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One of my best friends from high school is having a baby in about a month. They are not finding out if it’s a boy or a girl until the big day, so I was a little bit unsure about what to knit! While there are a lot of great gender-neutral patterns out there, I tend to like baby sweaters that fall in the “super-girly” or “little-man” camps. Once the wee one is here, I may make him or her a little outfit, but before that I wanted to get something ready for my friend’s shower.

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Then it occurred to me that my friend has always had a love for the traditional. I started thinking that maybe I wanted to knit a beautiful heirloom baby blanket – one that could wrap up all of her future children as well – in a traditional pattern and in a beautiful natural colored yarn. Admittedly, this realization was probably brought on by the fact that I was knitting a Quill shawl (by Jared Flood of Brooklyntweed) for myself out of a gorgeous gray yarn (almost done, pictures soon!), and the pattern suggested that the shawl would work well as an heirloom baby blanket. So, I ran out to the local yarn shop and picked up a couple of balls of Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace, a lovely mix of alpaca and silk, and started knitting another Quill!

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This is a beautiful pattern with the traditional structure of a Shetland Hap Shawl. I knit the smaller size, which ended up blocking out to about a 40 inch square. I love the Old Shale Lace pattern, which I happen to think looks like rows and rows of little tiaras (like the one Kate Middleton wore?), and the edging is just gorgeous – takes a while – but is just gorgeous! Here she is blocking.

DSC_0374The Silky Alpaca Lace worked really nicely with this pattern. I bought two balls initially, but had to run back to the store to get a third ball (the day I had to finish it for it to make it to the shower!) because I just didn’t have quite enough yarn to finish the edging! I weighed the third ball before and after, and determined that I used about 35 yards (out of 440 yds in the ball). Anyone need a mostly unused ball of Silky Alpaca Lace? :) It was all worth it in the end, though, because I think this blanket is beautiful. The fabric is light and delicate, but very warm thanks to the alpaca. We’re all excited for your arrival in the world, Baby O, and I’m so happy to contribute something to keep you warm and snug.

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