Trio of Baby Rainbow Blankets

Trio of baby rainbow blankets

I’ve been making blankets, blankets and more blankets recently. The baby rainbow squares was my first, an idea which I found at the Patchwork Heart (she’s sooo good with colours). Then I wondered how it would look as spots, so just did the usual increases each round to get it to the desired size then turned my spots into squares with cream. The ripple, well I just love rippling, and rippling a rainbow was a a perfect excuse to do another.

Thankfully there are many babies due soon, so my crochet all has homes to go to.

The need to ripple continues – it is so addictive.

pink and blue ripples

The pink ripple I did a while ago (see earlier post), but people keep borrowing it so I’m making it’s brother in blue. It took a while to get the colour choices right, first I made it with Midnight, Teal and Aspen as above, but then I wasn’t sure so did a few rows using Sherbet instead of the Aspen. A nicer colour on its own I think, but the combination felt more cohesive with the Aspen, so I frogged all the Sherbet back and started again! I never mind frogging, many people seem horrified as I pull row after row of work out, but for me its more important to get it right, yarn is expensive and anyway, it’s the journey of crocheting I love, not just the destination.

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Humpty Dumpty Blanket

humpty croppedI’m currently on a run of making blankets. So this post will be the first of a few on the blankets I’ve been making. I made this blanket for my little nephew Harry whose favourite toy is Humpty Dumpty. His mum sent me a photo of Humpty:

Harry's Humpty DumptyMy husband put it into Photoshop and put a 200 square grid over it as 200 stitches sounded about right. Then I had the chart to work from with one square per stitch. It didn’t work perfectly and needed a little artistic licence to make it work on the blanket, but I don’t mind unpicking because it’s the journey that counts – right?!

To make it more fun I appliqued the eyes, a sun and added a big bow tie on the top. Surface crochet for the eyebrows and mouth, (I can see I need a bit more practice at that – maybe one of those pens which disappear would have helped) and finally a big squidgy pom pom for his nose! Such fun to do and added pzazz!

humpty's faceI’m pleased to say the Humpty Blanket was a hit with Harry and is now snuggled on the sofa and draped to make dens 🙂

Hot and Sticky

cotton bedspread

I must say it’s lovely to have a sunshiney summer; over the last few years it has felt as if you blinked you missed any sunny days. The sun doesn’t suit me due to my M.E. however; I do enjoy the brightness of sunny days but I tend to shelter away in the shade so I don’t overheat and wilt. Crocheting woolly yarn in this weather is not good. The yarn sticks instead of sliding over the hook, and having a chunky blanket on your lap as you work on it is not appealing! But that doesn’t mean a break from crochet – oh no, I’m too hooked for that! I have found the perfect solution in making the cotton bedspread pictured above. It’s made on fine number 10 crochet thread and a 1.5 mm hook. Because it’s so fine it takes ages to make any progress, but that’s ok as I’m in no rush and the bank manager is relieved as I’m not buying so much yarn. It is made up of panels to join together to make the bedspread. What you can see above is 2 panels width wise which I make in one, and I will keep going until I’ve done the whole length required for the bed. One of the things I love about crochet is once you have mastered a few basic stitches you can make so many different designs – your imagination is the only limit.

Hooking not blogging

Hi, I’ve not been around for a while as, is the way with C.F.S./M.E., I’ve had a bit of a relapse since Easter. This has meant many hours lying in a darkened silent room, just resting and recovering. Once I improved slightly I was able to crochet slowly and listen to audiobooks so these helped to distract me from the pain. So I have been hooking, just too poorly to blog about it. It’s interesting how different things take up different amounts of energy: hooking is very low down on the energy scale, whereas watching tv, chatting to a friend, or using a computer use up way more energy and require me to be quite well.

So the crochet items I have made while I’ve been offline are:

  • a jumper and a gilet for my little grandson, ready for cooler weather!
  • an african flower hexagon blanket
  • bunting
  • an long aran cardi, still a Work In Progress
  • a black cotton lacy cardi for my niece’s 18th birthday
  • a little house keyring

giletred jumper

I love making baby sized clothes, you can run them up in a weekend so there’s a quick feeling of achievement. However it’s currently sunny June so I’m hoping they’ll be the right size for him come autumn and winter. My teenage son like the gilet so much that he’s asked for an adult sized version with sleeves. That’ll take a lot more than a weekend but I’ll try and get it done ready for when he goes off to Uni in September – snuggly crochet to remind him of home :p

african flower hexagon blanket

I bought the yarn for this blanket just because I liked the colours together – it’s Stylecraft’s copper, gold, spice and safron. I saw them together on this post of Heather’s (she does have a gift with colour!) I love her Facebook page The Patchwork Heart and her blog and get so much inspiration from her work. Initially I had no idea what I was going to do with the yarn, then I found the african flower hexagon pattern and loved it. So this blanket has kept me quiet and focused for a while – it has been a joy to make. I joined the hexagons using slip stitch as I prefer to crochet joins than sew. I just need to block it to finish it off properly so all the edges lie nice and flat.

bunting

The bunting was just to use up some leftovers of Stylecraft yarn, when I needed to crochet but without much thought or effort. Brightens up the balcony.

keyring

The little house keyring was a fun-make one evening. My daughter needed a keyring so she chose her colours and buttons and I created it in just a few minutes. I love the way crochet is so versatile, you can make it up as you go along and can so quickly create finished items. My kind of instant gratification!

I don’t currently have a photo of the black lacy cardi I made for my niece – I’ll try and get one of her wearing it after her birthday – hope it fits!

I’m feeling much better now, back to pacing and the energy levels which have been my normal for the last few years. It’s good to be back xx

 

 

 

 

Baby Cashmerino

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My friend Jeanne has asked me to crochet for some new babies in her family. I’ve had such a lovely time doing it because she chose Baby Cashmerino yarn which is soooo soft and a dream to crochet with. Above is a photo of the 4 items I have made: 2 ripple blankets, a boy’s hooded jacket and a girl’s cardi.

The girl’s cardigan is from Nicki Trench’s book Cute and Easy Crocheted Babies Clothes, unfortunately the pattern only goes up to 3-6 months so I tried doing it with a bigger hook and it has come out suitable for a 1 year old. I think it’s such a pretty pattern with the flowers on the front.

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The boy’s hooded jacket is from a Hayfield pattern which I’ve made a few times now. It’s hard to photo flat as the baby’s hoods are always so big. I love faux cables on crochet work, a lovely touch brightening up a baby’s jacket:

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And finally a photo of the 2 ripple blankets:

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I love rippling, I especially love rippling in Baby Cashmerino; it is so soft and every stitch you hook you can imagine a tiny soft newborn wrapped in it. Just lovely!

 

Pass It On – Sewing In The Ends

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I recently finished the ripple blanket which I’ve been making for a while. I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn in raspberry, pale rose and grape. I’ve been hooking a lot for others lately and I just fancied a blanket I could snuggle under for myself. I was pleased it was finished and enjoyed using it for a few weeks when I noticed the ends were starting to show. Disaster! Some had even unravelled so much a hole was starting to appear 😦

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Obviously with this ripple blanket there are a lot of colour changes so there were lots of ends I had sewn it as I went along. I had been taught that knots were not professional so I had either crocheted the ends in as I made the next row, or used a tapestry needle to sew the ends under for about 4cm. This clearly was not a robust enough method to stand the test of time so I went on the internet to see what other people were doing. I found many advising to do exactly what I had been doing, so I continued to search. Then I found a few websites that suggested going under 4cm as I had done, but then turning back the other the other direction and going back under again. Hold on! Surely that will just pull out completely??? But no, you have to miss the last stitch you went under when you turn around for your way back. Right! I could see how that would hold securely, and by doing the colour change at the end of the row it will become hardly noticeable. Brilliant! I was sure this would make all the difference. So I thought I would have a go and see how it worked. I’m currently making a baby ripple blanket for my friend Jeanne (more about the gorgeous baby cashmerino yarn I’m using for this later!) I’m doing it in white this time, but I’ll add a blue stripe to try out this technique.

So this time I made sure I left a long tail – no skimping on tails for me any more!

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Firstly I crocheted both ends in for approx 4 cm on my next row as usual

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Then I threaded my ends onto a tapestry needle and turned back in the other direction, missing the first stitch.

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Finally the finished result – it definitely feels more robust than was I was doing before:

sewing in the ends final best

and I feel confident it won’t unravel over time and use. Hurrah! 🙂

This blog entry is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies.  www.deramores.com/blog-awards:

Joining The Granny Squares

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I’m having a really lovely time right now joining the granny squares for the blanket I have been making. For me this is one of the best bits – not sewing, if it were sewing the granny squares would be in a bag behind the sofa and the blanket would never be finished! Joining the squares with double crochet, on the right side so you end up with a ridged effect. So I’ve joined them all in one direction, so its starting to look quite blanketty. Now I’m doing the rows of double crochet in the other direction, so no thinking about which colour to add next, no reaching for squares out of my basket, just rhythmically hooking, calm, relaxed, meditatively making a blanket as I go. The finished achievement is in sight, but I’m still enjoying the hooking. Perfect. Ahhhh.