half-price Rowan Aran I had picked up in Jenners. Thought maybe I would use more colours, but I can get as many squares as I need out of two shades, with a third neutral for the garter edges, so I opted for an Oranges and Lemons theme. 4 of one colour, 5 of the other… these are coming out as over 10 inches square when blocked, so I only need 3×3 for a cot-blanket! I can almost turn around 2 squares in an evening now!

But here’s the thing… if I try to knit the lace centre in a social setting, I trip up! If I’ve frogged one, I must have frogged 3 or 4 in the last 10 days! So I sat down one evening and worked out what made it so easy to do at home but meant it was almost impossible socially… and was answered so quickly, it’s just counting! 1 2… 1 2 3… 1 2 3 4… 1 2 3 4 5…. round and round! Social knitting involves talking, so I can no longer talk to myself while I knit.

I have a strategy tho… I work a centre, and at the end of the lace, I transfer to a circular needle… then I start a second centre, and take it to the row before. If I put both pieces in my project bag, I can finish two squares fairly quickly, without any bother at all!

Well, who’d have thought I could write nearly 900 words about a simple blanket square? Try it… you’ll love it!


4 comments on “Vivid

  • Go for it! Just made a cot version with 4 balls of Rowan Aran from Jenners’ sale, so for £16. One more ball of the border shade and I think I’d get 12 squares, not 9. I shall report on the finished size

  • I have now done 37 squares, and I think I’ve got it down to 2 days worth of commute to finish one (around 3 hours). I’m looking forward to having a snuggly blanket by the end of the year – I’m making them with a club yarn, so the making of the squares will be spread out over the course of the year, but will be a great way of showing off all the colours over the year 🙂

  • I have a finished photo of the baby-sized aran one, so will add some links in a blog post to yours and Cathy’s, if I may? Eleanor has also asked for one aran weight, am testing while they are getting ready, the plus side of having teens to stay!

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