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26 July 2012

Giant Granny Patches


Yay, my knight on his white charger did work his magic.  The internet back again and I can post again.  Yippee!

Thank you everyone for all of your lovely comments and congratulations recently.  I’m afraid I’m finding time a little short at the moment what with illness and babies and holidays to content with and so I’m struggling to get back to everyone.  I do try, but if I didn’t manage to get around to you this time, then I’m sorry, but thank you very much!

I’m very excited about what I have to share today though.  It’s a huge ta-dah moment for me, that’s for sure.




Do you remember me talking about my Giant Grannie Patches blanket?  You’ve seen it in various stages of completion but guess what?  I did it. I actually finished it.  All 672 squares and 11 border rows of it!  See what I mean? Pretty exciting, I hope you’ll agree.



I can’t really say why on earth I took it into my head to start such a mammoth project.  I think it was mostly because I still hadn’t got that blanket fixation out of my head and for some reason or other I fancied taking on something big.  Maybe just because it’s been a while since I tackled something that would take me longer than a few weeks.



Whatever the reason, I went to my trusty acrylic store and started picking out colours.  Don’t you just love this bit?  A whole world of possibilities and combinations, which to choose?

I didn’t want the colours to be too fresh and bright this time, I wanted more of an aged, vintage, ‘granny made this one years ago’ type feel to it.  I also knew that I wanted a lovely strong, deep red to pull it all together and so, slowly, selections were made and the blanket was begun.



With all of these millions of squares to make there was no way I could face sewing them all together, so I had to go with the Join As You Go method.  Although this should be the perfect solution to joining, it’s not my favourite to use.  I have to say though, 672 squares later I don’t think I have any problems with it any more and I certainly wouldn’t have got this blanket done without it!



The border is of my own devising, although I’m sure it’s not a remotely new idea.  I thought this part would be so easy as I had this border idea in my mind from almost the start of the blanket.  I wanted it to be wide and I wanted it to be colourful.

So often you see, I have these grand plans to do a wonderful colourful border, but by the end of the blanket I’ve wimped out and decided that it’d be too much and overwhelm the colours and pattern of the blanket itself.  Not this time though.  This time, I was determined!



It wasn’t easy though, oh no.  What you see here is the third attempt and quick frankly it’s still not right.  The pattern of it, I love.  It’s nice and colourful and wide, which is just what I wanted.  It lays  flat and doesn’t wrinkle or wave, which is great.  But... I’m still not completely happy with my colour choices.  The red, purple, pink, teal at the edge is perfect but those middle greeny, peachy, bluey colours don’t sit right with me.  They are a little too pale for my liking.

I wanted the border to reflect the overall ‘feel’ of the blanket and it doesn’t quite do that.  I guess you might think I’m being very picky and maybe even over critical and you’re probably right but there it is.  It doesn’t ruin the blanket for me or anything, I still love it to pieces but it's just not perfect, ya know?

Anyway, enough of my whining, let’s have some more blanket shots:







Huge isn’t it?  That’s my king size double bed and it’s even draping down the sides of it!  I didn’t think I had it in me, I honesty didn’t.

And, for everyone who wants to know the more practical details, here’s a breakdown for you:

The Stats

Ravelry page: Giant Grannie Patches
Weight: 2100g
Size: 178 x 188cm / 71 x 75”
Yards: 6825 (approx)

Yarn type and colour:



















1 - Stylecraft Special DK, Grape (1067)
2 - Stylecraft Special DK, Pale Rose (1080)
3 - Stylecraft Special DK, Silver (1203)
4 - Stylecraft Special DK, Teal (1062)
5 - Stylecraft Special DK, Cloud Blue (1019)
6 - Rowan Wool Cotton, Goldilocks (971 - discontinued unfortunately)
7 - Stylecraft Special DK, Claret (1123)
8 - Hayfield/Sirdar Bonus DK, Teal (890)
9 - Stylecraft Special DK, Shrimp (1132)
10 - Stylecraft Life DK, Mint (2342)
11 - Stylecraft Special DK, Copper (1029)
12 - Stylecraft Special DK, Aster (1003)
13 - Stylecraft Special DK, Soft Peach (1240)
14 - Stylecraft Special DK, Sherbert (1034)
15 - King Cole Big Value DK, Lawn Green (011)
16 - Stylecraft Special DK, Mocha (1064)
17 - Stylecraft Special DK, Raspberry (1023)

Number of colours used: 17
Yarn weight: DK
Hook size: 4.00mm (USA - G)
Square size: 6 x 6cm / 2 1/2 x 2 1/2”
Square pattern: 3 rounds of granny square
Number of squares: 672
Border thickness: 9 cm / 3 1/2”
Number of border rows: 13 rounds (11 colours used)

Well, that’s everything I can possibly think of but if I missed something, let me know...



I hope you like my huge, huge blanket of tiny, tiny squares. 

I confess that I do and I feel like I’ve passed some sort of crochet milestone or a right of passage or something.  Maybe my self belief even grew a little bit today...


S x


Update 14th March 2013:  A Giant Granny Patches Border Tutorial is now available!

If it's not one thing...

... It's another. I finally got my act together enough to take the photos and write the words for a new post and now the Internet has failed me. Aghh!

So this is a quickie via phone to say bear with me and hopefully I'll have something interesting to share soon. I'm hoping hubby will ride in tonight like a knight on a white charger and fix everything for me.

Fingers crossed my friends!

S x

20 July 2012

It's a girl

Last week there was rather a big event in our family.  My little sister had a precious baby girl on Thursday morning and now I'm an Auntie!

I'm so excited and she's the most darling thing, I can't stop thinking about her.  In fact, I've been thinking about her for a long time, before I even knew she was a her.  You see, I've been preparing for this arrival for some time...

You might remember this stripy blanket that I showed you back in March?


That was one of the first things I made with my little Niece To Be in mind.  But I've been making bits through out the year, ready to present when the time was right.

First there was this cuddly little rabbit, made using this Bunny Blanket Buddy pattern.


Then, at the Mum To Be's request, some fruity cutness.  A Blueberry Baby set....




And a Pumpkin Baby set...

The Blueberry hat was made using this pattern, the blueberry booties were based on this pattern, but the rest I made up as I went along.

Then, finding a great use for some lovely Sugar 'n' Cream that I got in a swap, I made a little selection of Farmyard Bibs, using patterns by clever Elaine Fitzpatrick.



These were great little knits as I could get one whole bib made in an evening.  They were a nice little interlude here and there in between other projects.

I'm glad to say my package of yarny goodness was well received by the parents, and of course, now I know that she's a gorgeous girl, I can start tailoring my makes accordingly.  I've started hunting out cute baby girl patterns already.  Not only are there so many adorable things to choose from, they are all so teeny tiny and quick to make, I can get through lots of them.

The only problem, is knowing where to begin!

S x



14 July 2012

Rest and reconsider

It's been a little longer since my last post than I normally leave it, but I caught a very nasty little bug and it rather took it out of me for a while.

I also like to start the month with a Pretty Crafty Home post, inducing a new theme for the month and perhaps coming up with a plan for my next task to be conquered.  Well, I haven't done that either.


I did manage to cover the boxes in my craft room in June, like I planned.  I used some of that lovely dinning room wallpaper that I had left over.  It's nice to use it somewhere else in the house.

Truth be told, although I'm very happy with the progress I've made so far this year, I'm beginning to lose my focus a little.  My 'to do' list, the grand plan of ideas and things I want to achieve is looking a little worse for wear.  The good news is, things have been done and crossed off, but there have been so many amendments, adjustments and additions that I'm losing track of where exactly I'm at.


So, this month, as it's nearly half of it has gone already I think I'm going to be taking a little break and giving myself a little rest.  The school holidays will start soon too so there's a limit to how much I can get done for a while anyway.

I think I'll use this rest time to go over my list, reassess and clean it up a bit.  It's only July at the moment, it'll be September before the holidays are over and then it's not ever so many months until it'll be time to think about that Big Event At The End Of The Year.  I think you probably know the one I mean.  So it's time to see what else I can really get done this year and start making new plans.

So, how's your PCH project coming along?  Have you made some changes you're happy with? Is there still more to do?  Do you need a little break so you can start back fresh and eager next month?  Drop me a line and let me know how you're getting on too and as ever, if you've got some photos to share of your progress so far, post them in the PCH Group on Flickr.

I'd love to know what you've been getting up to so far this year!



S x


03 July 2012

Nan's birthday

 
The other week I had to take a break from my giant blanket of tiny patches (456 down, 216 to go!), to make a birthday gift.  I didn't particularly want to take a break at the time as I was getting on swimmingly with my little squares and I wanted to carry on going with the flow but, I'd been planning this pressie for my Nan for ages and I knew she'd love it, so a break is what I took.


I have the perfect yarn in mind for the project.  A lovely skein of Manos Lace (Vidia - 6670) that I've had for a little while, but the colours are just right for her.  All I needed was the perfect pattern.  In the end I settled on the Olso Walk Shawl by Susanna IC.

Fine yarn, beads and a delicate lace knit pattern couldn't be more different to the intense crochet squares I had been hooking up and actually it turned out to be a welcome interlude.


This shawl was a delight to make, adding all the teeny tiny beads made it slow work, but not unpleasant for that and the lacy pattern kept things nice and interesting.  I don't do an awful lot of lace knitting but it does make a lovely change of pace when it does happen.

It also never fails to amaze me, how the crumpled heap of knitting like this...



Can be turned into a gorgeous, patterned, fine and drapey shawl with just the application of a little water, like this...



That's one of the things I enjoy about knitting lace, the blocking part is so much fun.

In fact, I enjoyed everything about making this shawl so much, including the finished article, it really was quite a wrench to have to give it away.


I guess that just means I'll have to make it all over again one day.... but, I think I could bare that.



S x





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