I was so pleased with the Noro scarf (both the process and the end result) that I wanted to try something else using the same basic idea of self-striping yarn against a contrast colour. I decided on a giant rectangle with the surface area of a half-dozen scarves, 30" x 36".
That used up exactly three skeins of Noro Kochoran striped with Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool. (The exactly part was no accident. I love the calculating part of knitting.) The colours and texture of Noro yarn are simply gorgeous. Look at these and tell me you don't want to knit:
As I was paying for the wool the cashier asked chattily what I was planning to make with it.
"A baby blanket."
"You can't use this yarn for a baby blanket. It has angora in it! If the fibres go up your baby's nose while she's sleeping, she'll suffocate. You'll want to use something different." Said decisively while setting the yarn back down and nodding at the the wall of wool at the back of the shop.
A brief and awkard pause, and I said, "I'm going to use this anyway." She rang through my purchase in silence.
I cast on 173 stitches on a 24 inch 5.5 mm circular needle. The entire blanket is worked in 1x1 rib, two rows of Noro (which self stripes) alternating with two rows of the cream-coloured Cascade wool. I made a tidy selvedge edge by holding the yarn as if to purl and then slipping purlwise the first and last stitch of the second row of every stripe.
A couple of months' worth of mindless knitting later, it was done. By that point I despised it and hid it away in the baby's wardrobe. Eventually I rediscovered it and decided it was tolerable. (A common sequence for projects, I find.)
And Ilia's been sleeping with it for months now without incident, airway-threatening angora fibres and all:
Initially there was a stretchiness to the blanket that I disliked; maybe the weight of the blanket as it hung from the needles distended it? When I washed it (fingers crossed) on cold, gentle and hung it to dry, it came out a little more compact and dense than it went in: just perfect.
On Ravelry here.