It seems to have been a while since I have blogged, but I have not been idle! I have reverted to my old friend the granny rectangle, and have been busy making (lots of) baby blankets:
These ones have been safely received by pramdepot and will soon be part of their magnificent baby boxes which are put together from new, recycled and gifted items to support vulnerable mothers.
For these blankets I start with a chain of 21, which gives me a 5 granny cluster mini-rectangle, then build up 28-30 rounds of granny clusters to make a blanket of roughly 60 x 50cm.
The octopus is a little extra – pattern from crochetforbabies here.
I am developing a bit of a yarn crush for James C Brett Stonewash. The yarn itself is not lovely (100% acrylic) but the colours are very pleasantly subtle, and when mixed with other yarns it makes a nice blanket overall. You might remember these Granny rectangle blankets from a while ago, well I have now made them in two new colourways:
Made in James C Brett Stonewash SW14 with Sublime extra fine merino wool 448 (organza) and Drops merino extra fine 01 (off white); and James C Brett Stonewash SW11 with King Cole Majestic DK 2649 (grey) and Drops merino extra fine 01 (off white).
Since I discovered the Scheepjes merino soft, Ella Rae baby cashmerino and Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino could be substituted for one another, pretty much metre for metre, I have been playing around with their combined colour range to see if I can make some rather more subtle combinations than is possible with a single brand. These are my most recent efforts:
Made in Scheepjes merino soft Ernst (653) Pissaro (651) and Raphael (602) with Ella Rae baby cashmerino Icicle (29). The pink version is in Scheepjes merino soft Copely(634) Waterhouse (649) and Titian (647) and Raphael (602), but to be honest I am not so pleased with that as a colour combination. Why do I find pinks so difficult?
Make a lemon and lime baby blanket!
Made in Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino Apple (002) and Citrus (018), Ella Rae cashmerino sport Goldenrod (06) and Steel (04), and Scheepjes merino soft Michelangelo (603) and Raphael (602) on a 4.5mm hook.
It is (of course) a Bertie baby blanket. This one weighs 300g and measures 69 x 53cm
It was always my intention to try another spin your granny blanket in rather nicer yarn, and this is it:
Made in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Apple (002) and Citrus (018), and Ella Rae Cashmerino Sport Goldenrod (06) and Ivory (13) on a 4.5mm hook.
Mine took 2 balls of dark green, 1 ball each of mid green and yellow, and 3 balls of ivory. It measure 67 x 48cm and weighs 275g. I used the same layout as my first spin-your-granny blanket, so this was a rather quicker project with less frogging!
My default project has been baby blankets for as long as I can remember, and it seems fitting in these difficult times to make some for charity.
The pink blanket is made in James C Brett Stonewash shade SW5, and Drops merino extra fine colours 40 (powder pink) and 01 (off white). The blue blanket is made in James C Brett Stonewash shade SW10, King Cole Majestic dk shade 2650 (duck egg) and Drops merino extra fine colour 01 (off white). Each blanket used 1 ball each of the Stonewash wool and 2 balls of the other colours.
Just in case anyone hasn’t come across it yet, the Granny Rectangle pattern is by Crochet again, and there is a very good tutorial for it here. Mine start with 5 granny clusters and are 30 rows round. I start with the plain pink or blue, then the Stonewash, then the white, and 30 rows allows you to end in the white.
And finally – my chosen Charity for these blankets is pram depot, a charity that gives recycled baby clothes and equipment to vulnerable new mums and their babies.
It seemed like a good idea to try something really new while we are spending more time at home, and this ombre blanket fitted the bill:
Made in Patons Diploma Gold Denim (6136) and Rico baby classic DK Smokey Blue (042) on a 4.5mm hook. The pattern is by Kylie Moleta at Stitched Up Craft and can be found here here. It’s a really well written pattern, with clear instructions for making whole, half and quarter squares, along with a join as you go border.
Mine is based on a 5-round granny squares (plus 1 round of border) and is 3 diamonds wide by 4 diamonds long. I didn’t follow the layout used in the pattern exactly, as I wanted a rectangular blanket. It took 3 balls of Denim, and 4 balls of Smokey Blue, weighs 230g and measures 70cm x 53cm.
For this blanket I needed:
5 x 5-round dark blue squares, plus 5 x half squares
2 x 4-round dark blue squares, plus 2 x half squares
3 x 3-round dark blue squares, no half squares
2 x 2-round dark blue squares, plus 2 x half squares
3 x 1-round dark blue squares, no half squares
2 x 0-round dark blue squares, plus 5 x half squares
All pieces were made up to 5-rounds with light blue before joining.
If you make one yourself I would highly recommend laying out the pieces as you go along, to make sure you are making a blanket of the size that you want – mine would have been big enough for triplets if I had stuck to the original plan!
It seems often to be the case that when I hit upon a yarn I really like it is discontinued. And as that is exactly what has happened with Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, this blanket is probably the last of a line:
Made in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Teal (340203), Duck egg (340026) and Spearmint (340303) with Scheepjes Merino soft Raphael (602) on a 4.5mm hook.
This is another Bertie baby blanket. Mine started with a chain of 91, so is 9 pattern repeats wide and 28 pattern repeats long. It measures 71 x 52cm and weighs 300g. It took 2 balls of each of the three blues, and three balls of cream.
You might remember my pink waste-not-want-not blanket here. Well I have now branched out into blues.
Now I look at it the colours are remarkable similar to my 4-ply bluebell blanket of some time ago, but this is a rather more practical make in dk.
Made in Sirdar snuggly 100% cotton DK in Rhino (759), Spearmint (767), Light grey (757), Ice blue (765) and Cream (761) on a 4mm hook.
My blanket is 51 ‘crosses’ wide and 49 pattern-repeat rows long. It measures 74 x 58 cm and weighs 375g. I used 2 balls of each colour plus 3 balls of the cream.
This is the second time I have been asked to make a baby blanket in grey so I think it’s definite now – grey is a baby colour.
Mine is made in Drops cotton merino light grey (20), medium grey (18) grey (19) and off white (01) on a 5mm hook. The pattern is my favourite Bertie Baby Blanket by Little Doolally and just in case you are wondering if it is worth spending £4.80 on the pattern the answer is yes! I can’t count how many of these I have made now and every new colour combination gives me a little zing!
Sometimes a thankyou doesn’t need to have any words at all:
One grey baby blanket, being appreciated by its owner (and mum!)
I recently had a commission for a baby blanket and the chance to play with some new colours for the Bertie baby blanket pattern. The request was for a green blanket and yes, the baby has an Irish mum so perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. Anyway this is what I came up with:
Made in Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino mint (03), Ella Rae cashmerino sport fern (14) and Ivory (13) and Scheepjes merino soft Michelangelo (603). Although I have mixed three different yarn types they are remarkably compatible, with very similar yardage and just the hint of a sheen on the soft-fun.
The yarn is lovely, and it is a shame that the baby cashmerino is discontinued, but the Ella Rae colours actually match some of the old Debbie Bliss ones, and this is certainly a combination I would use again.
Now for the technical bit. I made it on a 4.5mm hook and it is 9 motifs wide by 28 motifs long. The finished blanket measures 73 x 52 cm and weighs 305g. It took 2 balls each of the green and grey colours and 3 balls of ivory. And it is the squishiest blanket I have made yet!
I bought some Sirdar snuggly 100% cotton a while ago, made some swatches to try a ripple blanket with it, then decided it just wouldn’t do and left it in my stash unused. I really hate waste, so I made myself go back and re-work it into a new swatch – with this result:
Made in Sirdar snuggly 100% cotton in cream, rhino, light grey, mauve and powder on a 4mm hook. The stitch is ‘crossed trebles’ and you can see a chart for it here.
Mine weighs 360g and took 3 balls of cream, 1 of rhino and 2 each of mauve, light grey and powder. It measures 73 x 58cm and is 51 ‘crosses’ wide, which I think means I started with a chain of 105. I’m quite keen to have a go at one in ‘boy’ colours now…
I had a commission recently to make a baby blanket that was ‘not in baby colours’ and what fun I had completing it;
Made in Drops cotton merino off white (01) and medium grey (18) and some precious discontinued Rowan wool cotton clear (941). I think they work really well together, and hopefully the new mum will agree too.
I started with a chain of 101 which gave me 7 repeats of 14 stitches plus 3 and used Attic 24’s neat ripple pattern. My blanket measures 69 x 59cm and weighs 300g. It took 2 balls each of off white and clear, and 3 balls of medium grey, as I used that for the border too.
I got the idea to make this when I made the reflections shawl – a baby blanket in bright rainbow colours with a unifying blue background, and I have been waiting for the right yarn and pattern to come together to make it possible:
The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran prints in Rum Paradise (822) and Cascade 220 in Blue Velvet (7818). The pattern is ‘Chasing Rainbows’ by Marley Bird, available on the Red Heart website here. The pattern requires a colour change every row, but as it is made in Aran weight wool, I didn’t feel this was too much. I started with a chain of 115 (I think) which gave me a blanket that was 18 bobbles wide.
The finished item is 80 x 60 cm and weighs 460g (which is quite a lot for a baby blanket!) I used 3 balls of Rum paradise and 2 of Blue Velvet (just!) on a 5mm hook.
One word of caution is that at the precise tension and bobble number that I used I gave an exact colour repeat every 3 coloured rows – so there are two turquoise / yellow / pink vertical ‘stripes’ and two purple / green / orange stripes in the blanket. I don’t think I mind… but it’s not what I expected when I started!
I came across this lovely stitch pattern on the Happy in Red blog, and then found the pattern for sale by Yummy Yarn and co.
It is a very simple but effective two row repeat, and I think it would lend itself to a lot of different colourways. Mine is 13 motifs wide (I think I started with a chain of 107) and 16 coloured stripes long. The finished blanket is 64 x 53cm and weighs 270g.
Made in Drops cotton merino off white (01), Wendy merino DK corn (2406) and fennel (2382), and Debbie Bliss Rialto DK Apricot (088). It took one ball of each of the three colours and three balls of the off white.
I did have major problems keeping my tension the same – which I can only put down to learning a new stitch. But a little light blocking saved the day!
A rather satisfying make using more of my Rowan wool-cotton stash:
Made in Rowan wool cotton dk antique (900), clear (941), celadon (979) and cypress (968) on a 5mm hook.
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.
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!
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 92 stiches to make a 91 double crochet starting row and 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!