I’m so excited to finally share my Journey blanket with you. This was the first project I finished for the book and I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to introduce it to the world.
First, let’s talk about the technical aspects of the blanket. It’s knit in squares, from the centre out. The motif is surprisingly easy to work, as it’s done with stripes, slipped stitches, and cables. You only ever work one colour at a time, so it’s easy to do but results in something spectacular.
The pattern gives options for finishing, as I know people have strong opinions about how they like to do things. You can either leave the stitches of each square on scrap yarn and then graft them together, or you can bind off your stitches and seam them together as you prefer. The whole thing is then finished off with a few rows of garter stitch border.
For the sample I used Vahva Pirkkalanka by Pirkanmaan Kotityo, a beautiful Finnish 100% wool yarn, in 5 contrast colours and 1 main colour. The yarn is carried by Midwinter Yarns in the UK, and they ship internationally, if you’d like to replicate the blanket exactly. You can also substitute other durable worsted to aran weight yarns as you’d prefer, I really think they world is your oyster with this one.
As I said above, this blanket ties the whole concept of Travel Knits for the Family together for me. It is the perfect project for travel knitting since you only ever work a square at a time. It’s easy to stuff two skeins of yarn in a bag and work away on it as you sit in plains, trains, and automobiles. It’s also great for packing – for a week-long trip I would take two skeins of the main colour and a skein of contrast colour and have enough yarn to knock out 3 squares.
I also love the idea of making this blanket out of souvenir yarns. Maybe pick a neutral main colour yarn and then pick up a skein of contrast colour on your journeys and knit your memories into your blanket.
Our time living in the UK was an incredible experience. We knew when we moved there that it was temporary, so we tried to make the most of every minute we could. We decided that we wouldn’t save any money in those two years, and we also wouldn’t buy a car. We took any extra money we had and spent it on traveling, and I’m so glad we did.
For me, this sample holds a lot of really special memories because I worked on it on a lot of those trips. Our trip to Sri Lanka to visit my husband’s family. Our safari in South Africa, which was the trip of a lifetime. Visiting Greece, where we felt like we had traveled back in time.
But I also worked on that blanket during our everyday life in London, which was special too. Lots of train and bus rides getting around the city. Sitting outside at the pub while Pippa was at gymnastics. Watching the festivities at school sports days. During lots and lots of swimming lessons. Showing visitors around. Attending cricket matches, and even watching the tennis at Wimbledon.
Now that I’m feeling all teary and sentimental – I’m going to say thank you for reading about our Journey, and for your interest in Travel Knits for the Family. This book has been a labour of love for me. I’m so very proud of this project. And I’m proud of all the women who have worked so hard to make it a beautiful thing.