When we're planning our yearly summer trek to New Hampshire, one of the first things we do is make a list of the hikes we want to accomplish. They have to be family friendly (our 6-year-old son, Callum, declares himself "the navigator" and likes to lead), no more than 5 miles, not too far off the beaten path in case of emergency, and bonus points for a waterfall or spectacular view. My husband is a master of finding gem after gem and we've had family hikes that I tuck away into my memory that I pull out often throughout the year until it's time to go back the following summer.
We found a new one this year that started off with an impressive gorge complete with a raging river thanks to the heavy rains, a cool suspension bridge, then finished off with a trail that looped us around a gorgeous lake. Tucked in our hiking back pack was a new baby blanket design I had recently finished that needed to be photographed. It didn't have a name yet and I was hoping to be inspired on this hike.
Meet the Lovequist Baby Blanket, a stroller blanket designed to be a rectangle rather than a square to keep baby's legs and feet warm while in the stroller or car seat. I used one of Dragonfly Fiber's lovely yarn kits in their Midcenturey Modern gradient made up of 2 different blues, greens, and reds. I really love their Traveller yarn, a hand dyed 100% superwash merino DK weight that's both light and bouncy. I've used this yarn a lot for baby knits and colorwork, and it washes up beautifully and has nice stitch definition. I go back to it again and again and was immediately drawn to this collection of colors when I first saw it at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.
Lace is ideal for babies because it offers ventilation and texture for them to play with. I went with a retro lace pattern to go well with the retro color theme and the result is a blanket that knits up quickly and in keeping with the theme of my recent pattern releases, designed for a knitter on the go. This blanket came with me to a lot of different places, and all I needed was the current color I was knitting with and if I was feeling ambitious, the following color. Worked one stripe at a time on US 7 (4.5mm) knitting needles, the yarn kit provides enough yarn to get 2 stripes of each color, totaling 840 yards. The pattern is simple enough for a beginner lace knitter, yet interesting enough for someone who often has lace on their needles. There will be an edge that scallops on its own due to the nature of the increases and decreases of lace knitting.
I was disappointed when the yarn ran out and the blanket was bound off - I found this to be a very fun and fast knit! And check out the beautiful shadow it casts!
An ode to that wonderful afternoon we spent walking through the woods and climbing rocks around the gorge, the Lovequist Baby Blanket will put a smile on my face every time I drape it across my baby daughter. Each design I do has a certain memory attached to it, but this one was extra-special. We are raising our kids to appreciate nature, appreciate what their bodies can do, installing a love for hiking, and time spent together without electronics - the only sounds being our feet crunching on the trail, the call of a bird, or the whoosh of a waterfall. This was our first summer in New Hampshire as a foursome and last summer we hiked some of these same trails while I was pregnant. I thought about summer 2017 and there being a new member of our family to continue on the tradition of daily hikes, rain or shine. It was everything I hoped it would be.
I hope someday this blanket will be throw in another hiking backpack, the next generation getting ready to hike this same trail.
Download the Lovequist Baby Blanket here.