It is a bit of a bug-bear of mine that so many crochet posts on social media are simply pictures, with no accompanying information about yarns, stitches, colours or techniques. Presumably the intention is for the reader to be impressed with the author’s skill or colour choice, but then what? What is to be learned by knowing that other people are making things that you admire, and no more than that?
Long-term readers of this blog will know that I always end a post by giving details of how the project was made. My initial reasons for this were quite selfish – I wanted to use the blog as a personal log, so that if I needed to repeat a project I would have a place to come back to with enough detail written down for that to be possible. I do still use it for that purpose quite often.
The second reason was more public-spirited – I am a teacher by training, and a learner by inclination, and I wanted to share my learning so that other people could benefit from it too. So here, for anyone who is interested, are the colour recipes for my granny rectangle baby blankets. If you find them useful I am glad, and if you do use any of them I would be delighted to know.
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).
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.
Those of you who know me will know that my preference is for small, achievable projects. A fortnight is about my maximum length of time on any one project, and any longer sees me straying well outside my comfort zone. I don’t know what the hurdle is – uncertainty that the project will get finished? Worry that I will waste a lot of yarn? Whatever the reason size has always been a problem for me. So this months challenge is something big – an adult size throw or blanket, made in an adult colour palette:
It is based on a granny rectangle, so is a fairly safe project, but it has felt like a long haul getting this far. The yarn is all Jamieson and Smith Shetland 2 ply jumper yarn, and came from the stash of my lovely friend Maureen. When it is finished I plan to donate it to the Day centre that she volunteered in, and hope that they will be able to sell it to raise funds. It is not the jumper that she planned on making with the yarn, but I feel she would have approved.
Some of the colours are discontinued but the ones I can still identify are: Charcoal 81, Green 65, Maroon 43, Pink (FC22 mix?) and Blue (FC 37mix?). I made it on a 4mm hook.
Teddy is back, and this time with a Granny rectangle blanket made in Sirdar no. 1 yarn:
I found it a little thicker than my normal baby yarn, and it definitely has less twist in than I would like, but the colours are pretty and the finished blanket is wonderfully soft.
Made in Sirdar no. 1 spearmint (205) and wishbone (202), and Rico baby classic dk ice blue (023) and turquoise (025) on a 4.5mm hook.
We had some very welcome visitors just before the October break and I had the pleasure of introducing the Granny rectangle pattern to one of them .
One tutorial later and a couple of weeks of her own work and this is what she has come up with:
Made in Stylecraft special dk Plum (1061) Petrol (1708) and Grape (1067) on a 4mm hook.
I think that is quite an achievement.
I had been saving this one until we had a fine day to take a photo, but I decided to just go for it!
Made in Rico baby classic powder, light grey and dusky pink with Drops cotton merino white, which gives the blanket just that bit more weight, and warmth.
It is a granny rectangle (of course!) starting with five clusters of three stitches, and I used a 4.5mm hook.
This is the blue end of the spectrum from my friend’s stash basket:
I did add in some of my own yarn to make up enough for the blanket, including the remains of the second ‘homemakery’ colour pack. The yarns I added were Rico baby classic dk cream, ice blue, smokey blue, turquoise, and petrol. There is some Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in the mix too – possibly Denim blue and Pool, but I would have to check…
Now this is a colour combination that I would happily repeat…
Is there a category of failing New Year’s resolutions because you have done too much of them? I wondered at the beginning of 2017 if I could make 17 baby-sized blankets for charity.
Well it turns out that I could and have, and indeed it seems that I have the motivation to carry on and make some more:
This one is in Peter Pan merino baby ‘lemon’ and King Cole Drifter for baby ‘meadow’. Photographed against our lovely Viburnum bush – it is one of the highlights of May for me.
When I was younger I wished that I had a sister so I could go ‘shopping’ in her wardrobe. Now I have the chance to go shopping in my mother’s yarn stash, and I am enjoying it just as much as I imagined!
Made in King Cole Panache, 2068 (Biscuit), Sirdar Harrap tweed 0101 (Gallop), Patons Diploma Gold 06200 (Gold) and Rowan Silkstones 827 (Olive grey). There is a lot of variation in the thicknesses of these four different yarns, but they are accommodated easily by the Granny Rectangle pattern without distorting the blanket at all. I think it illustrates how versatile the pattern is.
I heard this phrase recently and thought of you all! I suppose if a regular diet is less food in more exercise out, then a yarn diet is less yarn in more projects out. So in that spirit this blanket is made from various yarns from my mother’s stash:
Plus one ball of Rowan felted tweed, shade 151 ‘bilberry’ which I think just lifts it colour-wise.