So far this year I have blogged mostly about cross stitching so I think a crochet post is well overdue, time to share some bright & cheerful crochet with you & hopefully bring a little color to your day :)
I may not have gotten as much stitching done as I had hoped this winter but my crochet hooks have been busy. Soon after first learning to crochet I discovered that on those days where my headaches are at that level where I can't stitch or read or watch TV but aren't so bad as to send me to bed I can often crochet. Especially a simple, repetitive pattern, a "do it with my eyes half closed" mindless kind of pattern, you know like a blanket? So over the last year I have always had a blanket of some sort on my hooks to go to on those days, and now I'm thinking I might be a bit addicted. Before I come to the end of one I have started thinking about the next one, and I have a big folder of patterns & pictures for possible future blankets gathered off the internet that continues to grow alarmingly. (I find the internet is a terrible enabler when it comes to stash growth & seriously how many blankets does one family need anyway?!!!)
Looking back through here the last time I shared a blanket project with you all was back here in October (wow! way back then?!) At that point I had just finished the third quarter of my Big Mixed Squares Blanket & was happily hooking up the squares for the last quarter. I had joined all the squares for each quarter as I went along so around the second week of November I had three big squares & had finally finished all the squares that would make up quarter number four. I pushed all the furniture back in the front room & laid everything out on the floor to
It took me a couple of weeks to join that last quarter, then join the four big squares into one whole Big Blanket, and work a border all round the edge. I looked at a bunch of different options for the border but in the end decided to keep it simple, working three rows of "grannying" in the raspberry, orange, and bright blue. Into the washing machine it went & then over the banisters upstairs to dry. The first day it was ready to go to it's new home on our bed was an unexpectedly sunny morning towards the end of November. Ready?
It finished up at a whopping 78" square which means lots & lots of snuggly, soft granny square goodness to cuddle under (or on top of if you are a cat!). We have been enjoying it all winter :-)
Of course by the time I got to this stage I already had the yarn ready to go on the next blanket (!), a ripple requested by my younger son. He helped pick the colors he wanted in it & I hoped to have it ready for his birthday in January. I used 13 colors as follows:
Sirdar Supersoft Aran in 824 Poppy Red, 827 Marina (now discontinued), 870 Denim, 894 Kiwi, 898 (dark green), and 901 (raspberry)
Robin Aran in 1004 (Apple) and 1020 (Sky Blue)
Jarol Baby Rambler Aran in 4315 (Turquoise) and 4310 (Saxe Blue)
Hobbyknit Aran in 236 (Purple) and 218 (Beige)
Sirdar Hayfield Bonus Aran in 847 (Eau de Nil)
I used another of Lucy's fab patterns from Attic24, her Interlocking Color Ripple, which I know lots of folks around Blogland and Ravelry have been making their own versions of over the last year. Having seen it in lots of different color combinations & with & without a border I decided to go for a totally random use of the 13 colors & no border. Just like my first ripple blanket I LOVED working on this! I think this is my over all favorite kind of blanket to make so far, maybe partly because there's no joining and not so many ends to weave in as with granny square blankets? The actual ripples are also wonderfully therapeutic to work somehow - it really is ripply bliss * big contented sigh* :-) It seemed to grow pretty rapidly and soon became quite warm & snuggly to work under - the cats seemed to agree! If I put it down for a minute I would come back to find this...
... which is pretty hard to evict! As the winter nights got chillier Pippa & Felix abandoned the "stealth attack" and just waited for me to settle down to start work before jumping on my lap & making themselves at home!
Stopping to rub someone's tummy every so often does slow progress somewhat, as does trying gently to free enough blanket to turn at the end of each row so that sleeping cat doesn't awake & sink their claws in! Christmas came & went & so did my son's birthday but finally on January 30th I made the last ripple & sewed the last end in :-) Considering I started out thinking I was making a much smaller blanket this time round for a single bed this ended up a bit of a whopper! To start a ripple you make your foundation chain of x number of multiple of chains & on the first row this number becomes the number of "hills" & "valleys" your ripple will have so for this blanket I chained 17x 14 chains (plus 3 to turn) which worked out at 238 chains in that foundation row. This gave me 17 "hills" and "valleys" across the blanket, but until I had worked up a couple of rows I didn't really know how many inches across 17 "hills" and "valleys" would work out as. In hindsight I think this is where making a swatch comes in??? Well gauge wasn't crucial to this, my son was more than happy to have an extra wide blanket, it just meant I gave myself more work than was strictly speaking necessary, but if you want a ripple to come out a certain width my advice would be to SWATCH! ;-) As far as the length went my son wanted it to cover his toes & go right up to his chin & as he is around 6'4" tall that meant quite a bit of rippling! So we ended up with a pretty big blanket measuring 67" x 72", would you like to see? OK then here it is laid out on the floor...
...and here it is in it's new home...
Can you guess what I started the next morning? Yes, that's right, another blanket! (I told you it was an obsession!) I will pop back soon and give you a sneak peak, right now I'm off to get a cuppa & pick up my yarn & hook.... Have a great day!