I bet you didn’t expect to see me back so quickly, it has been a while since I’ve done two posts in three days! I’m quite excited about what I’m going to post about today so decided not to wait until the weekend….
In my last post I said that I had a list of five WIPs, one of which was a secret crochet project, but don’t hold your breath because it was taking me ages to finish. Well, that was partly because I had run out of green yarn and needed to re-stock, also partly because I was finding making granny squares a bit tedious after the Gypsy Caravan Blanket. However, I got some more green yarn from my Mum’s shop the other day and I was away… and suddenly the secret crochet project was finished and I couldn’t quite believe it!
Shall we take a look at the secret crochet project?
Ta daaaaaa! One baby blanket.
Baby? Yes, that’s right, a baby blanket. I’m about to become an Aunt, not for the first time as I am already Aunty Alice to two gorgeously fabulously perfect teenage girls who belong to KB’s big brother… this will be my (our) third time as the Mad Aunties Alice and KB, but this time it is my little sister Ruth who is having the baby. Due in November, this little one is a character… Ruth is dying to know if it is a boy or a girl but it has the umbilical cord firmly between its legs.
Outsmarting us all already! We all think it is a boy but KB has just changed her mind. I think that’s so she can gloat to everyone for the rest of her life that she got it right if this baby DOES turn out to be a girl ha ha! So, I pondered about what to make said baby, and finally decided on a blanket. Now, being that I haven’t had a baby in my life before I have no idea what is what in the baby furniture department… bassinet? cot? What’s the difference? A pram? Prams are beginning to get ridiculously big, I think they’re not going to fit through doorways soon, they’re more complex than 4X4s to drive, so how big did this blanket have to be? As long as it wasn’t Queen sized I felt I could manage. because I didn’t know if this baby was going to be a boy or a girl I couldn’t choose a gender specific colour scheme, so decided to go with a theme. I wanted to make a happy circus-inspired blanket and am pretty pleased with how it came out.
I settled on the pattern, the Grandala Square which I posted one year and one day ago today! The pattern is HERE but I am going to re-do that tutorial because of all the stuff I had written about the Christchurch earthquake that had just happened, so watch this space… a lovely reader e-mailed me some charts she had made for this pattern too which I’ll include. Lots of people asked where I got the pattern for my Gypsy Caravan Blanket, it is a variation on this square which I didn’t want to re-publish as I’ve seen it around and didn’t want to claim it as original.
Anyway… blather blather blather… I thought that I might use this blanket opportunity to do a bit of a colour tutorial as I get asked by heaps of people how I choose my colours and put things together which is very sweet. This blanket or the edging are hardly original, but if you want to know how I put it together, read on!
So, to put together a blanket such as this, choose four colours of a nice strong yarn, and pick one of those colours to be the main colour(MC). For this blanket, the blue is the MC and the green, orange and red are the secondary colours (SC).
I’ve used Ashford Tekapo for mine as it is a strong yarn that will last a long time and stand up to a beating! Then make as many granny squares/ grandala squares/ any type of squares as you like, to make the size blanket you want. I like to join as I go which is why I use one main colour because I have found that if I join other colours as I go there is a little overlap that annoys my inner critic terribly.
So, you’ve made your squares right? Now it’s time for the edging. Take the MC and join with a slst to a stitch just after one of the corners of the blanket. Ch1 and sc into each stitch along the edge, making a hdc into each of the stitches where the joined squares meet. If you have a look you will notice that there are little dips where the squares are joined and by making a hdc into these dips you will straighten out the edge nicely. When you reach the corners, make 2sc, ch2, 2sc into the corner space and carry on around. When you reach the end ouf the round, join with a slst to the original ch1. Now ch2 and into each stitch in the round, make 1hdc. When you reach the corner spaces make 2hdc, ch2, 2hdc and continue 1hdc into each stitch. At the end of the round, slst into the 2nd ch of original 2ch. Fasten off.
Join one of the SC with a slst and ch3. Into each stitch in this round make 1dc except for the corner spaces, make 2dc, 2ch, 2dc… and so on…. join with a slst at end of round into the 3rd ch of original 3ch.
Join the next SC with a slst and ch1. sc into each stitch except corner spaces… you know what you’re doing now right!? Yes because you are crochet legends by now!
Last round is the picot edging round which I thought was VERY circusy and as those of you who have been following me and Raymond for a long time now know, I am recovering from a minor picot edging obsession. Join the last SC with a slst and ch2, into each stitch make 1hdc except for the corners, make 2hdc, ch2, 2hdc. At the end of the round, slst into the 2nd ch of original 2ch. ch1. slst into next stitch, *ch3, slst into 3rd ch from hook, slst into next 4 stitches.* Repeat ** until end of round, and join with a slst into the 2nd ch of original 2ch. In the corners, I have popped a picot but needed to add one extra slst between picot knobbles to make it fit exactly into the corner, see how you go, just try to make it nice and even.
And you’re done! Now block the blanket… For those of you not familiar with blocking, it is a very important finishing technique that makes your crochet or knitting nice and flat. Because wool is naturally curly, then spun into yarn, then twisted and knotted into crochet and knitted things, the natural curl can be going all over the place, but by dampening it and pinning it out, the curl will relax and the garment will ‘set.’ I blocked my blanket on the lounge floor and of course, Himself decided he wanted to sit on the pins….
Me shrieking and grabbing him off the pins taught him to be a bit more careful!
Once it is dry, take its photo and upload it onto Ravelry or your blog!
Easier said than done when you have a happy little helper like I do!
How about another look at that first picture then?
I don’t know if I’m going to be able to give it away… I came over all selfish just then…..
I hope that little insight into the workings of my creative mind was helpful for some of you! Happy hooking and I’ll see you soon!
Lots and lots of love
from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX