I am so happy to report that I have finished the Solaria Blanket!! I have renamed it the “You Are My Sunshine” blanket because the reason I loved the pattern to begin with was that it reminded me of a sun, which reminds me of my mom singing me the “You are my sunshine” song all the time when I was little. I thought it would make a very special baby blanket because of those associations.
That being said, this blanket stressed me out to no end. It began with buying the yarn. I got an amazing deal on this Universal Yarn’s Classic Chunky in Mulberry from the clearance section of Jimmy Beans Wool. I did the math for yardage from the pattern, and it said I needed 6.87 skeins. I ordered 7, and about two hours later, had a panic attack that I hadn’t ordered more. I planned to call the next day to ask if an additional skein or two could be added to my order before it shipped. I didn’t get around to it that day, and the next day as I was planning to call, I received my shipment!
Being too cheap to pay another $4 shipping when the yarn was only $2.50 a skein, I thought I would knit the blanket really quickly and see how the yardage was holding out. As we all know, that plan didn’t work out, since I had to rip out 3,400 stitches, rejoin the blanket and basically start over.
I checked Ravelry to see the two completed projects. Both showed using far less yarn than I had, and used size 10 needles. I desperately changed to size 10s from my 10.5s somewhere in the 60s of the chart (the chart goes to row 94) in hopes of squeezing out just a little bit more out of what I had.
By last week, I was certain I was going to run out of yarn. I went to bite the bullet and order more, only to find it was sold out. I started calling all of the local stores that carried Universal Yarns, and no one carried Classic Chunky. One website I found from a Google search said the color was discontinued (now the clearance thing was making so much sense!). I boldly (and crazily) proclaimed to my knitting group that if I ran out of yarn I was going to tear out the whole blanket, as I couldn’t bear the thought of having a weird patch of different yarn in the middle. Since the construction is from the outside in, I couldn’t just go until I ran out and bind off.
This weekend, I determined there were a couple of rows that I could remove from the chart near the center that I didn’t think anyone would notice. I ended up omitting rows 78, 79, 82, 83 and 87. On Sunday, I finished the blanket!
The final numbers were:
- I had 917 yards of yarn for a blanket that called for 900 yards.
- I had approximately 6.5 yards left after finishing the blanket.
- This made me think I could have maybe finished those fairly short five rows I omitted – but I certainly was not going to rip it out and redo it to find out! Besides, I don’t think you can tell.
- My final blanket diameter is approximately 44”.
I was initially a little unsure of how much I was liking this blanket, as the cables weren’t as smooth and crisp as I wanted them to be. However, after finishing the whole blanket and seeing it overall, I was enamored. It’s beautiful!
I also used the Russian Join for the first time. I came across this video on Knitting Help’s Twitter feed the day I was ripping out the blanket. I felt like it was meant to be to help me save as much yarn as possible, so I did this for every join in my blanket. It was great to only have two ends to deal with at the end! I will use this for all future projects using non-wool/non-felting yarns.
This is a machine washable yarn, and I gave it a run through the washer on hand wash/wool, put it in the dryer for a damp dry, and pinned it out for a light blocking. It didn’t make much difference to the appearance or size, but the yarn did wash very well. I’ve also never machine washed anything I’ve made except a dishcloth, so when it came out of the washer still in one piece, I was amazed and thankful!
I feel like I have a million things to say about this blanket and pattern, so if you want more than you’ve already read (which I can’t imagine!), check out my Ravelry project page.
So, despite all the stress during the creation of this blanket, I love it! I’ve been going into the other room to visit it occasionally, just to appreciate that it’s done, I’m happy with it, and I did not have to put a weird spot in the middle of it.