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The Unemployment Blanket

January 18, 2011

I knitted a blanket.  I started it in October 2010, and working on it line by line I finished last Friday.  Ta-da!

Before knitting this blanket, I had only knit scarfs.  I learned how to knit from a woman named Lila when I was living in Costa Rica (in 2007), and I don’t really know other women that knit so I haven’t really advanced in the complexity of my knitted projects.  Someday I strive to learn to knit beyond square-shaped items, but making a blanket was a pretty awesome accomplishment for me.

Thats not to say there aren’t any “flaws,” as some might call them: the blanket is incredibly, outrageously wide.  In fact, as I put it on Boyfriend’s bed it is folded over, so it turns out it’s double-y warm.  Since I never knitted a blanket before and had no pattern, I just guessed at the width and it’s quite difficult to tell while starting out on the needles.  I really think of it as a positive though- not only does it provide more warmth on the bed, but it fits across the entire couch (and then some) when you are cuddling up with the fam to watch a movie on a cold night!

As far as the cost goes in the construction of this thing, I initially want to say that the end result is priceless, but lets face the wool facts.  Each line on the Unemployment Blanket represents one entire skein of yarn.  Thirty-five skeins of yard went into the construction of this blanket.  At 5-7 bucks a pop, that’s about $200 worth of yarn alone, but I have to say it was worth it.  Knitting is meditative, and it helped me get through football season.  But it is also more than that.

As a person that is unemployed, $200 in yarn is a lot of money.  However, as other unemployed folk know, it can be really hard to have all that time on your hands on a day-to-day basis.  I have a daily job search, a volunteer gig, and do a decent amount of working out and cooking, but I will just be candid and say that things can seem pretty bleak after a while.  Giving myself this blanket to complete has really helped me out during this tough time, giving me a task, a goal, a purpose.  I made something beautiful!  I hope you enjoy it as well.



21 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2011 8:41 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I’m a substitute teacher who relies on day-to-day calls, so I consider myself highly unDERemployed and have been pretty blue about it lately. This post inspired me. Thank you!


    • Erin permalink*
      January 26, 2011 6:16 pm

      Thank you so much for your nice words- that is so kind of you, and it makes me really glad I posted this! 🙂 Best of luck to you in your employment journey.

  2. January 26, 2011 2:50 am

    Wow! I do have questions though- did you knit the whole thing, knit each colour and sew them together or some variation? I am not a fantastically skilled knitter, and am very impressed, the largest I ever made (apart from scarves) was an awful one piece sweater.
    how did you get it so wide?

    • Erin permalink*
      January 26, 2011 6:19 pm

      I’m no knitting expert either for sure….I have no idea how to make a sweater! I just got circular knitting needles. My thinking was, in order to make it the proper width of a blanket, just get on as many stitches as you can. I didn’t realize until I was a ways in how wide it was actually going to be. 🙂 I hope that answers your question!

  3. January 26, 2011 8:21 am

    Your blanket looks amazing and I’ve been wanting to make one myself.
    I was just wondering: how many stitches did you cast on? Or how many do you advise me to cast on?

    Thank you!

    – Anna

    • Erin permalink*
      January 26, 2011 6:23 pm

      Thanks Anna! It’s funny because I have no idea how many I ended up casting on. I’m definitely not a pro, because my thought process was just to cast on as many stitches as would fit, basically, and then just keep knitting. Haha. I’m sure that doesn’t help much…but if you want it super-extra-wide like mine, just cast on and cast on and cast on…. lol.

    • Erin permalink*
      January 31, 2011 12:45 pm

      So I ended up trying to count… and I think I cast on about 220 stitches! Also, I have size 17 needles.

  4. January 26, 2011 11:25 am

    It is beautiful! Great work!

    oh, and good luck with the job hunt.

  5. Karen permalink
    January 26, 2011 12:45 pm

    Nice job. I have crocheted but not knitted.

  6. January 26, 2011 3:30 pm

    It is gorgeous! And could be quite the stash busting project too ya know.
    Do you mind sharing what size needles you used and how many stitches you cast on?

    Best wishes on your job search. I know it is hard – my Hubby was out of work for just over a year before getting part-time work in his field.

    • Erin permalink*
      January 26, 2011 6:31 pm

      Thanks so much for your compliment and words of encouragement! It is helpful to know that it’s not just me…

      I think I used size 14 or 15 needles, but I’ll have to check when I get home tomorrow evening… And I have no idea how many I cast on… I’m sorry… I just kind of shoved on as many stitches as I could on the circular needles. I know, not too professional. 🙂

    • Erin permalink*
      January 31, 2011 12:46 pm

      I checked… I cast on about 220 stitches, and used size 17 needles!

    • Erin permalink*
      January 31, 2011 12:46 pm

      I checked… 220 stitches, and used size 17 needles!

  7. Peg permalink
    January 26, 2011 6:16 pm

    I’m sure in the future you will look back and have fond memories of making this blanket and
    enjoy its comfort for years. I love it

  8. January 26, 2011 8:33 pm

    Looks like you’ve made a negative out of a positive and that’s wonderful. Good luck on your job search. It’s beautiful. You did a wonderful job on it.

  9. sue permalink
    January 31, 2011 8:39 am

    looks great, and if you happen to have yarn laying around, or find it at yard sales or thrift stores it comes out even cheaper. I am working on something similar, but I don’t like to knit so I crochet. I am using up yarn I have had, bits and pieces, and skeins, I got the idea from one of the craft sites online, and they called it a ribbon afghan. Mine has fuzzy yarn, soft yarns, bulky yarns, when i have it done I will pos a pic of it. I think it looks cool. Different but cool.
    Congratulations on finding something to keep your spirits up, and be constructive at the same time.

    • Erin permalink*
      January 31, 2011 12:48 pm

      yeah, that’s a great idea! It seems like it’d probably end up with a sort of eclectic Bohemian look. I would definitely like to see that when you’re done!


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