A pastel Sunburst blanket for my new baby niece!

Making blankets for babies is probably my favourite thing to crochet – in fact it was the first thing I ever crocheted, a giant granny square blanket for my future baby before I was even pregnant! There’s just something lovely about making a blanket to keep them warm and cosy after their arrival into the world, and I love giving them as presents to friends and family.  So when I found out I was going to be an Aunty again I think one of the first questions I had for my sister was ‘Have you got a colour scheme in mind? What kind of blanket would you like?’


Soft pastels of cream, yellow, pink and blue were decided on, and I had been itching to make a blanket in Scheepjes Stonewashed yarn so this was the perfect opportunity! The yarn is 70% cotton, 30% acrylic – it’s lovely and soft whilst also being durable and perfect for babies.  I opted for the XL weight (Aran I believe) – thicker yarn equals larger squares and that means you don’t have to make quite as many 😉 The colours I chose were Moonstone for the main background colour, then Citrine (yellow), Rose Quartz (pink) and Amazonite (blue). The stonewashed effect of this yarn is lovely and gives it a soft, almost vintage look.  I used a 5mm hook and the quantities I used were:

Moonstone: 11 balls

Citrine, Rose Quarts and Amazonite: 2 balls of each


The three colours meant as I was using 2 colours per Sunburst (the inner circle and adjacent round) that I could make six colour combinations e.g. Pink middle with yellow, yellow middle with blue, blue middle with pink etc. I then made 8 of each of these colourways giving me 48 squares, making a blanket 6×8 squares.


I also tried out my new blocking board for the first time with great success- it just makes them a bit more pointed and gives a slightly neater finish.


To join them I used SC (or DC in U.K. terms) with the right sides together, it gives a nearly invisible join on the front, with a ridge on the back which I quite like. I joined them all in strips horizontally and then vertically as well.  I wanted a fairly simple border, so first of all I did a round of SC in Moonstone, and where the squares met I made a hdc instead as I find there’s sometimes a bit of a dip and this bring it into line for a nice straight edge. I followed this with a hdc round in Rose Quartz before adding a shell border in yellow.



The measurements of my finished product blanket were 75cm x 98cm (including the border) with each square being approx 11 x 11cm.


And I couldn’t resist making a little toy to go with it…unicorn pattern by Kornflake Stew, made in Stylecraft Special DK, with Debbie Bliss Odin for the hair!✨🦄


I hope you like them little Kovah Willow, love Aunty Holly xxx

Last Dance on the Beach Crochet-along

I’ve seen some beautiful Crochet-along’s in the last few years but when I saw the first photos of the CAL by Scheepjes in memory of Marinke (A Creative Being) I knew I had to join in.  This isn’t the first one I’ve done (let’s not mention the Lilypond blanket I STILL haven’t finished from last year) – I think its the camaraderie and collective experience which make these special – it’s fascinating to see how different people approach the same project, especially those that have come up with their own colour ways.

The talented group of Marinke’s friends who designed the patterns put together three fabulous colour options – I was instantly drawn to the Dance in the Sea pack, a vibrant mix of green and blues, very me! But after pausing to consider it, I opted for the Dance in the Rain kit – the more neutral palette of greys, blues and browns suits our home colour scheme and there’s only so many blankets in my usual colour choices that I can have lying around the house. NThe Dance under the Stars kit was very bright and colourful and fun, and I’ve seen some gorgeous finished blankets on the Facebook group but I have to say I am definitely more in love with the cooler colours of the spectrum as opposed to the oranges and reds (maybe its because I don’t wear these colours as they clash with my red hair!)

Anyway I am so glad I ordered my kit early, this CAL proved amazingly popular and kits sold out all over the place!  I used the Colour Crafter kit which was lovely and squishy, but the merino looked gorgeous and I definitely want to work with it in the future (maybe when I don’t have small children with grubby hands! ).  The pace of this project was perfect – 4 (of the same pattern) squares each week, for 12 weeks, followed by a week for joining and a week for the border.  Producing 4 squares a week made it possible to work on other projects at the same time – I always have a multitude of projects on the go at any one time otherwise I tend to lose interest.  And thankfully that didn’t happen with this blanket! The textures and variety of patterns kept it interesting and exciting, and I couldn’t wait for the pattern release each Wednesday. So here are some pics of the squares – I ended up swapping the rib stitch square for Tinca’s square which was an alternative from the Facebook group and very pretty.

  

I chose to single crochet my squares together rather than use the flat slip stitch join…I loved the texture of the blanket and wanted a bit more of a defined divide between the squares, but I went with the border recommended – a lovely, simple linen stitch solid border – totally perfect to finish off this blanket!


And so the big reveal!….I totally love this blanket and I’m so pleased I kept up with the CAL, this is definitely a blanket to treasure. A big thank you to all the designers who were involved in this project. xx

Winter Sunshine Blanket

As you may know there’s exciting news in our house – we’re expecting an addition to the family….a little brother for Pip! So this summer has been spent on DIY, moving rooms around and very little blogging!

I did manage to get a weekend to myself and booked myself on to a crochet retreat – a whole weekend of crochet with fellow crocheters…bliss! And as part of the weekend there was ALOT of yarn supplied.  I have to admit this was part of the attraction, and it was also great to try out different brands which I haven’t used before.  Which is how my latest blanket came about.

Baby boy is due New Years Day (yep….really) and while it’s a nice and festive time of year, here in the UK it can also mean lots of wet, windy, cold grey days.  So I decided to make a bright, happy blanket for the little guy, to bring a bit of sunshine to those grey days when we’re out walking with the pram.

I’ve also ways loved the Sunburst pattern, and when I saw the Paton’s yarn at the retreat I knew these were the colours for me.  

The yarn is Paton’s Merino Extrafine Aran. It’s gorgeous and squishy and I love the bright colours.  Using the three blue shades I alternated the order to make six different sunburst rounds, and made six of each, for a blanket of 6×6.  I then did the final round in the bright sunshine yellow to square them off, before joining them with a pale grey.  This join is done by SC (US term) the rows together with wrong sides facing which gives a ridge effect on the front of the blanket.  I joined them all horizontally and then vertically to keep the process simple.

  

  
Onto the border….I wanted to add some size to it and use the existing colours – here’s the border order:

HDC round in grey, DC light blue, DC turquoise, DC royal blue, DC yellow and then finished off by going round one final time this time with crab stitch (also known as reverse SC) in yellow, which gives a nice solid edge.

  
This finished dimensions are  27″x 27″ and I used a 4.5mm hook.  

  

   
   

I’m so pleased with the finished blanket and I can’t wait to wrap the little guy up in it this winter!

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Painted Roses Blanket

I have a crazily long list of crochet things I want to make and this Painted Roses blanket has been on it ever since I spotted a picture while browsing on Pinterest.

The pattern is by super-talented Sandra Cherry Heart and is truly beautiful. I decided to make a toddler-bed sized blanket for when Pip moves out of her cot (poor child will be drowning in blankets I’ve made for her by the time she’s a teenager!) and handily Sandra had included instructions for how many rose squares to make for different size blankets.

Caron Simply Soft yarn was my first choice for the blanket rather than the Stylecraft dk suggested as I wanted it a bit thicker, and the Caron yarn is lovely and soft. The shades I used were
– Lemonade (yellow)
– Strawberry (pink)
– Autumn Red
– Berry Blue
– Duck Egg

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The squares themselves aren’t the quickest to make so this has taken me a while! They’re also quite solid once made which means the blanket is thick and cosy.

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Once I’d made 40 (5×8) I joined them with Berry Blue yarn – this is darker than the Sky colour suggested but I think it works really well with the duck egg and makes the colours pop! The border pattern was really well written and gave a really flat, neat edge, and the ‘leaf’ final round finished it off perfectly.

I’m so happy with this blanket, it has to rate as one of the prettiest things I’ve ever made! And Pip has already told me she likes the colours and flowers so I hope she’ll treasure this as she grows up x

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‘Something Blue’ Crochet Wedding Blanket

I’m a huge fan of blankets – you can never have too many! When my husband and I got married 3 years ago one of our friends made us a beautiful patchwork knitted blanket and it is one of my favourite gifts. So when two of our closest friends (who are two of Pip’s godparents) got engaged last year I began to think about maybe making them a wedding present.

Of course I didn’t actually get my butt in gear until this summer when it dawned on me I should get a wriggle on!

After suggesting it to the bride and groom who were very excited about it, I decided to do it in shades of blue – blue being the bride’s favourite colour and also quite fitting as ‘something blue’ for the wedding!

I’m a long time user of Stylecraft DK – its easy to work with, has a great range of colours and is very affordable – which when you’re making a huge blanket is important! I decided to use the seven Stylecraft blues: Aster, Cloud Blue, Sherbert, Midnight, Royal, Denim and Turquoise.

Having decided on a colour scheme the next part was deciding on a block motif to use. Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks book is an amazing read and source of inspiration. The one that really stuck out for me is the Willow Block. In the book its multicoloured but I opted for a solid colour, and set about making the blocks in the seven colours.
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The pattern is easy to use, though I would have quite liked a diagram version in the book. It is quite an intricate block though, and even with lots of practice it still took about half an hour to make each square! At some point it dawned on me that I’d need to add another block which was simpler and quicker if I was going to get this finished in time. The Lacy Cross block (again from Jan Eaton’s book) was the perfect choice – simple, but that provided a good contrast with the delicate willow squares.

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So I didn’t go completely crazy I split the blanket into quarters and once I had 35 squares I would join them, which provided a nice change and also helped me visualise what the end blanket would look like. To join them I put the blocks wrong sides facing and joined with single crochet in white.

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140 squares later (14×10) and 4 months later, I have finally finished this blanket! Once all the squares were joined I added a simple border of white HDC, grey DC, white HDC and then a HDC round in bright yellow (Stylecraft DK Sunshine). Yellow is the groom’s favourite colour and together with blue and grey it is the colour scheme of their Scottish wedding. The thin yellow band around the outside adds a great pop of colour – I love it! And I managed to finish with 3 weeks to spare! Fingers crossed the future Mr & Mrs Miles love it as much as I do 🙂

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With the border the blanket measures 74″x52″ (using a 3.5mm hook)