British Summer Time…

This week has been switching between beautiful blue skies and sudden and torrential rain.  Usually within 10 minutes of each other.  This is challenging when you have a small who just want to go to the local park.  In fact, I have just resorted to buying her a waterproof onesie so that the rain can’t interrupt play anymore!  But you can tell she is starting to feel the cold when in the middle of August she starts to pick through my DK stash to identify the yarns she wants to go in her new blanket.  Lots of different shades of grey with the occasional flash of colour.  I think she has an eye for it, if I am honest.

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And I really, really haven’t forgotten that I need to do the last 2 parts of the Granny Blanket pattern.  I have the squares and I think I will pick those up and get cracking on those again next week so that I can finish the instructions for the complete blanket.

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I really love that pattern.  The first one was made in Ice yarn and its soft and cosy, but acrylic, and I noticed the other day that there is a honking great error (which you have to look closely to spot) in one place.  It has taken me a long time to notice it, and it won’t stop me using it, but its annoying me.  So I really want to finish my current incarnation of it, which is being worked up in hand-dyed merino yarn and which I intend to bury myself under as soon as its made.  Its a good hibernation blanket that one, and mercifully  it is quick to make.

Small person has asked for a square-based blanket but I am keen to try out a stripey blanket based on V stitch, as I saw one the other day made from scraps and it was just beautiful.  So I will have a little play with that and, of course, I will document it on here in case you fancy making something similar.

Blankets were the thing that got me into crochet in the first place.  It was my (still unrealised) desire to make a 1970’s style granny blanket that made me keep trying to fathom crochet out.  I have made one for my Mum  (shown below) and another for my daughter (pattern is the Attic 24 Cosy blanket, for those who fancy one of their own).

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I have been pleased by how much she seems to enjoy it – it is a night time ‘wave’ when I tuck her in, a play mat, and a poorly blanket.  It is something she can’t outgrow and will always have for as long as she wants it.  And when she doesn’t want it any more, it will be a cherished momento of her childhood for me, as I sit and dribble into my cocoa, and wonder where the time went…Probably still watching the rain run down the window!

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Euro-joy

I love Eurovision.  Bear with me.  I know this doesn’t look crochet-related, but it is.

Eurovision has been one of the highlights of my year, along with World’s Strongest Man at Christmas time, ever since I was small.  I love the highly variable quality of the music, the gimmicks, the crazy costumes, the inappropriate commentary, the hope during voting, the devastation when we are marked poorly, and (vary rarely) the joy when we do well.  It has a personal significance because the last time the UK won it (1997, in case you were wondering) also marked the evening when my OH and I had our first date.  So it also operates as our official anniversary.

Sometimes we have a party, but more often we just get in food which is roughly representative of the various nations participating, put it on the table in the living room, and go on a culinary journey around the world, as well as a musical one.

I feel the need to celebrate Eurovision this year with something suitably tacky-retro to crochet whilst I am watching it.  For me, it is so closely associated with the 70s and 80s that I decided to pick out a quick stashbusting make out of these vintage pattern books that I bought a while ago.

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My mum used to have patterns like these when I was a child, but they were given away before I could acquire them.  But what to make?  I am leaning towards a retro tea cosy, or perhaps a toilet roll cover, as some of the costumes worn this year do remind me of one of those crocheted dolls that you used to find at your friend’s house, dressing up the toilet rolls.

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But I think a tea cosy is more me.  Tea and Eurovision are life essentials.  So I think I will go with this one.

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I also have an idea in my head for my own retro take on a peg bag, as I need a new one and I have loads of acrylic to use up.  If I get to make it this weekend I will pop it up here as a quick make, along with my other free patterns.  And speaking of quick makes, I haven’t forgotten about the next part of the retro blanket.  So make sure you are up to Part 2 as Part 3 will be along soon!

 

Granny Blanket: Part 1

Following on from my last post, when I talked about what sort of yarn you will need for this blanket, here is the first stage of its construction.  You need to make five granny squares, each one consisting of seven rounds of stitches.  If you know how to do a granny square, then you don’t need to follow what is in the rest of this particular blog post, other than to note that the first two rounds will be in your first colour (in the illustration, I used a pinky-red yarn), then the next round was white, followed by a round of orange, followed by a round of white yarn, followed by a round of yellow, and finished with a final round of white.  Of course, you don’t need to use those colours, but I will refer to the colours I have used in the picture so you know where I am at in the construction of the square.

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I used a 4mm hook throughout this blanket.

UK terms are used throughout and TB = treble crochet.

ROUND 1: With pinky-red yarn, Chain 4 and slip stitch into first chain to make a circle. Chain 3 (counts as one TB) and then 2TB into circle, chain 2, 3TB into circle, chain 2, 3TB into circle, chain 2, 3TB into circle, chain 2 and slip stitch into top of chain 3 to complete the first round.

ROUND 2: Slip stitch into the top of each of the first three trebles of the row below.  Slip stitch into the chain space, and then chain 3 and 2TB into the first chain space, chain 2, 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. Chain 1 and 3TB into the next chain space. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. Chain 1 and 3TB into the next chain space. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. Chain 1 and 3TB into the next chain space. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. Chain 1 and slip stitch into the top of the chain 3 you made at the beginning of the round.  Break yarn.

ROUND 3: Join WHITE yarn to a corner chain space. Chain 3, 2TB into the chain space chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space. Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space. Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space. Chain 1 and 3TB. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space. Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space. Chain 1 and slip stitch into the top of the chain 3 you made at the beginning of the round.  Break yarn.

ROUND 4: Join ORANGE yarn to a corner chain space. Chain 3, 2TB into the chain space chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) three times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) three times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB  into next chain space) three times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) twice. Chain 1 and slip stitch into the top of the chain 3 you made at the beginning of the round.  Break yarn.

ROUND 5: Join WHITE yarn to a corner chain space. Chain 3, 2TB into the chain space chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) four times.  Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) four times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) four times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) three times. Chain 1 and slip stitch into the top of the chain 3 you made at the beginning of the round.  Break yarn.

ROUND 6: Join YELLOW yarn to a corner chain space. Chain 3, 2TB into the chain space chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) five times.  Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) five times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) five times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) four times. Chain 1 and slip stitch into the top of the chain 3 you made at the beginning of the round.  Break yarn.

ROUND 7: Join WHITE yarn to a corner chain space. Chain 3, 2TB into the chain space chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) six times.  Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) six times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) six times. Chain 2 and 3TB into the SAME chain space as the one you have just worked. (Chain 1 and 3TB into next chain space) five times. Chain 1 and slip stitch into the top of the chain 3 you made at the beginning of the round.  Break yarn.

Make five of these squares and sew in your ends (don’t be like me and leave them all to the end – I still haven’t finished sewing in the end on my blanket, and I made it a year ago!).  You can make more if you want a wider blanket, or fewer if you want a smaller one.

I will give you a bit of time to get these done and in the next part I will explain how you use a ripple stripe to join the squares together point-to-point.  Any questions, leave me a comment and I will help!