Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy Hugs blanket

I've finished my third blanket - no, actually fourth, if you count the one I made about 30 years ago, and I don't remember ever experiencing the same emotional reaction from any of my arts or crafts before.  It just made me HAPPY when I worked on it.  And after it was made, when I looked at it, or hugged it. :-) It was hard to part with this one.

More or less, this is a scrapghan.  Did I have any yarn on hand I could use for a boy?  A big skein of warm, milk chocolatey brown which was originally meant for another project, but I changed my mind on... and I had smaller skeins of  other colours... blue, yellow and orange from the thrift store, red from many years ago Christmas project, probably.  So, I started.  Hmm.. Would be nice to have green.

And then I heard from a woman undergoing yarnaggedon!  Someone was moving and brought ALL THEIR EXTRA YARN to her, since she knits for charity.  But it was way more than she can use, so she had a yarn open house.  Bags, and bags, and bags... HUGE bags. And bags.  AND BAGS!! So, yes, I found green.  And purple.  And we won't talk about the rest, but maybe there was more...

So... this was born.
I didn't follow a written pattern, but went by Pinterest pictures.  There are free patterns to be found (search "crochet block stitch"). But, lazy as I am, I made up my own rules. I mean, who enjoys switching colours?  I think my method was successful, so I'll 'splain it here.

I didn't cut the brown until the body of the blanket was finished and I was working on the edging.  For every other row, when a new colour was added, I just put it in place using a standing single crochet stitch, one stitch from the edge (turning chain), and then tied off one stitch from the other edge.  Then to go on  to the next row in brown, once I figured out that the edges were scrunching a bit, and the math in it hit me, I did a chain four rather than a chain three, and at the end of the brown row I tried to make sure my last double crochet was nice and loose.  To make up for not having the colour row in the edge stitches. Hmm.  I suppose I could have triple crocheted there.  But my edges tend to stretch and sag, anyway, so it worked out without the triple crochet.

At the end, I only had coloured yarn tails to weave in, and the nature of the stitches made that quite easy, really.  Overall, it was a pretty easy pattern to stitch, and it took me just over a week to do this one.  I used a 6 mm hook with the worsted yarn, making it go a little faster than a smaller hook.  Uh, well, I actually did the first row with a 6.5, then, because I forgot, switched to a 6.  See that ruffly effect at the bottom?  :-)  So I also used a 6.5 to do the last row, too, and the sides in double crochet.  Then I decided on a tighter slip stitch to finish, and used a 5 mm, and that seemed to take care of that ruffle, anyway, and gave it a nice firm edge.

For a baby?  Really?  Well, they did suggest getting away from the pastels... not that primaries are in right now, either.  But apparently brown is... I made it about 30 x 36, so it might last into the toddler years or even longer as a lapghan.
 Here you can see that the back doesn't look much different from the front. 

Not even a week, and I miss it already.  I started another one in a darker brown with lime green and baby blue, and also have a pink and grey variegated one on the hook.  Stay tuned.

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