Sunday, October 14, 2007

By popular request...

OK, not really. One person commented on Ravelry about this baby blanket I made last year for a friend's baby, and she asked if I had more pictures of it. Since uploading all my stash into Ravelry has gotten me pretty close to my monthly Flickr upload quota, I figured I'd post about it here.

This blanket is the first thing I crocheted. Ever. And once I finished it I was convinced I would never knit anything again: I was a crochet convert. I proceeded to crochet gifts for everyone I knew, mostly an insane amount of scarves (and at least one other baby blanket). Since then, I've realized that some things are not well suited to crochet (like socks or mittens), and I go back and forth depending on the project at hand.

A friend of mine tried to teach me how to crochet in the spring of 2005. She's left-handed, I'm right handed. I didn't get it. I went home and I tried to chain and couldn't get the hang of it. Over the following summer, my mother showed me again. Although she hadn't done it in years, my mother is an experienced crocheter. Not counting all the outfits she made for me as a child, she crocheted two (yes, two!) bedspreads, a twin-sized fake granny square for me and a king-sized bedspread for my parents' bed. She managed to slow down her movements enough that I finally got it. And I was hooked! (ha! pun intended...)

My friend had just told me she was pregnant. I had just finished a (knitted) baby blanket for another friend of mine, and I was looking for a new project. The timing couldn't be better. We went to "A La Tricoteuse" in Montreal and she chose a color palette in their range of superwash yarns. She also pointed to a few square patterns in Jan Eaton's 200 crochet blocks.

I took the colors and the pattern book, and came up with a plan. 24 squares for the outside border, with alternating red-navy and navy-red for the inner and outer stripes around blue, green, or yellow middle stripes. 4 nine-patch granny squares in the center (with alternating colors for the flowers) and 4 for the four corners of the inner section. 16 granny stripe squares for the rest of the inner section, alternating red and navy for the inner and outer stripes, and yellow, blue and green for the middle stripes. And I pretty much stuck to the original plan.

Pattern: Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet blocks for blankets, throws, and afghans.
Squares #61 Nine Patch Granny (8), 76 Granny Stripes (16*), and 149 Solid Square (24).
Yarn: Superwash DK by Emu in red, yellow, navy, royal blue, and bright green.
Started: August 2005
Finished: September 2006 (I pretty much set it aside from January to June 2006, so it could have been done much faster).
* My original plan was to make 16 of those. Because some of them would be side by side and this block was crocheted from side to side, I decided to make "strips" instead of blocks. I chained double (or quadruple) the number of chains in the pattern, and went from there.

When I finished this blanket, I hadn't discovered the wonders of blocking and the strips didn't line up perfectly with the other squares. I had to crochet small "joining sections" (in yellow) between the nine-patch-granny squares and the 2-square sized strips at either end of the blanket. And then I sewed the whole thing together. I had a bazillion ends to weave in. Just weaving in the ends took me several hours.

I'm really proud of the final result, and I think my friend likes it too. Last time I visited, it was on the rocking chair in her son's bedroom .

p.s. No yarn yet from the Yarn Harlot. I'm guessing it'll take another week, with the border and everything...

No comments: