24 May 2011

A Very Flowery Blanket

I have something to show you!  Come and gather round so you can all see, I want you all to get a good look.  Here's a peak to get us started...



To tell the truth, I've been holding out on you a little while with this one.  It was finished early this month and I've been hanging on to it...  Partly because I've been waiting, in vain I might add, for some good weather to try and get better pictures.  But mostly, I must confess, because I fell a tiny bit out of love with this little blanket towards the end.

When I last spoke to you about this blanket, I was still totally in love.  I was enjoying mixing my colours and I had this beautiful stack of squares to look at.




All, in short, was right in my crocheting world.  It took a while to make all 99 of the squares needed, but although I was glad to be done, I did enjoy making them all.  Next, I pined them all out to block.  I've used some acrylic, so I knew it wouldn't be totally effective, but it does help straighten them out and tidy them up ready for joining together.



I was very happy at this stage, I love to see them all lined up, square and regular.

Next came the joining and this is were the trouble started.  I wanted to join them as shown in the book, because I liked the effect but although I tested it out on a few squares first, once I'd done a few rows I started to have my doubts.  They are joined by crocheting along the back, which means that each seam has a line of crochet along it.  I'm sure you know the kind of thing I mean.

The problem I had is that once joined, the squares, and in fact the whole blanket, doesn't really lie very flat.  There's a sort of valley at each seam which makes the blanket look all wavey and bumpy.  Have a look at this picture that shows the front and the back so you can see the seams.



Can you see the ridges along the back and the valleys along the front?  At this point, I had joined so many I had reached a kind of point of no return as I couldn't face undoing what I had done, so I carried on the the seaming and finished off with a lovely border.



I hope you don't mind if I just take a moment to drag you aside to talk about the border, which I do love.  It's from this fantastic book, Around the Corner Crochet Edges by Edie Eckman, which I can't recommend enough.  When I first started crocheting and saw books like this, totally devoted to edges, my mind boggled.  It amazed me that, not only could enough edges be found to fill a book, but that it could ever be necessary for anyone to have an entire book devoted to them!  How wrong I was.  Silly, naive me!  Now of course, I know that a good border can be the making of a project and this book is stuffed full of brilliant ones.  So if you get the chance, it's definitely worth a look.

Well, back to the story of the blanket.

Although I was pleased with the border, I was still left a bit unsatisfied with the finished article but what to do?  The cream edges and border are all done in Stylecraft acrylic, so there's no blocking it out, without steaming a whole blanket!  Not something I'm going to attempt, that's for sure.  Maybe I just seamed them all too tight, I do tend to be tight with my hooky sometimes.  Maybe the effect will wear off once the blanket is being used.  Ah well, it has been done for a while now, time to forget that and think of the positives.

My little one, who the blanket is intended for, was delighted with it.  She's going to be using it to keep her cozy on cold days in the car and she's been wrapping up in and wandering around the house in it since it's been finished.  I guess that it has her seal of approval, which is the main thing.

Time to show you the whole, finished thing I think, so you can look and judge for yourselves.  I took it outside to get a bit better light, but somehow I couldn't get a photo I was totally happy with either.  Maybe it's just one of those projects.





That last one shows off the bumpiness that I dislike to great effect, but I do love the colours and that makes me feel better.  When I look at the blanket now, close up, there are some squares and colour combos that I simply adore in there.  I'm certainly happier again with it now than I was when I finished it.  Given time, I may start to love it again.


Now, some details, for the detail minded:

Blanket size: 95 x 75 cm (3 ft x 2 1/2 ft)
Total number of squares: 99
Total weight: 832g
Total yards: 1555 (approx)
Total colours: 19 plus the cream
Total yards in cream: 1135 (approx)
Total yards in other colours: 420 (approx)
Yarns used:  A mixture of brands of mostly dk yarn with some sport and a 4ply.  Pretty much all from stash.

Time for me to go now, it's been a long day and I think it's time for a hour of knitting before bed.

See you all next time.

S x

24 comments:

  1. It's gorgeous =) I hope you do fall back in love with it because it's worthy of being loved. Awesome =)

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  2. What a beautiful blanket. It is something to be proud of.

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  3. I think the blanket is wonderful, and I love your blog too!

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  4. I think the blanket is gorgeous - you should be so proud. I actually like the bumbiness - to me that's what crochet is - peaks and valleys of loveliness. I have also seen other blankets with this type of join and I like the effect. I think it adds dimension to it. I hope that helps you feel better about it.

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  5. I think you will fall back in love with it... how could you possibly not with something this beautiful?! And at least now you know which methods you'd prefer to avoid next time

    Much love,
    Kim

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  6. Oh my what a beautiful blanket, the edging is stunning, & i love your blog, this is the first time i've seen it. Will def be back for more
    Karen x

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  7. LOVE the blanket! Beautiful colours :D

    How exactly did you join the squares? Did you crochet into both loops of the V's of the two squares you're connecting?

    When I join squares (have never used the join as you go thingy), I first lie them with the right sides on top of each other (so the free sides are the wrong sides). When you then look at the stitches, you see two rows of V's running in opposite directions. Each V has two legs/loops, so you see 4 loops.
    Pick op the first loop AND the fourth loop you see, start counting closest to you. So the first loop is the first leg of the V of the square closest to you, and the fourth loop is the second leg of the V of the square farthest from you. Slip stitch these two loops together. When you lay your squares flat again, the loops you didn't crochet into, will align next to each other at the front and wont form a ridge or valley. At the back you will have a small ridge of slip stitch, but nothing too major.
    It's pretty hard to explain this in words, so I don't know if you understood anything. Just to be sure, I tried to visualize it with a graphic:

    http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x423/charami/joiningsquares.jpg

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  8. Love this! totally adorable

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  9. I think it's gorgeous and I really hope you fall back in love with it very soon.

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  10. Amazing! And I do love your border. Still searching for the right one for my granny square blanket. Have a happy weekend. :)

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  11. It's gorgeous!! So many lovely colours!

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  12. Your blanket is oh so pretty! I have just started a blanket and am still a bit anxious about joining the squares and such ;-) Also love your blog, very sweet (so I became your follower!)
    Have a great week!
    Esther.

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  13. Hello to you!
    I found you via 4 lil' girls and am so pleased to be here - I love this blanket- the little squares edged in white are fab! Great colours too.
    Anyhoo, off now to get a glass of wine and have a good look through your other posts. Am your newest follower so I don't miss out on lots of crochet ideas!
    If you have the time, do pop over and see me at my blog - I've recently started crocheting and crafting and would love to know what you think.
    Xx

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  14. Stunning blanket! I've had my eye on making this or something very similar for a while but just can't find the time. You've done an amazing job and should be very proud. I join my squares the same way you do and if you are not happy with the bumpiness just sew a fleece lining on to it underneath :)

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  15. id like to see more pictures of that notebook!! Anytime I make a blanket it has to be huge cuz im huge... my first blanket took FOREVER and i ended up giving it took my granny who is a miniature... could have save myself about a months work :p

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  16. Just to tell you that that kind of join is meant to look like that - you haven't done any thing wrong! Slip stitching together gives the narrowest seam but other people use single (US) or double (UK) crochet. The only way to join finished squares together without a visible seam on either the back or front (the ridges are often a design feature and are on the front), is to sew them together.

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  17. What a beautiful blanket, very pretty and totally adorable.
    Tracie x

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  18. This is stunning! I love the edge too! WOW! Do you have a pattern for the squares? Blessings,

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  19. I absolutely love your blanket!! Looks great just the way it is.... One of the prettiest I've seen.
    patti

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  20. I absolutely love your blanket!! Looks great just the way it is.... One of the prettiest I've seen.
    patti

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  21. Wow, this is so great job, i love the colorful flowers, u must take a lot of time to knit it, how i wish i can do one for my familys , well done

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  22. I love this blanket, it's so beautiful! I wish I knew how to crochet. A few people have tried to teach me and I just can't get the hang of it. The colors are gorgeous and the edging is stunning.

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  23. Beautiful blanket would love the pattern

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