We decided to be daring this summer and try something we hadn’t tried before with our son. We thought long and hard about it, planned it, packed for it and finally the day came. Our first road trip as a family. This could be a really great thing or something we would regret after the first few dozen miles… We’d be driving about 1500 miles roundtrip. With a car stuffed to the gills with clothes for all weather conditions, a snack bag that had so much in it we could open our own convenience store, books, DVDs, a ridiculous amount of knitting, toys, pillows, shoes and a birdhouse (don’t ask) we were off.
The thing about road tripping in the summer with a kid in the backseat is not only do they get bored easily (see the list of supplies above), but they can get chilly. The car air conditioning blowing on me keeps me awake and engaged the way a driver needs to be, but I know it can make the little guy cold. With this in mind I designed the Road Trip Blanket.
I’m a fan of knitting with cotton. Cotton is a magical fabric that is lightweight, can keep you warm in the chill and cool in the heat. I wear it year-round. I’ve always liked knitting with plant fibers and Peruvian cotton is no exception. Cascade Yarn’s Luna is a machine washable and dryable 100% Peruvian Cotton. With over 50 colors to pick from, I chose 5 that worked well together, mostly in shades of green. We were heading north after all, to the land of green trees everywhere, green mountains, green moss-covered rocks and green plants. A dash of yellow added a bit of cheer, so I hurried up and casted on.
Feather and fan is such a classic, unisex lace pattern. There are dozens are variations and it reminds me of my grandma who knit a feather and fan baby blanket for me as a child. By using colors a few shades different than the one before (and with over 50 shades of Luna, this is super easy to do) it creates a cute gradient that kids love with a wavy edge. Nubby, soft cotton + bright, fun colors = a warm little boy under a blanket that’s easy to spot in the mess that we call "car."
The beauty of the Road Trip Blanket is that with only 6 hanks of yard at 82 yards each on size US 8’s, you’ll have a blanket large enough to cover a sleeping child in a car seat or stroller. It knits up quickly, blocks beautifully and when some of the 5,000 snacks you’ve packed for the road trip dump, you can easily throw it in the washer and dryer and it’s as good as new.
As we embarked upon our journey north at 5am, I tucked the blanket I had made for my son next to the car seat and didn’t say a word. When I looked back a little while later, he was cuddled under it with his lamby in one arm and his thumb in his mouth, fast asleep. I’d call the Road Trip Blanket a smashing success!
Free Road Trip Blanket pattern available for download here.