Counting Sheep In My Sleep

As you all most likely know by now, Grand Number 6 is on the way.  He is expected to arrive on October 29th.  If you followed me along the journey of Caitlin's pregnancy with Holli, you will remember how we had to make all sorts of cute stuff for the nursery and baby...including all of that handmade baby furniture her dad built?  Well, just to let you know...nothing has changed with this pregnancy.  Kevin has already painted the nursery and Caitlin has a theme (vintage toys) and now she has enlisted others to assist her with making Number 6's (I refer to him as this because no name has been decided on yet) arrival just as special.

My first duty was to produce some watercolor painting that can be hung in the nursery...

It had been a while since I water colored so I decided to fiddle around with watercolor pencils on these paintings.  There are still a few details left to do but otherwise they will be ready to travel with me to Ohio in September, be framed and placed on the nursery wall.

Now back to those sheep I've been counting in my sleep.  I pin a lot of things on Pinterest.  I mean a LOT.  One of them was this wonderful sheep blanket.  I realized that I had not ever attempted to do intarsia knitting (knitting a picture or design switching out colors).  I knew it most likely would not be simple, however, I did want to learn this technique one day.  I didn't realize that "one day" would be sooner than I had expected.  When Caitlin sent me the exact photo of that blanket to make for "Number 6"...

   Here is the photo of the blanket I pinned on Pinterest and MY blanket started in the blue yarn.
This is the yarn that Caitlin chose for the main color of the blanket.  She purchased this yarn at a shop in Ohio and mailed it to me.  Can I tell you that I just LOVE Malabrigo yarn?!
This is the yarn that the pattern suggested using for the sheep.  It is a fuzzy, textured yarn that I purchased at Michael's.
The pattern was not actually in the link that I pinned so I had to order the book from Amazon.  There are lots of other blanket patterns in this book that I will most likely use so the purchase was a good one.
Now the work began.  The border was no problem so I got it done pretty quickly.  However, for the intarsia knitting I not only had to watch an online video but also read the instructions that the book provided.
I learned a lot on this first row of sheep.  It was suggested that I make bobbins (separate threads rolled in a specific way so as to not cause tangling of the yarn), however, I decided to just let my yarn hang and did not have any trouble with tangling.  I also learned that the hanging yarn always needed to be on the wrong side of the piece and it is important to remember to wind your yarn around the new color when changing colors so everything will stay connected.  I'm giving you these tips because of my trial and error mistakes.  I had to rip out entire rows more than once...(sigh).
                                       Here I have my pieces of yarn cut and ready for use.
   OK, so I was SUPER PROUD of this first row of sheep!  And I LOVE the blue background yarn.
Needless to say, the second row went much faster and now I am about to start the third one.  I think I can have this blanket almost completed by the time we leave for vacation Friday!  All I will have to do is use a black yarn to make the faces and feet of the sheep and then back the entire blanket with a soft fabric to cover all of the cut yarn on the wrong side.

I always wanted to try intarsia knitting but was a little afraid of it.  Thanks to videos and additional instructions,  this project has actually been fun.  I'm not sure what's next for "Number 6" but I'm ready for the challenge after mastering this skill!

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