Friday, 6 July 2012

A new blanket love :-)

Hello again! Today I want to share my new big crochet project with you. It's probably not a very seasonal thing to be making in midsummer, but I think I'm addicted to making blankets! Be warned, this could be a long post as I am in love with this project already :)
Before the Rainbow Flower Circle Blanket was totally finished I was already having thoughts about what the next blanket should look like. That's one of the wonderful things about the internet - there are just SO MANY gorgeous blankets/afghans/& throws out there to inspire!!! So where to start?? Well luckily for this project I had three definite starting points...
Firstly, size. This blanket needs to be big enough to cover a double bed so hubbie & I can snuggle up under it together, it will be the biggest blanket I have made to date. One of my sons wants a ripple blanket & I really want to make a granny stripe blanket at some point, but for this size of blanket I decided to stick with constructing it from squares. But oh boy, what a huge variety of beautiful squares there are out there to choose from! 
The second parameter was ease. Thanks to my lovely daughter I have a wonderful selection of 200 crochet blocks in the book she bought me for Mother's Day, but having tried a few of them now I am beginning to appreciate that some of them take a great deal more concentration than others! This project is going to go everywhere with me; I want to be able to work on it in the front room whilst watching tv, to take it to friends' houses to work on while we chat, to work up a few squares in the car waiting outside my daughter's piano lessons, & to bring it out to the garden to enjoy any sunny days we might get! So I don't want to have to be looking at a pattern every few minutes (or trying to stop one blowing away in the breeze outside!). This guideline alone ruled out a lot of potential squares! I'm not saying I will never make blankets like that, one day I probably will because there are just too many beautiful squares that fall into that category for me to resist :) But today is not that day. 
However, I have been finding blankets made by combining squares of different sizes very alluring of late, so I thought if I made one along those lines I could make the biggest sized square (which I would only need a few of) a bit more complicated. It was around this time in my thought process that I discovered the free patterns at yarncrazy.com - crochet lovers this site is definitely worth a visit! One design particularly jumped out at me as it resembles the Celtic artwork I love, I just had to give it a try... 
It's called Waldo's Puzzle and measures a whopping 12" square! Although the pattern says it should come out at 12" it also gives guidelines on adding rounds if your one doesn't (which mine didn't) so the last two rounds here are my addition.
For this blanket I'm mainly using the Sirdar Supersoft Aran I blogged about here along with the Robin Aran also mentioned in that post & a couple of balls of the Woolcraft Aran yarn I mentioned here (in case you were wondering that blanket got cancelled because the squares demanded too much concentration!). Altogether I'm using 14 colors - oh did I mention the third parameter was color, as requested by hubbie this blanket is to be Bright!
The first of these squares took me a whole night with some pulling out along the way, but the second was a bit quicker...
I decided I could cope with making four of these squares for the center of the blanket, so only had to pick a medium sized & a small sized square to go with them.
One of the lovely blogs I enjoy reading is Kate's Signed With An Owl blog. Do pop over & visit her if you get the chance! I have been itching to try her Squaring the Big Circle square so decided to work one up & see how the size compared to Waldo's Puzzle. Happily I found it worked out at 8" &, although the first one took me a little concentration to get right, by the time I had made a few of them I could pretty much remember what I was doing without looking at the pattern! 
For the small square I decided to stick with the flower circle squares I used for the Rainbow Flower Circle Blanket. You would think that having just made 96 of them I would be sick of them, but I was actually missing them!!! You can find the pattern here at Attic 24. Using the Aran yarn they came out at 4" which was absolutely perfect for this project! Oh little flower circle squares how I love thee :-)
Having picked three different sized squares it was time to get out  the squared paper & a pencil & play with some different arrangements. I didn't want anything too uniform, have you ever noticed how hard it is to make something random? I think our brains subconsciously impose pattern on our world & when you come back to view your work you see there's a pattern there despite your efforts! Well in the end I found an arrangement I liked & set about making more squares. When we travelled to Northumberland this project went too (I did say it was going to go everywhere with me!) & I managed to complete a nice little pile of squares in the time away. The other day I reached one quarter of the total required so laid them all out on the floor to see what the design looked like in color for the first time! Would you like to see?
The squares will all need blocking before I join them but then this will form the bottom left hand corner of the blanket. What do you think? Now they're all next to each other I'm having second thoughts about the Waldo's Puzzle square. I'm not sure if it "belongs" or if it will look ok once it is joined by it's three friends? I think I will need to make them & see... 
Well apart from that one little doubt cloud I am loving this project! I am happily anticipating having it on our bed & yet I'm not impatient to get it done in a hurry. I am enjoying the pure indulgence of sitting contentedly hooking small & medium squares in the oh so soft, snuggly, colorful yarn :-) I haven't come up with a name for this blanket yet - any suggestions??
Well it has been a busy day so I'm going off to chill with some squares ;-) Thank you so much for dropping by today, I hope your weekend is lovely! 

8 comments:

  1. kaleidoscope pops into my mind x
    Denise Sutcliffe x

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    1. Oooh that's a nice idea Denise!
      Helen x

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  2. WOW I absolutely love the Waldo square! Thanks so much for the link. I love celtic designs and will put this on my (very long!) to do list! I'm thinking of starting a mini ripple blanket for a friend of mine that's having a baby so it'll be after that... Love all your squares! Laura xxx

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    1. Thanks Laura! There are so many wonderful patterns out there aren't there? Will have to keep an eye out for your mini ripple blanket, that sounds cute! Have a great week, Helen xxx

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  3. Beautiful!! I love the new square, but I think maybe it doesnt fit with the others as you suspect...unless that is part of the center, maybe 4 of those together? Believe it or not I have a pattern that is made up of all different sizes and colors! I forget what the name of it is but it was to be made from bits of scrap thread that you had leftover from all the other projects...I can see the darn thing in my mind...it was in a book I believe, but havent seen it in years...The name that comes to mind is like a "Crazy" quilt...something like that...I do like the name Kaleidoscope...its a great name...:o) Ever which you call it, Its going to be gorgeous! xox

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    1. Thanks Cathy :) Yes, the original plan was for 4 of the Waldo squares at the center, will take a pic & show you when I finish making the 4th one... After I saw the first one I kept seeing different patterns using mixed size squares, I liked the effect but decided to make my own mix instead of following a pattern (why DO I like to complicate things?!) xoxo

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  4. Wow....that's an awesome project! I soooo wish i could crochet - something else to add to my never ending list of things to try.

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    1. Thank you Rhona! I taught/am teaching myself, started with an amigurumi book last year & haven't looked back! There are just so many interesting crafts to try out there & not enough time.... ;-)

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