Rainbow Edged Granny Square

I wanted to call this Easy Granny and her Rainbow Edge but I thought it sounded a bit saucy. It’s now just a Rainbow Edged Granny Square. A very traditional sort of crochet blanket but one that seems to be quite popular at the moment. Rainbows are in! I posted the above picture on Instagram yesterday and the response was really positive. There were loads of lovely comments and that surprised me. I love that the simple granny square gets so much attention.

Some details then.

It measures around 89cm (35″), plenty big enough for a baby blanket that’ll see  you through to toddler years.

When I was making the granny square I turned it every round to prevent a twist. I toyed with doing that for the rainbow border but in the end I decided I wanted all the colours to have a “right” side. I joined each rainbow colour in opposite corners, again to avoid the dreaded twist. (I talk about this in more detail in episodes 10 and 11 of the podcast)

I used Stylecraft Special DK. There are two whole balls of Cream. And for the border it was probably half a ball of each of the following: Lipstick, Spice, Citron, Pistachio, Kelly, Aster, Lobelia, Violet and Fuchsia. A bit more for the latter as I went round twice with it.

The border is taken from Attic 24, it’s the bobble shell edging but I add 3 slip stitches between each bobble. I’ve used it a few times for blankets and I really like the simplicity of it. I don’t always think it’s necessary to have a majorly fancy border, especially when there’s a shed tonne of colour going on.

Mistakes. There are a couple!  Nothing that would jump out at a non-crocheter but I know that they’re there. Probably my biggest bungle was the indecision about the corners. When it came to the border I did a few rounds of (3tr, ch2, 3tr). It was starting to look bunchy and rather than frog back the three or four rows I’d done I just started making it (2tr, ch2, 2tr). Just that small change made me feel a bit better about how it looked. There are a couple of other minor things but I’m just not going to tell anyone. Is that bad?!

Below are some more pictures, I took a whole load! I’d love to see if you make one too. You can always use #zeensandroger if you’re over on IG. Cheers. X

And remember, although it’s “just” a classic Granny, which I cannot claim as my design, the combination of elements I have put together are indeed my design. If you make a blanket, please credit me. Thank you.

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Geo Rainbow C2C Crochet Blanket

Helloo!! How’s it going? It’s all crazy here at the minute, I have many “things to do” lists strewn about the place! One thing I can tick off the list is: stop worrying about the Geo Rainbow blanket pattern. It’s out now! This month’s Inside Crochet (issue 90) is in the shops. There are loads of great patterns in there but when I opened it’s pages, I went straight for my colourful crochet blanket.

I made the front cover! Excuse me for getting excited; it’s very novel. I’m mega proud of what I’ve achieved over the last few months and I’m taking time to shirk off the modesty and say “yay me!”. I absolutely believe everyone should do this from time to time. Just stop and tell yourself how great you are, because it’s true! Stop worrying about others and concentrate on yourself for a while.

The idea popped in my head around October/November and the first stitch was made at the end of December. It was born from a crochet cushion I made last August, this one….

It’s funny where ideas take you.  I liked the geometric pattern but there was no way I wanted to make a whole blanket out of such small stitches (even though I have since done exactly that, with a chevron blanket!). The best way of getting the look I wanted was to go C2C.

Not only do I have a published pattern in this issue but there is also have an article about how to do the corner to corner stitch. I submitted the finished blanket in February; in May I was asked if I fancied having a go at writing a “mini masterclass”. I said yes because you can’t say no, can you?!

For the article I made a swatch, with each stage photographed so I could show how to do all the important bits of c2c.  Breaking it down was fascinating. It makes you realise just how much work goes into all the crochet that we do. Think of all those twiddly twists made with hook, yarn and fingers!

Lots of yarn is used at the same time. It’s so much fun to see it all jumbled together. I was (surprisingly) pretty fastidious about keeping it well organised. There’s no way you want this lot to get in proper tangle.

The people behind the magazine would like to take my blanket to Yarndale this year! How fab is that?! I do hope I can make it up to Skipton for September. I don’t relish driving for 5+ hours on my own but I’d love to go…dilemma.

Corner to corner is really popular at the moment. What do you think? Is it something you’d like to try? Have you made a a graphgan before? I’d love to hear. Do let me know.  Cheers. X

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The Crochet Elephant Ripple Blanket

Hello! Happy May! Love May, May makes me happy. Proper spring you see, it’s magic! Plus it’s my birthday in a couple of days and that always gets me giddy (I can’t believe I still get excited about my birthday). It’s been a while since I wrote a post about crochet. They’ve all been videos haven’t they?! I’m starting to see a divide between blogging and vlogging, that I had no idea about. It’s not a problem but I’d like to not neglect anyone.

Anyway… blanket. At the beginning of April a friend got in touch with me and asked very nicely if I would make a baby blanket for her friend. I liked the ideas she had and fancied having a go at something different. It was nice that I could do a brainless ripple but there was also going to be something interesting in the mix as well.

I know that the baby in question is having a safari themed nursery and because grey was to feature in the blanket’s colour palette, it was elephants that sprang to mind. I did a quick search online and came up with these cuties. The pattern is from Repeat Crafter Me and it’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted.

I like how the secret elephants are hidden inside when it’s folded up. You might think it’s a boring blanket. But tumble it open and the cuteness is revealed!

They had to go trunk to tail, that’s something I definitely wanted. I hadn’t thought much about how they’d be attached. I’m glad it dawned on me not to merrily stitch through to the other side. I paid lots of attention to making the stitches only on one side. I had to forgo safety eyes for the same reason (they’d poke right through to the other side). I forgot to take pics of the other side to prove that there’s nothing on show. Watch my latest vlog, the evidence is there!

I used Stylecraft Special dk as it’s perfect for baby blankets. I ordered the yarn at the same time as the release of the new shades so I knew Buttermilk had to be part of it. It’s like someone has added mayonnaise to the Mustard. They go very nicely together. Also in the mix are Teal, Sage and Grey. It looks quite nice on my fabulous(ly cheap) sofa too!

And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Neat Ripple! I have no idea how many times I’ve made Attic 24’s Neat Ripple! So many! I did 8 pattern repeats and 64 rows before adding the grey. At each end I added a ripply row of grey and then a straightening row. You can straighten it off by following this useful guide from Little Tin Bird. Then it was just a case of making a couple of rounds of UK trebles before going back to Attic24 for the edging, which was pilfered from Lucy’s original Granny Stripe. Phew! What do you think? I like it! Anything with grey and mustard floats my boat though. Grellow they call it.

Anyway, I’m late for an evening walk that I must do. I’ve been very lazy recently and done no proper exercise. And I need to go to the shop for bread and milk…

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Crafty Crochet Catch Up for Spring.

giant-crochet-granny-squareHello!! How is everyone today? I feel a bit funny. I think I’m slightly overwhelmed. Thank you soo much for being so very kind about my first foray into vlogging. It was absolutely awesome to hear from all of you. I go from being all casual about it, to feeling extreme nervousness. I think it mostly went well. I’m looking forward to filming another one next week and I am wavering ever so slightly about filming a crochet tutorial this afternoon [edit: I tried, ugh, it was bad: tech issues, focus issues, brain issues. I will try again]. If you didn’t see my last post, please check out the crochet vlog here. Anyway, this is a crafty catch up so let’s get moving…

mini-crochet-circlesI still had lots of  Stylecraft Special dk left from my Crazy Chevron blanket so, on Sunday I made 48 little circles. I was thinking baby blanket. I was also thinking of doing a continuous-join-as-you-go. I can’t do one of those though. My guess is that I’d need a minimum of 4 balls of the same colour for that. This is part of an on-going stash busting  endeavour and I’m trying to avoid bringing in more yarn. I kind of did buy two extra balls for this already and I’m going to run out of the blue (lobelia) soon. Oh, it’s an instant fail.

colourful-crochet-circlesAll 48 circles now have three rounds. I could square them up to join-as-I-go and use different colours but would it be more interesting to try something new? Eeh, I don’t know, there’s no rush is there? I think I’m going to go for more too. Apart from the lobelia there looks like there’s enough for another 48 circles. Any joining suggestions?

rowan-stone-washedAt the beginning of last week I got a lovely surprise when Posty brought a parcel to my door. I wasn’t expecting it but I knew instantly who it was from because of the massive label greeting me on the box. This Rowan Stonewashed yarn was a gift from my friends (I can call them that now can’t I?) at Wool and The Gang. I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent their yarns before. If you fancy checking them out you can read about my mohair experience here. And my gargantuan (yet super warm) scarf here.

rowan-stonewashIf I’m being totally honest, the stonewashed is not what I’d normally go for. But they asked me to play with it and that’s what I’ve done. I like it and I’ve enjoyed being coaxed out of my comfort zone.  I’m always up for a yarny challenge!

The yarn is a collaboration with Rowan Yarns, which I class as high-end yarn. There are free patterns on the Rowan website for garments and shawls using this yarn.  I couldn’t put my finger on what it reminded me of for ages. It’s marble! It reminds me of marble! There’s kind of an Art Deco quality to it, whether or not that was what was intended!

mini-crochet-purseI’ve made three little purses out of the two balls they sent me and I’ve made some snazzy tassels too. I’ve not put the zips on yet so I’ll come back with pictures when they’re done.

simple-t_shirt-yarn-bag cute-little-bag-using-t-shirt-yarnNext up is this cute little bag I put together. In half term the boys and I went on the bus to Exeter to visit the dentist (living the high life) and happened to fall into Tiger (I didn’t realise until yesterday that it’s actually called Flying Tiger!). I came out with two balls of t-shirt yarn and I won’t mention the bagful of other random stuff. I’ve briefly shown on Instagram and the vlog the spiral I started. The spiral turned into a bag and the bag has turned into a written pattern! Just like that! Well, not just like that. At this point I say a massive Thank You to my IG friends (including my fellow WordPress pals Eleonora of Coastal Crochet and Teresa of Shirley Rainbow) who tested the pattern for me. Majorly helpful, without you, the pattern would have been a mess , so thank you very much indeed!! Please go to Ravelry where the pattern is now live!! Wahoo!

stashbusting-crochet-granny-blanketI’m now going to bombared you with pictures of a giant granny blanket….

simple-granny-borderThis has been another stashbuster. I’m so happy to have finished it. I didn’t know it at the time but it was destined to become a birthday present for someone in the family. Stylecraft Spesh again. All the colours that had nowhere else to be but with each other. I rather like it. A proper Granny blanket, don’t you reckon?!

granny-blanket giant-granny-square crochet-in-the-homeSuch is my commitment to getting this to its destination, I managed to drag myself to the post office even after I’d fallen over and torn a hole in Brand New Jeans!! A week later and Youngest boy is still asking why I fell over. Because I did. It was slippery, it was down a steep slope and I was wearing New Clothes. That’s why! There’s nothing quite like holding back your own tears whilst a boy of nearly four cries for cuddles with Daddy… because Mummy fell over.

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Crazy Crochet Chevron Blanket

bright-crochet-chevron-blanketHellooo! After a two week absence I have returned!! That might be the longest I’ve been away, which is pretty good going. Phew! And I’ve finished my latest crochet blanket! For a relatively small blanket, this one seemed to take forever. I’ve made chevron blankets before but not for a long time. I now know why. Every stitch is so small that the build up is mega slow (yet very much worth it).

neon-pink-crochet-bobblesIt took a good week to get into the flow. Once I could see that the colours were making me happy, I sped up and started to enjoy the rhythm of it. It’s a classic chevron pattern, back loops only. I used this one from Meet me at Mike’s which has step by step photos. I think I did 11 multiples, maybe 12. I thought that would be plenty but it’s actually a lot smaller than I was aiming for. The nature of the stitch meant that there was a concertina effect and it shrunk dramatically. If I stretch it out, it does look bigger and I think that if I give it a wash, it should settle down more.

old-borderThe border was a bit of a pain. I knew I wanted the blanket to have a border and I also knew that many zigzag blankets don’t have them. Probably for a good reason. When I blogged about my progress Mrs Craft got in touch with me to suggest a tutorial of hers. I dutifully went to investigate, eager for the answer. It was the spark I needed. So, thanks very much Mrs “(crocheted) Caped Crusader” Craft!!

straightening-the-crochet-chevronI haven’t followed the tutorial exactly because my chevrons were much smaller but I did use part of the idea. I only needed two rows to straighten the edge. The first row was modelled on the tutorial (all the yellow bits in the above pic are done separately!) but the second row (cloud blue) was filling in with the method I use for ripples (a bit like this one from Little Tin Bird but with longer stitches crocheted together to prevent too much buckling). How I wish I hadn’t doubled back with another row of cloud blue dc’s (US sc’s) over the top of them. It looks so messy and it really doesn’t need to be there. By that time I’d got to this section though, I’d already unpicked a first and really ugly border attempt. I was fed up. I just could not be bothered to do it all again (I’d already gone round with the grey at this point, as I had done the first time too). So if anyone out there fancies having a go, don’t do a second row of blue!

completeI thought the grey was going to be the final colour but the blanket’s recipient (Youngest boy) came over and told me that he wanted the neon pink. He knew what he was talking about, it looks fabulous. I seriously love it. You know, I think grey would have been nice on its own but now it really pops!  (and I don’t use that word lightly-  I never ever say “pops”). There isn’t really a pattern for the border, it’s just 2 UK tr (each in their own st, not together like a granny) and ch1. Miss a stitch, 2tr, ch1 etc, twice round. The bobbles/pompoms are from when I did a Touch of Spice blanket nearly a year ago. This time I chained 6 not 7, made my 4trtgr in the 4th ch from hk and chained 2 not 3. Pop over and take a closer look.

crochet-chevron-blanket colourful-crochet-blanket-chevron-patternEssentially, this was stashbuster. I had so much Stylecraft Special that it needed to be made into something lovely and not stuck alone in the dark cupboard under the stairs anymore. I’m going to say that it was mostly random but there is a pattern repeat: Six rows of one colour, then 3x two rows, four rows of another colour, then 2x two rows, finishing with six rows again. I’ll also tell you the colours because I’m super proud that I remember them all off the top of my head: Fiesta, Grey, Citron, Wisteria, Aspen, Shrimp, Sherbet, Cloud, Kelly, Apricot, Lobelia, Fuschia, Plum, Pistachio.

on-the-banister-my-favourite-crochet-chevronAnd I’ve still got enough to make another sort of blanket…because there’s a chance I might have gone out and bought some more… you know, to make up the colours….Soooo…. what next? Granny squares or treble chevrons, maybe a sunburst? I’m torn.

 

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Choosing your Crochet Colour Palette (With Cheating Shortcuts).

crochet makesI’ve been thinking a lot about colour over the last few months. I’m not the only one either. When I researched colour in crochet I found a tonne of articles and blog posts about it. Many of the articles have looked specifically into colour theory and taken choosing colours quite seriously (colour theory is the scientific approach in understanding how colours go together, it’s sciencey, you can even get twiddly colour wheels to help and everything). I’m not going to go into that, I’m just going to explain how I cheat at choosing my colours for crochet!

When I first started to crochet I didn’t think much beyond what colours I liked and which colours were available. That was fine but sometimes my favourite colours didn’t translate into yarn very well or I didn’t know which shade would be best with another. Thankfully, there are far more colours and shades available than there used to be (this crochet thing has really taken off).

These days I ask myself what style I’m after or how many colours will acheive a good balance for the picture I have in my head? I also approach a project from a different angle, I take inspiration from different sources rather than turning up at the shop and chucking balls of yarn in my basket. I consider more than just my favourite colours.

Crochet examplesFor me a good starting point is deciding on the theme I want, this can often be just a one word affair: neutral, bright, pastel, earth, vintage, contemporary, seasonal blah blah. Once I’ve decided this, it’s so much easier. There are lots of colours I can then eliminate.

The secret to choosing a good colour palette is probably a mixture of confidence and experience. Over-thinking can really take the fun out of it. Stop worrying and just begin. You won’t know if something works until you try it out. If it doesn’t work then that’s a lesson learned. If it does work, then awesome! Another secret is this: crochet. A lot. All the time!

Before I go into the “cheats” I use,  I’m going to mention a little bit about whether to go Random or Organised; I think it could be helpful. I’m Random. What are you?

Collection of crochet blankets.Go Random.

I love a bit of random. To go truly random is a risk that can really pay off. It’s also great for stashbusting. Is random really random though? It’s fun blindly grabbing yarn and putting it all together in a crochet blanket, it can lead to some very interesting results, it can also backfire tremendously! Arbitrary colour placement can sometimes get you in dodgy situations, but you might also discover that those weird colours actually look fantastic sat side by side. My only rule about placing colours randomly is not to have the same shades too close to one another. And I think I’ve broken that rule a couple of times too.

When I’m making a blanket that’s going to be random I like to choose a minimum of seven colours. Fewer than that and it’s going to be tricky mixing up the colours effectively. More than fifteen colours and you might lose any colour balance you’re trying to acheive. Blankets where I’ve used over thirty colours have looked like a dog’s dinner. They’ve also looked pretty good too if you’re after something you’d find at Granny’s house.

proper-crochet-granny-blanketDog’s dinner?

Get Organised.

Don’t want to risk random? Then everything needs to be worked out before you even pick up your hook. I’ve already confessed that I’m Random so to be properly organised you probably shouldn’t listen to me. I’m talking colour wheels, yarn pegs, pre-made crochet squares a la Attic 24 and The Patchwork Heart. It’s really not my area! I’m pretty envious of these super organised people, I don’t know why it doesn’t work for me. Oh yes, it’s because I’m lazy!! Instead of taking the time to organise my yarn stash, you’ll most likely find me sat in a tangle of mismatched balls, whilst umming and ahhing about what I’ve got enough of, to eek out into a small blanket.

If you’d rather be in control of colour choices then Attic 24 and the Patchwork Heart are definitely the crochet folk you need to visit. You’ll learn about matching warm and cool colours  so that the balance brings out the best in all shades. You’ll find out about whether you prefer contrasting or complimentary colours too. Maybe once the decision has been made, you could get fancy and choose an ombre style, go for block colours or get your rainbow on! Of course, you’ll then get lost in a sea of crochet and colour, but that’s not such a bad place to be.

Crochet ripples. block colour blanket.Anyway, it’s time to get cheaty. If you’re still struggling with colours then here are a few pointers to help. If you can’t be bothered with a methodical approach and you don’t have the time for a potentially hazardous risk then these tricks might be the ticket.

  1. Find a blanket someone else has made and copy it! Loads of blogs (including mine) will share the brands of yarn and colour choices so that it’s easy to do. I would add that if you do this then please credit the creator. If I’ve copied someone I will always say so. Copying is a good starting point if you’re a beginner. Gradually you can move away from this once you’ve got more confidence. Copying will become less literal, the original design will be more of an inspiration. An homage or something! Look at blogs, Ravelry, Pinterest, Instagram etc.

crochet blanketThis blanket was inspired by Crochet With Raymond. I loved the colours and grabbed some similar Stylecraft colours . I wrote a blog post about it in more detail.

crochet chair drapageThese are the colours from Attic 24’s Harmony blanket but with a different granny square. Read about it here.

2. Find inspiration from pictures.  I love finding pictures in magazines and using them as a starting point. What’s particularly brilliant about this is that current magazines will have on-trend colours (if that’s what you’re after). Even a picture of a person in a room is great. You’ll see the colours of the decor or the clothes the person is wearing. Craft magazines are perfect, they’ll be completely switched on with regard to colour palettes and tonal balance. Also look at books and illustrations.

granny square blanket for the fireside. Here is my Fireplace blanket, inspired by fireplace tiles (a special request from my sister in law and a great idea).

green crochet circle blanketThis green curiosity was surprisingly inspired by Meg and Mog. I’m not sure I’m keen. It was an interesting experiment!

3. Go back to nature. Look at a garden you like, where’s your favourite place to be? What mood does that place evoke? Take a picture of a scene that’s good and use it. The seaside seems to be an inspiration for many, as does woodland. Maybe some city lights could conjure up a good bunch of colours. I can’t remember doing this if I’m being honest. I know it’s a thing, I’ve seen it!

New crochet blankets

4.  Let technology help you. Design Seeds is a big one. Lots and lots of ready to use colour palettes. Or you can create your own with Playcrafts. The palette builder on Playcrafts is fabulous (I got lost in there once.  Hours of entertainment). Imagine if Stylecraft had something like this, it would be amazing! They also have the Colour Play generator, which is interesting. You can sort by hue, saturation or value. There are apps aplenty that do palette builders too. I’ve got one called Real Colours. I’ve been testing lots of pictures from my phone gallery! Based on colour theory, which I mentioned earlier, is the Adobe colour wheel. It was fun to tinker with but I’m not sure I’d want to use it all the time. Don’t forget there’s Random.Org if you want to generate a list of colours or something similar. Phew, technology is good innit?!

crochet-granny-blanketWho am I to tell you what to do anyway?! You can do what you like. That’s the beauty of crochet, there are endless possibilities and the freedom to play and have fun. If there are any cheating ways I’ve missed, do let me know. I’d love to hear about more ways in which I can cut corners!

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A Crochet Blanket for the Autumn.

a-granny-square-crochet-blanket-for-the-autumn

I completely forgot to write about this cosy crochet blanket. I finished it before the summer holidays. It got a wash and was then stored away before I realised I should probably show it off a bit and then put it up for sale on Etsy (which it now is!). Actually, now is a pretty good time to do it because the colours remind me of autumn and that’s just where we’re heading.

bright-autumn-colours-crochet-join-as-you-go-granny-squares

Amazingly for me, this is the first time I’ve done a join-as-you-go granny square blanket.  Whilst I’ve done plenty of continuous joins, this is slightly different due to all the colour changes. It looks so much better than if I’d whip stitched the squares together (which is what I always used to do).

autumn-colours-crochet-blanket

The border is quite plain but I didn’t think it wanted flouncy. Just some scallops between every other cluster. In the alternating clusters, it’s just a UK dc (US sc). To stop it curling too much, there are chains between them.

kind-of-autumnal-granny-square-crochet-blanket

There’s something about this blanket I really like and I’ll be jiggered if I know what it is. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it, or it could be the autumn colour palette. I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet but it doesn’t really matter, does it? I like it because I do!

autumn-crochet-granny-square-blanket-with-orange-border

The colour scheme wasn’t a choice I made, it was more determined by what I had left hidden in the cupboard under the stairs. Over the last few months I’ve been making an attempt to get that down to a more manageable collection. I’m trying to train myself not to impulse buy yarn too. It’s not working that well, I’ve just transferred my lustings to fabric instead. Anyway, if you are at all curious about the colours, they are Stylecraft Special DK in: Saffron, Gold, Pomegrante, Petrol, Spice, Parma Violet, Khaki, Spring Green, Magenta and Lavender. It’s deffo less than a ball of each but I couldn’t tell you how much exactly as none were full balls to begin with.

join-as-you-go-autumn-granny-square-crochet-blanket

It’s a blanket that I wish I’d made bigger. Well, I couldn’t; didn’t have enough stash! I hope that it finds a home…

crochet-granny-blanket

tour-of-britain-in-ottery

In a complete random change of subject, I popped out to have a very speedy look at the Tour of Britain this morning. This was at the end of my road just before midday today. I timed it very well, I was out and back home within fifteen minutes.

tour-of-britain-2016-ottery-st-mary

I had to leap out of the way because they were extremely close. I don’t know how they managed to do it so fast, this is the top of the hill. They had an even bigger hill to climb a few minutes later, one which my car struggles with. Wish I’d seen that!

spare-parts-tour-of-britain-in-ottery

I thought it was great and I’m not even a cycling enthusiast! Bit of excitement on a rainy day anyway. I bet all those cars have a crochet blankets in the boot…

Etsy Shop is Open!!

felt owl brooch

Just a quick one to let you know that my Etsy shop now has stuff in it! Woohoo. It’s been a while.

All my blankets are up and I’ve added some other bits and bobs too. I’ve run out of time for today though so I will have to try and get some more up tomorrow. Now that I’ve done this, I’m starting to think maybe Folksy would have been a better option!? Oh, I don’t know. Let’s just see how this goes. I’m in absolutely no rush.

Zeens and Roger on Etsy.

If you ever need to find the link to my Etsy shop, it is also in my Contact page and my About page. Cheers.

Go and have a look!! Thanks. X

blue fish brooch. sequins

Red felt apple keyring. purple and blue butterfly keyring. A felt strawberry keyring. colour block blanket. Easy crochet. pastel ripple Gotta love a granny square. clashy granny square Bright crochet granny square blanket

A New Crochet Blanket. Circles in Squares.

colourful crochet circles with scheepjes merino soft

I finished this little crochet blanket about a month ago. It now belongs to a baby. It is not my baby but a new cousin for my boys. I’m pleased that she has already had snuggles in her lovely new blanket.

Another baby blanket done. Love this one. Simple crochet circles in squares.

A Circles in Squares blanket!

scheepjes merino soft

I chose to make the blanket with Scheepjes.  I really wanted to get my mitts on this brand. A couple of months ago it seemed like loads of people were using it and I wanted to join the fun. I liked all the colours and I wanted something super soft so I went with the merino (which also has microfibre in it). It is the softest, squishiest yarn. It is also quite splitty, which surprised me. I find that once I get into a crochet rhythm I can avoid most of the splittiness, whichever kind of yarn it is. However, it’s still disappointing when it happens.

A bunch of finished squares

When I heard that there was to be a new human on the horizon, I asked my sister-in-law what sort of thing she fancied. I knew I wanted to make a blanket but I didn’t want to make one that wouldn’t fit in with her tastes. All that effort and they don’t like it? No thanks. She gave me a photo of a cushion that fitted with the nursery colour scheme. The cushion had a bunch of bright circles on it . That was enough inspiration for me; off I went.

Pointless blocking

I blocked it (badly). It didn’t work. They all pinged back after 5 minutes. I thought they’d be good because of the merino but I’m guessing microfibre does funny things.

After blocking

These squares were about as flat as they got and they quickly started to curl at the edges again. Oh well.

Working out the lay

Each time I make a blanket I have great fun laying them all out. Once I have more than a few squares I do it over and over, each time adding a handful more of newly stitched squares. I think I had another row to go at this point but couldn’t wait to see what was going on.

Crochet baby blanket. Circles in squares.

I had to be boring with the construction. I had next to no grey wool left. I sewed the squares together with a whip stitch as I reckoned this wouldn’t use as much of the remaining yarn. I also stuck to a very plain border. I jumped online to try and order another ball or two but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Sold out! So the border had to remain plain. In an attempt to add some interest a couple of rows were back loop only. Thinking about it now, I could’ve done some FP and BP stitches or something. Not that that would have been much better. I wanted to have a proper, fancypants border. 😦

I got one ball of each colour for the circles and thought six would be enough for the main colour. Eight balls. Eight balls next time.

circles in squares

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to take new and interesting pictures of blankets. They all end up draped on the same two chairs in the same locations!

Circle in square crochet blanket. Free pattern.

I can tell you that I never spot wires, plug sockets and other such things in Pinterest pictures. They jump out a mile in all my photo’s no matter how hard I try to avoid them. Photoshop! We used to have a very early version of photoshop (not that I knew how to use it) on the old mac but the mac choked to death on carpet fluff. Be mindful of computers when getting new carpet!

Bright crochet baby blanket. Crochet circles in squares.

I made up the pattern although I know many similar ones exist. I’m afraid to say I have not written it down yet. I took photographs of all the making stages but I actually don’t like them! I can do better. Sooo at some point in the near future, I will come back with a post about how I made the squares. I did some experimenting with starting the rows as I wasn’t happy with a messy 3 chain start. I think it’d be interesting to do some comparisons etc but it’ll have to wait until another day.

Anyway, I must go and wake up the little one, he fell asleep in the car on the way home from food shopping. He didn’t even wake up when I moved him to the sofa. Silly boy has been up since 5.40am.

 

I’ve linked up with Crafting is my Therapy. A place for sharing crafting blog posts!

Me You and Magoo

A Touch of Spice with a Pompom Edge.

SoL Inspired crochet blanket.

I think this is one of my favourites. A blanket just for me! I am really surprised that I Iove it because most of my finished blankets tend to make me feel a bit meh. It’s usually to do with not turning out how they looked in my head, so they get abandoned or I give them away. The stitch used is the Stacked Shells section of Cherry Heart’s Spice of Life blanket. Sandra herself did the same thing and I liked it even more than the SoL [my SoL]. I’ve totally copied! It’s called A Touch of Spice and I really love it.

Stacked shells. SoL inspired blanket.

Last year I bought a pile of Stylecraft Life DK thinking I was going to make a Rustic Lace Square blanket. I’m still undecided about the Rustic Lace Square with this yarn though. Some of the blankets I’ve seen are exquisitely beautiful but they look cottony and fine, not woolly and wintery. They’re lacey. I’m not sure this is the yarn for that project but I’ve still got loads of Stylecraft left so…

Stacked shells with a bobble edge.

The bobbly pompoms are my absolute favourite bit. I love the red and I just think they’re fabulous. I was super proud of them because I made up the pattern myself. Well, I thought I had until I started checking out other places on t’interwebs.

All the bobbles!

I’d found a couple of patterns and tutorials that had really faffy ways of crocheting pompoms,  that I just couldn’t be bothered to do. I did try. Every pompom took an age and it would have taken a lifetime to go round the whole blanket. My reaction to that was to come up with my own cheaty pompom. However, someone else has too, I discovered via Pinterest. Oh well. On the plus side, I have discovered a delightful blog!

Since I’ve already taken some photographs I’ll put up the method of how I made my pompoms. It must happen all the time. It does happen all the time. Have you had this kind of experience? If you’ve come up with a new idea/pattern, do you check out whether or not it has been done before?

Spice of Life inspired Stacked Shells crochet blanket.

Bobbly pompom edging.

These are UK terms.

4tgr = treble crochet 4 together

Yarn over (YO) hook, insert hook in stitch (st), pull up a loop, 3 loops on hook. YO hook, pull through 2 loops, 2 loops on hook. YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 4 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 3 loops on hook. YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 5 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 4 loops on hook.YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 6 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 5 loops on hook. YO pull through last 5 loops.

(I think this is correct. Tricky to write down, that’s for sure).

making a crochet bobble edge

Essentially this is the pattern:

*Ch7, 4tgr in 4th ch from hook, ch1, ss into bottom of cluster, ch3, skip 3 st and ss into next st.* repeat around.

I’ve broken it down with a few pictures below:

How to make a crochet bobble edge. Tutorial.

Photo1: chain 7.

Photo 2: Beginning the 4trb cluster.

Photo 3: Before yarning over and pulling through last 5 loops.

A photo tutorial for a crochet bobble edge.

Photo 4: Finished cluster.

Photo 5: Slip stitch into bottom of the cluster (original 4th ch from hk.)

Photo 6: ch3.

How to crochet a bobble edge.

Miss 3 stitches. Slip stitch into 4th. Repeat all the way around. Fasten off, sew in ends and admire.

My Spice of Life inspired crochet blanket.

Amazingly for me, I blocked the blanket. I pinned it directly onto the carpet because I don’t have any spongey foam boards. It doesn’t seem to have ruined the carpet. I sprayed it lightly with water and left it over night. By morning it was dry (It was near the radiator). I have draped myself in it every evening since I finished it last week. It’s lovely.

Anyway, that is that. Sewing stuff next I think. Maybe some Jedi robes for the boys, slightly different. And I’ve dug out some paper piecing hexies, which is a very old, ongoing project.

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