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March 21, 2010

Counting Sheep Afghan :: Unveiled

It seems that we've started an informal tradition at Twisted Yarns for co-workers who become first-time grandmothers - a blanket or afghan for which we all knit a square or two, seam it together, and present it to the lucky recipient. We've knit one for Alisa and Lynn Anne, but we had to kick it up a notch for Shelley, one of the shop's co-owners, with a sheep-themed afghan - complete with intarsia (textured, no less) and duplicate stitch (my first time for both).

We each chose our squares in the late fall of 2009 and I started (and re-started) mine before Christmas when I bought my first Addi Clicks:

Counting Sheep Afghan - my first-ever intarsia!

We used shades of pink and gray, along with a little bit of brown, since Shelley had found out her son and his wife were going to have a girl. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash and the pattern is from a vintage pattern leaflet that once belonged to Eve's mother. See more details on the Ravelry project page.

It was a challenge figuring out how to get together at the shop without Shelley knowing about it, but after a few sessions, everything came together nicely.

Secret knitting for a new grandma

Last Tuesday, we had a get-together at the shop and presented Shelley with her afghan. She was so surprised:

Counting Sheep Afghan for Shelley

The pattern includes a knitted fence border and border collies. As Debbie G. would say, "It's so stinkin' cute!"

We had a great time working on it and I learned a few new skills and tricks. While intarsia knitting isn't one of my favorite techniques, I'm no longer intimidated by it. I've seen some really cute patterns for kids that include it, so it's possible I'll attempt it again someday.