Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Opposite ends of the scale

Last night I finished the baby ripple blanket, yay! The edging is solid double crochet along the top and bottom, and a mesh along the sides. I used yarns of different thicknesses so the side edges were a little uneven, crocheting the mesh allowed it to "breathe" and even out a bit. It's still a little wavy but not enough to make me unhappy. So here we have a definite "finished object".
Green-blue baby ripple

On the other end of the scale, here is the WIP that has been in progress since December last year! It was meant to be a stash-buster and use up all the yarn I had, but the colours would have been a little bland and I ended up buying some more to mix it up! It's taken so long as I've been doing many, many other projects in the meantime, and I really want to finish it off so I can complete some other things without having this one hanging over me. I still have 4 strips to do, one for each side, so that it's final size is 2 metres square - big enough to cover our queen bed. Actually, I've done 2 of the 4 remaining sides but I haven't attached them yet. I need to finish the other 2 bits first so it can be pieced together properly.

The never-ending WIP

I originally wanted to make a Babette blanket, but the idea of having different sized squares that needed to be pieced together kind of freaked me out. Why? I don't know. I'm just someone who needs things to be in order and equally balanced. When I crochet there needs to be a set colour pattern with repetition and equality. I tried to be random with some of the squares but even then, I set some kind of formula for how many rows of each colour. Bah! The green-blue baby ripple blanket was supposed to have random colour changes too, but it didn't. Still looks good though.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blanket mania pt. 2

These are the 4 blankets I made for Christmas last year, 3 for my brother's kids and one for my own! I started about August which seems a little early, but I was planning my November wedding and wanted to get them all done in time. I did, well all except for my son's blanket. I ran out of orange yarn on Christmas Eve, drove like mad to the shops but they were already closed. Bummer! So he got it the day after Boxing day once the shops had opened for the mental Boxing Day sales and I had time to finish the remaining rows. He loves it and calls it his "Rainbow Blanket". It was a great way to use up lots of leftovers I had and wouldn't have used otherwise.

Rainbow Blanket

This one is for my neice, she was 1 last Christmas and I wanted to give her a blanket that was bright but not over-the-top girly or babyish so she could still use it as she got older. I used the leftovers from this one to make the Rainbow Blanket for my son. There was only the one change of colour per square so I didn't bother weaving in the ends as I went, as a result when I'd finished all the squares I abandoned it and started (and completed!) the blankets for her 2 older brothers! I eventually went back and wove them all in, crying and swearing to myself that I'd never, EVER again leave the end-weaving 'til last. Ever.

Bright Blanket

I like to think of this one as the "Forest" Blanket because of the earthy green and brown. My nephew loves bright lime green, but after searching and failing to find the green in question I decided that this colour scheme would still be nice. I'm not really a fan of brown as a colour, but recently I've found that it's actually a pretty good colour for blanket making. The green is almost an army green colour, and the lighter yarn is a varigated cream and beige. This one was fairly easy to make, as it's one large Granny Square. I changed the number of rounds so the further the colour bands came out from the middle, the more rows there were. And I just worked over the ends after a colour change so when it was all done I only had a few little bits to neaten up with a pair of scissors. Ha! Pure genius. Again, a colour scheme that still made the blanket useful as he got older.

Forest Blanket

This next one, for the oldest of my brother's 3, I was going with a "Delft Blue" theme, like the gorgeous pottery from the Netherlands. It was going to be all smaller Granny Squares alternating between the typical Granny Square with a few colour changes and one solid block of colour with a light blue border. But I got bored about halfway through and nearly abandoned it all together (seems to happen at the halfway mark with me - the first half is mega easy then the second half takes forever....) So I stopped and pieced together a 9 square centre. Then I did laps around it until it was big enough to fit the remaining squares as a border. Ta da! A beautiful finished lapghan in 3 shades of blue with cream. Classy!
Delft Blue Blanket

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blanket mania

I'm currently working on a ripple blanket in gender-neutral colours, as the parents aren't finding out the sex of the baby until it's born. What's up with that lately? Oh sure, I understand you want it to be a surprise, but it's not very convenient for the crafters who'd like to make you something ahead of time. *sigh* Well this is where I'm up to so far, I'm using the Neat Ripple Pattern by Attic24 http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/neat-ripple-pattern.html which is a really nice one and it's easy too. She's even put step-by-step piccies up so you can see where you've nuts it up. Awesome. I really love this pattern because it's pretty AND it's all in double crochet, my favourite stitch.

I also did another baby ripple blanket in gender-neutral colours using a different pattern, Bev's Baby Ripple Afghan: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/cp2.html This one is all in single crochet and takes a little longer, but geez it's nice.

Speaking of neutral colour schemes, I've recently completed a blanket for a wedding gift and had major dramas picking something neutral that would suit both bride and groom. The bride does like pink and I started with this idea:

But it was too girly, I figured that out by the time I'd done the 9 centre squares and pieced them together. This pattern was my own using techniques I'd learned by looking at various websites. It was all ok though, I wanted to make a blanket for a friend who was having a baby girl (the convenience of knowing beforehand!) so this was perfect for her.
After trawling the web for pattern and colour scheme ideas that would be both pleasing to the eye and gender-neutral for the future married couple, I decided on this. Chocolate brown, beige and cream mitred squares. I looked at a few patterns for the squares but I got confused (not hard when following someone else's instructions!) and just made it up. A 5-round square in cream, then changed colours and did only 2 sides of the square for the rest of it. There were 16 squares in total, and once it was all sewn up it's about 1.5m square.

It's rather heavy and should be pretty warm. The stitches are solid with very little in the way of gaps throughout the blanket, only really on the corners of the squares where you do the turns.
I've done a whole heap more in the way of gift blankets and will post the pics and info later, these are just the most recent ones.