Today I learned…

This is one of my son’s favourite sayings, but it is very appropriate to today’s post, as I was lucky enough to learn how to make this at a crochet workshop recently:

I was taught by a lovely lady named Claire from Cookston crafts who ran the workshop at the recent Dornoch Fibre fest. I am not sure of it is going to be a flower pot holder, or hook holder, or cache pot, but regardless of its ultimate use in the process of making it I learned how to do tapestry crochet, weave ends in invisibly, and neaten up my colour changes! Thank you Claire.

Made in James C Brett Noodles, colours N5 (turquoise) and N7 (grey) on a 4mm hook.

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March challenge – Ombre baby blanket

This months challenge is a stash busting project believe it or not!

Made in Rowan wool cotton dk on a 5mm hook. The colours are frozen (977), grand (954) and antique (900). It looks like this yarn has been discontinued by Rowan, so this is definitely a one-off.

The stitch is Three-colour fan stitch (from Betty Barnden’s book ‘Handbook of Crochet stitches’) also known as shell stitch and it lends itself very well to this three colour ombre combination.

I started with a 91 stitch chain to give 15 shells across the blanket and made it 71 shells long. It measures 72 x 55cm and weighs 315g. I actually think I used 3 balls of each of the colours but I must have had quite a bit of the paler ones left at the end. I would certainly use the stitch again, and would be interested in doing a real stash busting blanket in random coloured stripes.

One for the boys

Couldn’t resist the temptation to make another Bertie baby blanket in Drops cotton merino, and this time it’s one for the boys:

The colours are cream, ice blue, light grey and jeans blue and I used a 5mm hook, starting with a chain of 91 stiches to make a 9 motif wide blanket. The final blanket measures 77 x 60cm and took 4 balls of cream, and just over 1 ball of each of the blue colours, and weighs 350g.

And I managed to take a photo in some spring sunshine!

February challenge – It’s Bertie but not as we know him

I have been wanting for some time to make a Bertie baby blanket in a quality yarn, and recently had the opportunity to make one on commission.

Made in Drops cotton merino cream, powder pink, lilac and lavender on a 5mm hook. I started with a chain of 91 stiches to make a 9 motif wide blanket. The final blanket measures 77 x 60cm and took 4 balls of cream, and just over 1 ball of each of the pink colours. In total it weighs 340g

It is being gifted to a very ‘pink’ new mum – and I think she will love it!

January challenge – sock yarn blanket II

My second attempt at a sock yarn blanket, this one using the corner to corner technique:

It was quite hard to judge when I had used half of the sock yarn, and I had to change the ratio of plain to patterned rows towards the final corner of the blanket in case I ran out of it, but there still seems to be a colour balance to the blanket overall and I am pleased with the final product.

I used 1 x 100g ball of Schachenmayr Regia Die Sockenwolle design line 4 ply by Arne & Carlos Colour 03657 ‘Summer night’ and 3 x 50g balls of King Cole merino superwash 4 ply 3292 ‘Pale grey’ on a 4mm hook. The finished blanket measures 70 x 58cm and is 56 squares long x 46 squares wide.

This one will be on its way to Pram Depot soon – to keep a new baby warm and snuggly.

December challenge – the snuggly one

This month’s challenge is my biggest yet. A house-warming / Christmas present for a friend. Her living room colour scheme is grey and mustard, and this is a throw for her sofa:

Made in Drops Nepal Unicolour ‘Goldenrod’ on a 7mm hook using the corner to corner technique. It measure 175 x 95 cm and took 28 balls of yarn.

It is 85 by 50 squares, so 4,250 squares in total, or 12,750 stitches – worth the effort I think!

November challenge – sock yarn blanket

I was told recently that sock yarn is much undervalued – it is machine washable, soft, hard wearing, and comes in lovely colours. So, deciding that I was up for a challenge, I set out to make a baby blanket using sock yarn. Here is my first attempt:

So what were the challenges? A ball of random coloured wool can look far from random in a finished piece due to colour pooling of dominant shades, and I had to work really hard to minimise this in the blanket. It turns out that visually the dominant shade was the palest colour (a creamy yellow) which was in danger of building up to form significant blank areas in the blanket. The particular sock yarn that I chose had long colour changes, and perhaps a yarn with a shorter-length colour change would have been easier to achieve a random effect with.

Overall I am quite pleased with it. The colours are cheery and the wool content should make it warm despite being relatively thin. I have a couple more rows to do and then this one is off to ‘Birth Companions‘ a lovely charity that supports vulnerable women giving birth. If I get my skates on it might be being used by Christmas.

It is made with 2 x 50g balls of Grundl ‘hot socks color’ shade 410 which is 75% wool, 25% polyamide and is machine washable at 40 degrees C. Plus 3 x 50g of King Cole Merino blend 4ply superwash wool shade 46 (Aran). I used a 4mm hook.