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Hudson Bay Inspired Blanket: Home knitted not the woven original

If, like me, you decide in a fit of pious indignation NOT to buy into the whole commercial side of Christmas and decide instead to make presents for your nearest and dearest then do NOT like me, start at the end of November. You’ll just end up totally stressed and not enjoy the build up to Christmas one little bit.

Inspired by a good friend of mine who was knitting a Hudson Bay throw I thought that this would make a great gift for K.M. The idea of knitting a blanket for Christmas has been floating around my head since May at least. It was not until mid November, however, that I got my act together to find a pattern, choose colours, choose what wool to use and measure up the bed. I was ambitious. Forget a throw. I wanted a blanket to cover K.M.’s bed in its entirety so the blanket had to measure 2m by 1.6 m.

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When I bought the wool at our local shop and mentioned it was going to be a Christmas present the lady serving me raised an eye brow and said as a parting shot “well good luck to getting that finished on time”. I should have known I was going to be in trouble. I knitted my first stitch on 21 November. I soon realised the gargantuan task I had on hand if I was ever going to complete this blanket on time for Christmas. It took me 10 minutes to knit one row and I had 474 rows in total to knit! That is 4770 minutes or 79 hours – more than two French working weeks. Somehow the whole idea of a relaxing knit was sucked out of me as knitting no longer became a chill-time, evening activity but a full time job.

The family became quite convinced that I would never re-emerge from behind this blanket. Whenever they saw me I was knitting. I imagined myself resembling a tricoteuse – the old revolutionary hags in 18th century France who knitted frantically as the aristos. got the chop. Knit. Knit. Knit. Knit to a certain crazed rhythm. I became totally obsessed that the blanket would be finished on time for Christmas. And it was.

In the past I’ve often scoffed at the idea of paying more than EUR 100 for a blanket. Now no longer.

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Were I to charge the minimum working wage of EUR 10 per hour that would be EUR 790 for my labour. The total cost of the wool came to EUR 136.40. I would have to charge a whopping EUR 926.40 for my blanket! I don’t think I’d have many takers.

Knitting a blanket of this size is quite obviously a hobby. Not a business proposition. It is, however, enormously rewarding – every stich, as the old cliché goes, stitched with love – and, I think you’ll agree, looks amazing. A cosy warm heirloom, which KM better pass-on to her grandchildren at the age of 90 even if, by then, a couple of faded coffee stains blot the blanket here and there.

Patterns posted on Purl Bee and Spud & Chloe served as the basis for this blanket.

Knitting Pattern: Hudson Bay Blanket 2 m by 1 m 60

Knitting needle: Size 6 -6.5

Wool:  Katia Peru (40% Wool, 40% Acrylic, 20% Alpaca)

Colours: Off-White (3): 14 balls, Dark Blue (5): 2 balls, Saffron Yellow (21): 2 balls, Red (4): 2 balls, Medium Green (15): 2 balls

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Pattern: Always knit right to form the garter stitch.

Two rows of the garter stitch is referred to as a ridge. So, where it says 48 ridges this actually means 96 rows. 7 ridges means 14 rows. 60 ridges means 120 rows.

Cast on 160 stitches

28 ridges  (56 rows) in Off White

7 ridges (14 rows) in Dark Blue

7 ridges (14 rows) in Off White

7 ridges (14 rows) in Saffron Yellow

7 ridges (14 rows) in Off White

7 ridges (14 rows) in Red

7 ridges (14 rows) in Off White

7 ridges (14 rows) in Medium Green

83 ridges (166 rows) in Off White

7 ridges (14 rows) in Dark Blue

7 ridges (14 rows) in Off White

7 ridges (14 rows) in Saffron Yellow

7 ridges (14 rows) in Off White

7 ridges (14 rows) in Red

7 ridges (14 rows) in Off White

7 ridges (14 rows) in Medium Green

28 (56 rows) ridges in Off White

Bind off and weave in the ends.

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Now you’re blanket is ready for you to snuggle into!

 

 

 

 

9 Comments

  1. You are crazy committed, Kathleen! It’s amazing how you can keep those rows so straight, too. I can’t even knit a scarf, for the life of me. Keep on knitting. Waaaaaaaay in advance then…. 🙂

  2. Thanks Alicia – I only started knitting a couple of years ago when a sudden urge to learn over took me. Now I can’t stop! Such a relaxing way to waste time …

  3. Beautiful! Ill have to make two of these for my boys this Christmas. The size sounds about right for a twin bed. I became aware of the famous hudson bay blanket a few months ago, but can’t possibly spend that much. This will be much cheaper with the added bonus that it’s handmade.

  4. Dianna says

    I have just stumbled across this post looking for inspiration for Christmas knitting! I cannot find any Katia Peru wool in Canada. Would you know of an acceptable alternate instead of Katia? Your finish looks fantastic BTW!

  5. Hi Diana – Glad you like the blanket 🙂 I’m not sure about alterntives to Katia in Canada. You could try the Purl and Bee Anzula range (but it is quite a pricey kashmere wool and is meant for a baby blanket). https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2011/11/23/whits-knits-hudsons-bay-inspired-crib-blanket/. Alteranatively you could try and sources these yarns from Spud & Chloë: Ice Cream #7500 (6 hanks), Billiard #7527 (1 hank), Barn #7518 (1 hank), Lake #7504 (1 hank), and Firefly #7505 (1 hank). You can find their pattern here: http://blueskyfibers.com/cooking-with-yarn/. Alternatively just choose some colours that you like in a local shop. That’s how I stumbled across the Katia colours (they are not the exact Hudson Bay colours but they still work well together). Good luck – hope it goes well.

    • Dianna says

      Thank you for the good alternative choices! I was thinking of heading to my wool shop to see what I could find. Mine does have the Katia line just not those colors. Thanks again and happy knitting! 😊

  6. No problem. I hope you find the colours you like. Do share a picture, if you don’t mind, once you’ve finished. I’d love to see it. K

    • Dianna says

      Absolutely! It might be awhile… I am not the fastest knitter!

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