The secret crochet project….


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


About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
This entry was posted in Circus Baby Blanket, Grandala Square, Raymond Appreciation. Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to The secret crochet project….

  1. Planet Penny says:

    Love it! It’s SO bright and jolly. It’s funny how things linger and lurk, and then suddenly you get a new rush of enthusiasm and it’s finished in no time. Know what you mean about prams etc. It’s those off road ones I can’t handle, with 3 wheels. I get everyone else off the road if I’m in charge of one of those!
    Penny xxx

  2. Maryna says:

    Wow!!! Thanks for sharing your creativity with us. I only started crocheting this year and I’m totally “hooked”!
    I am finishing off a hexagon blanket (which was loads of work) and will be doing just a plain granny stripe blanket next…..something that hopefully won’t take too much thinking!

    Keep the posts coming – love them! x

  3. meredithjean says:

    Awwwwww your sister’s having a baby, that’s such a special special looking forward to reason to make something good enough to keep. I think the “I want to keep it” impulse is natural, and endows the item with even more passion as a gift. The baby rug is just gorgeous Alice, so well done, so neat, so beautifully colour chosen, ah circus perfect, you are a star xxx
    Raymond is hilarious dancing in and out of shot trying to outshine the rug xxx.

  4. hawthorn says:

    Beautiful blanket – like the idea of circus colours🙂 and of course I could hear Raymond purring from here, I think he rather fancies keeping it too!

  5. Lu Douglas says:

    dear alice, i love this circus blanket and if you can bear to give it away ( i can totally relate to that single, rapid selfish moment at the end of a project!:-) ), then one lucky baby is going to do cartwheels and handstands on Aunt Alice’s blanket for a few years to come! And that Raymond – he’s just a scream! I love the shots with his front foot just teetering on the edge…

  6. Colette says:

    Really lovely blanket and the colours look so bright and strong, ideal for a baby. Found a supplier of the Ashford Tekapo here in the UK and at nearly £7 for 100g that doesn’t sound too bad.

    Your sister will love it. Have you the link to your Mum’s web site again< I can't find the post where you posted it.


  7. Dorothy says:

    Love your blanket, love Raymond and love your talent with colours. I’m sure the baby will also love the blanket and because it isn’t traditional ‘baby pastels’ .. it can be used for many years.

  8. Elizabeth Chowfin says:

    the baby blanket like ur gypsy blanket is looking awsum.. this has inspired me to take the hook n to graduate from doilies to bigger projects like blankets…. Thank u for being the inspiration…

  9. daizyjayne says:

    Hi Alice, the banket looks great & Raymond is very helpful at folding it up for it’s lucky new owner

  10. I love the blanket and the gorgeous colours you chose – so different from the usual baby blankets! Your sister’s going to love it! I think you might have to make Raymond a miniature version all for himself though as he’s obviously taken quite a liking to it😉

  11. Saritha says:

    Thats an absolutely absolutely gorrrgeous blankie!!!!

  12. Nicole says:

    Noo! You have to giveit away, it’s a great feeling even if you miss it trust me! You can always make another if you reeeeally want it🙂 I wish I had a cat (one day!) Raymond might be a pain during your photoshoots but. He’s totally adorable!

    I need to block my blankets… I just have no space😮

  13. Regula says:

    Lovely, lovely. I like the strong colours.🙂 The baby will be very happy with the blanket.

  14. Penelope says:

    Ooooh it’s gorgeous Alice, very circus like! Congratulations to your sister, I’m sure she’s going to love this banker to wrap her bundle of joy in xox Love your color choices too, just deliciously funky for a little bambino xxxxP

  15. Teje says:

    Hi Alice! That is really beautiful blanket! Wonderful colours and lovely edge! I think you will make many blankets more so it’s more easy to leave them to their new homes!
    xxx Teje

  16. Alices, it’s beautiful! Oh and congrats to your sister too🙂

    Yes, prams are rather huge these days aren’t they? Tell her to get herself a sling for those first few weeks/months – so much easier than a huge pram. I’ve have some very cute photographs of Pippa in a sling when she was first born! We have a three wheeler now, as we do a lot of river walks and the last two winters here have been awful.

    I think you should make two more blankets, one girly and one boyish and then you get to keep at least one of them🙂

    Have a wonderful day xXx

  17. Anne Marie says:

    Oh, how lovely is that. It would suit either sex. Anyhow, WHY should there be this pink and blue business. Probably it originated when there were fewer colours in knitting wool.

    I love looking at your Raymond photos as much as the work you show. I used to have a cat who used to pick out the pins from my pin cushion in his mouth if I ever accidentally left them within reach. After we saw a pile of pins on the floor, we watched him do it. Then the pin cushion was put away out of cats mouth’s reach.


    Ab Fab, makes me want a baby, just so that I have some little one to crochet for…Aghhh no I’m not quite that crazy..but I do love this rug…..xx

  19. kiwiyarns says:

    That’s a really beautiful blanket, made with love. You’ll probably find that junior will turn it into the ‘blankie’ that goes everywhere with him/her! xx

  20. Your Sister and her baby are going to love that Blankie, such lovely colours. Love the photo of Raymondo and the pins…..maybe you should have left him to yowl at the door 🙂

  21. I LIKE the bright colours for a baby blanket, but even MORE, I LOVE the blue. Also want to make a Granny blanket one day with a blue background, specifically the elle Rustica’s denim blue. One day.

  22. Very nice, i love the edging! well chosen colours.

  23. Cuckoo says:

    Oooooh that’s a bit yummy! A fiesta for the eye balls. As a Mum to 3 boys I’d say it looks a perfect size.

    I also find a tiny little blanket, one the size of, say a sink, a cushion, a big hanky, for use with a baby car seat. All blankets are too big for a carseat and way too thick when folded over.

    Congratulations on becoming an Auntie all over again. Very special when it’s your sisters baby I should think since you share dna,


  24. Robin says:

    Alice what a fabulous baby blanket! Baby and mommy will love it! Congratulations to you, KB, and your sister. Bet your mom is excited. This baby will have lots of wonderful hand knit lovelies! Have a great week.

  25. kashi says:

    It is fabulous! What great colors for a baby. You have a knack for color combining. The baby will grow up to absolutely cherish it. I have 9 nephews and 2 nieces so I am rooting for a girl, think of the lovely things you can make after baby comes. I am even more excited now that I chose the grandala blanket for my One A Day. Keep them coming Alice, you are awesome!

  26. What a beautiful blanket! And I can’t believe it materialized so quickly since your last post. Although, I can’t say I’m super surprised – you always bang out projects incredibly quickly!😉
    Congratulations to your sister – I bet she is very excited!

  27. Janine says:

    That is gorgious and just a 7 x 5 block blanket, thus 35 blocks. My blanket for my bed was 272 blocks, think I will have to consider some baby blankets for a while now. Very pretty, lovely colour choice, so stimulating for little baby eyes, well done. Take a look, I have posted my blanket, sorry though, the photos are with my i-phine, been very busy with tea cosy orders.

  28. mary i says:

    You made my Tuesday!!! Just looking at the HAPPY COLORS in your Baby blanket made me smile. The pics of the ONE and ONLY most AWESOME “HIMSELF” made me LOL…great work as always.. The info. on use of colors was informative, Thank You…Bless you for sharing all of your great talents, you are inspiring. Keep it up and have a great day over yonder…. Mary i from Alabama USA……

  29. Faye says:

    I am crazy about this blanket. It is completely fabulous! I appreciate the tutorial for doing the perimeter of the blanket. I was wondering if you could tell me how you join your squares in the first place. I am making a patchwork throw pillow using the Summer Garden Square from Attic 24’s blog, which I found through this blog somehow, and have already made 7 of the 18 squares.

  30. Tickety-boo says:

    oooooooo you are a clever girl! That is beautiful. What a happy little baby your niece/nephew is going to be when they are snuggles under the cozy goodness of that blanket. Love the jolly colours too! Don’t think himself wants you to part with it even if you can.

  31. Valeria says:

    Lovely! As everything you make! Congratulations, and thanks for sharing…
    Kisses fron Argentina!

  32. Carol says:

    Congratulations to little sis, lol at the little one keeping everyone guessing as to his/her gender.
    Beautiful blanket, love your choice of colours, nice change from the more pastel colours we usually produce for babies.
    Those darned cats, you spread out your work…………. they take it as an invitation! Glad Raymond only had his pride hurt and didn’t get pinpricked.
    Carol xx

  33. chmurka says:

    Raymond is absolutely handsome boy!!! And I love the plaid :))

  34. Absolutely stunning! I actually think Raymond is staking his claim, so maybe you should start making another for your sister’s baby…? How lucky to get to be an aunty! There is very little hope of me ever being an aunty to a little baby but I would love to! A horse yes, a dog certainly – but probably no babies.

    (As for the pram/buggy business – couldn’t agree more about the size of them – it’s like carrying an acorn in a wheelbarrow. Crazy! Little Miss is 28 months old and has never been in one – in my experience all that’s necessary for a happy contented baby is a pair of boobs, a comfy sling (I like wraps) and an extra large family bed. Sorted. The rest is mostly expensive paraphernalia that is pushed on unsuspecting first time parents. Anyway, that’s enough from my soapbox!

    Your crochet is a true inspiration and your colours a dream. Love your work as always.


  35. Melissa says:

    The blanket it so pretty and bright! Love it and Herman is adorable – yes I’ve fallen behind in my reading🙂 Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  36. The blanket is beautiful. You have such great color cordination. I am sure your sister will love it. Congrats on becoming Aunties, how does Raymond feel about being an Uncle? Have a lovely and blessed week to the 3 of you.

    Misty and Pets

  37. Debi Y. says:

    Very nice blanket – the colors look great together. Congrats to your sister. 🙂

  38. Jillian_R says:

    Congratulations on being an Aunite again! What nice news for the day. I love you blanket too. That pattern is so versitile and I love, love, love charts for everything! I am excited to check back and see it. Yes, it looks like Raymond has staked his claim on the blanket too. Cute as always! 😉

  39. Very pretty! It does make you think of a circus, a great idea when you don’t know the gender. I love your grandala square, I’m finishing my giant granny blanket then I plan on using your pattern to start another afghan. Thanks for sharing your patterns, your so talented and inspiring!

  40. Patricia says:

    Love it! Perfect for a little boy or a little girl….
    what a lucky baby!
    Great colors and design…just beautiful !

  41. Congrats for you and your family ! The blanket looks absoluty breathtaking ! Really love the colours and I think it deffo beats the usual pink or blue babystuff..
    O, but did you train Raymond ? Or how do you manage to block it, yet not have it fully covered in hair and nasty little hooks from where his nails hit the blanket ? ( yes, I could do with some advice here.. my lovelies tend to be a wee bit naughty in that compartment… hahaha )

  42. Heather says:

    It’s great Alice! What a good sister you are. I’m sure both Ruth and the baby will love it :-)xxxxx

  43. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your Secret Project – I can’t think of anything sweeter than a Baby Blanket filled with stiches of pure L-O-V-E! Thank you so much for sharing how you put this Adorable blanket together, too!

  44. Fabulous! Alice I’m not surprised you couldn’t wait to share it with us, and I’m even less surprised that Raymond is stalking it! I think he will be the saddest of all, parting with it, because it looks like he’s determined to make it his own. He is your baby isn’t he? So I imagine he thinks that when you talk about your baby blanket, he naturally thinks “oh, my blanket, why don’t they just say Raymond’s blanket”. That way you get to keep it for yourself, and make another one! If you do decide you can bear to part with it, what a generous and fabulous gift! Vanessa xxx

  45. 'me' says:

    my geuss : if you see that little baby irl, you are going to be so proud and so happy to give him/her your lovely blanket😉

  46. Liza says:

    Hi Alice;
    Oh what a beautiful blanket.The colors do really pop , colors that will go well for a little girl and baby boy. I love the detailing on the finishing of the baby blanket. You do things with lots of love, it really shows , Congrats on becoming an auntie again. And Raymond sure looks happy in the pictures, such a nice kitty lending a helping paw. HEHEHE!!! You take care and only the warmest wishes to you and your loved ones. Your friend form Texas

  47. penelope10 says:

    I love the circle in a square pattern. The edging just shows it off so well! The Raymond boy thinks so too!

  48. sandiart says:

    GORGEOUS!!! I love the color combo, your sister will absolutely love it. I did laugh at the baby, ‘it’ wants to give you all a surprise by the sounds of it.
    x Sandi

  49. Susan says:

    Thank you for the blocking instructions!

  50. Kepanie says:

    Fantastic job! I hope my daughter’s blanket has a punch like yours in the end.

  51. Justine says:

    Love it! Have just finished a bundle of your gorgeous squares and would love to know how you do your join as you go. I can’t find any instructions … do you have any?
    Thanks :o)

  52. Emily says:

    Love it! It’s such a happy blanket! I recently finished a baby ripple, I think I need to do a fun granny square after seeing this!

  53. Julie says:

    Congrats to your sister. This blanket is going to be stunning on the pram, everyone will want one when she attends the mother and baby groups. Love the bright colours and thanks for the instructions on the picot edging, i do like that and must give it a try.

  54. Suzanne says:

    Waaaaaah, when did you do that?! My oh my, your so fast! It is such a nice fibrant blanket. What a nice blue color! Beautiful gift.

  55. what a lovely blanket! it’s so bright and happy and i love how the cicrcle shapes *zing* out of the background🙂 thanks for including the link to the tutorial, I’ve been wondering how to do circles inside granny squares for a blanket that I’ve been plotting for a while so that will come in nice and handy…

  56. Joanna says:

    Wow Alice what a gorgeous blanket, it’s so bright and cheery. Raymond obviously loves it too! Joanna xxx

  57. lorna says:

    Love your blog. I have just started to make a granny square cowl after seeing it on your blog. With the cold weather forecast here in the next couple of months I think it will be well used, thanks for the inspiration x

  58. Fliss says:

    Oh it’s sooo pretty, my baby blanket for my little one is in my wip basket which is spilling half over the floor and my baby is now 10 months, I wonder if he’ll like it for his 18 th he he! Xxx

  59. Kathleen McFarlan says:

    I love your new secret project!!!! I am having my first great-grandchild (though I am too young😉 in January and would like to make this. Is it washable?

    Kathleen, USA

  60. Barb Baines says:

    I love it. Beautiful colors, wish we had this yarn in the states. I would love to try it.

  61. Jo says:

    I am an avid fan of your blog and can’t wait for each entry. I love the blanket and and strangely completed a baby blanket myself on the same day! keep them coming…

  62. amandaspatch says:

    Oh what a glorious blanket!!

    I’ve made two blankets for our little one (who is due in 2 weeks time but who, due to just another one of those pregnancy complications my body decided to throw in with the others, may be induced this very week!!) I actually started both meaning to give to others but loved them so much I had to keep them myself. One turned out much smaller than I expected, but is perfect for the pram (I think with baby blankets size can matter but it doesn’t have to!!) But we’ve also been blessed by crocheted blankets from two different people as well as a knitted blanket. Plus tons of hats, cardigans and things. Which made me totally obsessed with crocheting gifts for others and think I shall be giving away baby hats for years to come at this rate!

    Isn’t it exciting when a baby is due and you’re making all these things for them? How lucky this little one is going to be to have you and KB as the “mad” aunts🙂

  63. Pammy Sue says:

    Just beautiful, Alice! Very inspiring for sure. I’ll be anticipating your new pattern write-up and graphs.

  64. I love the blanket and the colors are great.

  65. Leah says:

    Wow Alice – I’ve been out of action for a week and I can’t believe what I’ve missed!! You’ve been so busy. I adore your baby blanket – it’s beautiful. How exciting to become an aunty again!! Love, love, love the wool you used. I just treated myself to some Tekapo today to make an African flower blanket – I love working with it. The hardest thing is deciding what colours to buy as they have some lovely ones. A girlfriend and I are becoming more than a little obsessed with wanting to spin our own wool thanks to your inspiration. I am besotted with the colours you have created and would love to be able to do it myself. Hope you’re having a fab week hon.

  66. Lush!!! I’m going to make one of these bad boys!! Wahooo – its gorgeous! x

  67. Sherievon says:

    The blanket is lovely – I am just trying to get back into crochet having not done any since my daughters were small – they now have babies of their own. Thanks for sharing it.

  68. says:

    this is so beautiful!!!!!!

  69. All your jobs is a beautiful art.
    Sorry, i’m Brasilian and dont read english, but i wanna learn🙂
    Can you send the “pattern” or ” grafics” to my e-mail?
    Thank you for share, and continue making this gorgeous croche!
    I have one cat, and i see yours cats, is so cute!!! ^^

  70. Gina says:

    love your blog, LOVE your colors and absolutely LOVE your tutorials. I have attempted and mastered (kinda) the mandalas and granny rounds and the scalloped edging! Thanks for your time and efforts to help us amateur hookers.

  71. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how
    much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

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