Friday, September 28, 2007


I'm very proud of this last baby gift: a very colorful baby blanket!
When I learned last January that my sister-in-law was pregnant, I knew I would have to come up with a very special baby blanket. I waited patiently until she made it to 12 weeks of pregnancy, but couldn't wait to buy yarn until they found out if it was a boy or a girl...

I had to decide on a color palette. I knew the baby's room would be yellow (they were not planning on repainting the room). I wanted something colorful and childlike, and no pastels. And it had to be superwash, of course... I settled on Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted and decided to try on a few colorways. I first bought it in Daffodil, which is very pretty but has too much yellow in it to be used in a yellow room... I had also bought it in Icehouse, which I ended up using for a baby surprise jacket. But what I finally settled on is the Rainbow colorway... isn't it nice and bright? And appropriate for a girl or a boy! So I went back to Acorn Street and bought a whole bag of it...

I remembered seeing a pattern for a knitted baby blanket awhile back that made an impression: the Northern Lights Nursing Blanket, by Handmaiden. (Fleece Artist does a full size version.) I really liked the idea of corner blocks knitted from variegated yarns all assembled together, but I was worried that knitting such a blanket would take forever... so I decided to make a crocheted blanket loosely inspired by the Northern Lights blanket.

I found a crochet block pattern in Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks . I used pattern #21 (page 44), made up of single crochet stitches. Because I was using variegated yarn, I only used that one yarn for the whole block (no stripes).

I crocheted about 6 blocks between April and the beginning of September 2007. I had other projects going, and was somehow convinced I had plenty of time left to finish the blanket in time for my sister-in-law's due date on September 29. Lo and behold, my nephew was born early on September 4! I had my work cut out for me... My friend Emily was nice enough to let me use her swift and ballwinder to wind the 9 remaining skeins, thereby saving me hours of doing it by hand... From September 5 to September 20, I averaged 2 blocks a day.

I had originally planned on making 48 blocks for a 6 x 8 blanket, but when I got to about 30 squares I realized that 5 x 7 was plenty big for a baby blanket. I started mist-blocking and sewing up the squares as I crocheted the last few ones. When I traveled to see my new nephew, I sewed squares during my layover at the airport (the last one had been blocked that morning). Final sewing took place on site, as well as the two rounds of single crochet edging. One final wet-blocking of the finished blanket, and voila! A psychedelic baby blanket for my very cute new nephew...

Pattern: my own, using block pattern #21 from Jan Eaton's 200 blocks. Same block repeated 35 times, assembled in a 5 x 7 rectangle, and finished with 2 rounds of single crochet edging (single, half-double, single in each corner)
Inspiration: Handmaiden's Northern Lights Nursing Blanket
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Rainbow 601 (9 skeins, with leftovers)
Hook: H/8 (5.00 mm)
Started: April 2007
Finished: September 25, 2007


Megan said...

I love it! But golly, that must have been tedious - I can barely stand to make two identical socks one after the other. Brava!

Laura Hontz said...

The blanket looks beautiful & I have that book of patterns, so now I can make one too! Aren't you special that you got a mention on the "Harlot" blog - she usually stays away from all things crochet!;)

Cassandra said...

I think granny square blankets are the marathons of knitting. Way to endure!