As someone who finds great pleasure and satisfaction in hooking a variety of yarns into pretty, colourful shapes a baby means one thing – baby blankets! (By the way, apologies for the wrinkled bedding. I do not iron, especially not sheets!)
After an initial dabble into oh-so-cute crochet bootie production I quickly realised that I was not interested in creating baby clothing. For those of you who may be, this pattern came from a rather delightful book called ‘Cute & Easy Crochet’ by Nicki Trench. It is a gorgeous book full of wonderful hooky products, although I admit I spend more time gazing at the scrumminess within than actually creating the products. Adorable as this bootie is, it still does not have a pair. I just spent the rest of my pregnancy staring at it and exclaiming ‘awwwww’!
It was definitely blankets that I was interested in. I had a yearning to wrap my little one in soft, colourful drapes that I had created myself. Work, Ofsted and pregnancy lethargy did not leave time for mass production but the arrival of maternity leave gave me the opportunity to put ideas into action.
The lovely Heather of Little Tin Bird was in the middle of one of her baby blanket phases, whipping up a trio of woolly delights for her friends who were expecting. Unfortunately I cannot compete with her incredible hooking speed so I had to choose one design to attempt. As soon as I saw it I fell in love with her gorgeous Elmer blanket. Afterall, what better inspiration for people who love colour than Elmer?
This blanket is made up of solid granny squares crocheted together at the end (Heather has written a wonderful tutorial here if you fancy whipping up some colourful blocks yourself). The dense nature of these blocks has proved to be useful as it helps prevent busy little fingers and toes getting caught.
Having collected quite a healthy stash of Stylecraft Special DK, I chose 12 colours and created 6 blocks of each. As each square is a single colour, this blanket is relatively quick and easy with minimal colour changing and weaving in of ends. Perfect!
Once a pile of rainbow coloured squares had accumulated I laid them out, trying to spread the colours evenly, and photographed the final design for reference.
I have never crocheted blocks together before but found the process of whizzing along the edges very theraputic. Lucy of Attic 24 has a superb tutorial for Joining Granny Squares, clear and concise as always, which made the process simple and stress free. I chose to copy Heather’s idea of using the bright red to join. This is mainly visible from the back but I love the way the vibrant colour peeks through at the corners.
I think that this blanket’s overall charm is its simplicity. The blocks of unfussy, solid colour are so effective that I did not want the border to detract from this so I chose to keep the edging simple with a row of UK treble crochet followed by a row of double crochet. Unfortunately, I misjudged the number of stitches needed and inexperience meant that I did not spot the problem until I had almost finished the second row. Bowing to pressure from others I left it as it was but it still niggles everytime I look at those crinkly edges. Ah well, live and learn!
However, when I just look at the colours it makes me smile. And of course, most importantly, the blanket being put to good use.
This was my first completed crochet blanket and I admit, I LOVE it! So let’s indulge in a bit more blanket loving. It looks good with spots…
The baby I made snuggling into the blanket I made. Awww!
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK
1065 : meadow
1316 : spring green
1003 : aster
1019 : cloud blue
1068 : turquoise
1188 : lavender
1034 : sherbert
1061 : plum
1390 : clematis
1132 : shrimp
1246 : lipstick
1081 : saffron
1020 : lemon
1246 : lipstick (border)
Hook: 4mm (G)
Pattern: Little Tin Bird’s Solid Granny/Elmer Squares
Size: 90 x 60 cm (12 x 8 squares)
Edging: UK tr, UK dc