Not that I'm excited or anything, but I finished my blanket on Sunday night. It is just beautiful.
Last night I worked on blocking it. Now that was terrifying, I filled my top loader washing machine, and gently put my blanket in the cold water, pushing it all the way down to ensure it got completely soaked. I warned every person in my house to NOT shut the lid on the washer. Wouldn't you know this would be the time someone in an effort to "help" me, would shut the lid which would engage the agitation and I would end up with a heavily cabled pillow top! I threatened anyone who would even think about walking INTO the laundry room. After 30 minutes I anxiously peered in and then carefully moved the dial to spin. And trembling slightly I shut the lid and listened carefully as the water drained out and in no time it started spinning. I was thrilled when I pulled the damp blanket out of the machine and it was still HUGE! Talk about scary.
Upstairs I laid it out in the loft, pulling gently, tugging and patting it into place. I didn't use pins, just nudged it into place. There are some mistakes in the cable borders, but so be it. It is finished, it is beautiful, and it is mine. I did end up with an extra skein of yarn, but that is ok. I was too chicken to order the 7 skeins when mathematically it worked out nearly to the end of the 7th skein to complete it. I'm happy, I would have been worried for year if I hadn't done that. I'm hoping sometime this weekend there will be daylight and I can take better pictures, but I didn't want to wait. If I wait for the sun, it may be months before I can take a picture!
I love this blanket. I think it is the nicest thing I've made. It is clearly the biggest. It took me about 4 1/2 months of solid knitting, mostly knit from March through early June of 2010 and finished after a long month of knitting in January 2011. I don't think I will make a second one. But I'm pleased enough with it that I hauled it into work today to show it off. Seeing people's reactions are such fun, some have no clue it is handmade until they are told and then their eyes pop! smile..
So to others who are thinking of stretching their knitting comfort zone...go for it. The end results are magical.