On blankets, and learning to crochet.

Recently I finished making a blanket, the largest project I’d ever attempted. It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it might, in part because I became a little obsessed with working on it, and in part because of how I made it: crochet. I’m just learning to crochet, finding my way around a whole new language of stitches and abbreviations. It’s been a delightful experience so far, learning so many new things and being encouraged by the quick growth of my blanket. Having grown used to the slow, deliberate pace of knitting over the past six years or so, I was surprised and excited by how quickly crochet moves by comparison.

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The color combination is crazy, I know, especially coming from someone who often professes a great love of gray. To choose these crazy colors, I went through my stash and pulled out all the superwash wools. Between all the odds and ends and extra skeins leftover from projects past, I had a little over half the yarn I needed to make a medium-sized blanket. So, I did what anyone starting a scrap project does; I went shopping for more “scraps.”

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I started out thinking I’d use only sport and dk weight yarns, but a bit of worsted and even a few skeins of aran weight made their way into it and didn’t seem to affect the gauge much at all. The thicker yarns made puffier stitches, a slightly more dense fabric, but for my purposes, they were happy among the many other weights. Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, Cashmerino DK, Cashmerino Aran, and Rialto DK all made an appearance, along with Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, Berroco Pure Merino, Mission Falls 1824 Wool, and String Theory Merino DK, to name a few.

I only switched colors at the end of a skein, and then held the end together with my next color for a few stitches. This creates a few marled spots here and there where the colors mingle together. It meant I didn’t have to weave in any ends, and ensured that I used every last inch of yarn–no more scraps.

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I had so much fun creating this wild-looking thing, throwing colors together that I’d normally keep far apart, and using up so much yarn that had sat around for so long. If you’re interested in taking on a similar project, I highly recommend it–go through your stash, figure out what you’ve got, and come to the shop to get the rest of the “scraps” you need! This tutorial got me started on the granny ripple stitch pattern. From there, you can make a granny ripple piece in any dimension you like; mine measures about 49″ x 65″, and used about 1,250 grams of wool, mostly in sport and dk weights.

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It’s a good time to be shopping for yarn in blanket-making quantities, as all our Debbie Bliss and Noro yarns are 25% off until June 19th for our Going to Market Sale. With one colorful crocheted blanket under my belt, I find myself looking at these baskets differently, thinking of how good all the colors look together. Blankets can free you up that way–you don’t have to consider what you’ll wear these colors with, or how they look with your face, or whether the last four sweaters you made were in the same color family. Just pick what pleases you, and plan on curling up in it when it’s done.

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Come by the shop to plan a blanket of your own, take advantage of the Going to Market Sale, and browse our ever-growing collection of crochet books. See you there!

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Some reminders:

  • All sales are final on discounted yarns; no returns nor exchanges
  • Discount applies only to in-stock yarns; no special orders

Thanks for understanding!

Comments

  1. Mara on said:

    Nice job, Julia! I recently made a few small forays into crocheting (potholders, etc) and you’re right — it is satisfying in a different way than knitting. Definitely felt/feels like learning a new language. Great project idea for all the folks like me who can’t bear to get rid of those scraps: “I’ll use them for something!” After all, if we purge all the odds & ends we’ll have room for NEW yarn, right? And isn’t that half the fun? Keep up the great work!

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