How to make a blanket-ish
I popped into the shop a couple of weeks back. Wendy mentioned that a customer had made enquiries after a blanket I had made: she had seen it on Instagram and wondered was there, perchance, a kit one could buy, in order to replicate said blanket? Was the designer (er, me) perhaps doing a Crochet-Along she could join?
How exciting. And what a compliment. I wish that I did have a kit to offer her, or a Crochet-Along to join! Alas, I’m no designer and would struggle to create a pattern coherent enough for people to be able to follow and end up with an accurate replica. However, should you want to make something vaguely similar, I can probably give you a recipe of sorts. At least I can try…
Step 1 : Pinterest around a bit to decide what kind of style you like (or just study these blog photos intently). Do you want something like this?
Then read on, friend, read on.
Step 2 : Gather a few balls of wool (extract balls from shelves/stash using eyes and heart and pop them next to one another to see what happens). Mine were all from a little place called Cast off Collective. I used WOOLganic 8 ply soft stuff, Cleckheaton Country 8 ply and Millpost Merino 8 ply (hello, year of Aussie wool).
As my stylist would say, is nice, yes?
This was my starter pack, of sorts, just to try out colours and see which might work in the blanket. Had no idea I would use them all (and more).
Step 3 : Select crochet hook. For me, it was my favourite 4mm purple Clover Amour – comfy enough to use for hours. I did not swatch for tension. Too excited, wanted to start, wanted to use purple hook. The finished blanket is too big and heavy to wash anyway, so…
Step 4 : Get book of crochet square patterns (I used Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans) and/or mosey around on internet.
Step 5 : Invent some squares yourself, because why not. I started off using one flower pattern, wasn’t keen on the middle, found another, wasn’t keen on the outer round, blah blah. Ended up mashing a few patterns and adding extra bits to get something I loved.
Something I loved. Eventually.
Steps 6, 7, 8, 9… Join. Crochet. Return to wool shop for more wool. Crochet. Join. Do rounds of granny stitch as often as you feel the need. Repeat until massive blanket.
I added some bobbly rounds, little squares, big squares, a few new stitches and lots and lots of Aussie wool!
I’ve never been much cop at putting together colours, so just kept experimenting (and buying more colours), and the experiments kept ending up in the final dish, which was handy. This was an exercise in freedom and relaxation (top tip: nobody cares what you are doing, so just do what you want).
Do what you want.
Top tips/lessons learned
- About the wool:
* The Woolganic is so soft.
* The Millpost Merino looks classy.
* The Cleckheaton Country is a dark horse and should not be overlooked. Colours, colours.
- Wool doesn’t always have to be hand-dyed, multicoloured or come in a skein – a ball (or 70) of solid colour is very reassuring and feels grounding or something.
- Do not overthink your woolly projects: just enjoy them.
- No need to be scared of colour – I told myself pretty much every square/round was an experiment I could rip out, and even deliberately paired colours I expected to clash hideously. Most of the time it worked and I added them into the blanket. NO-ONE CARES. (Honestly, acknowledging how little it matters is very freeing. Shove the colours together. Plonk an anomalous square in. As if anyone is going to say anything.)
- Accept that by the end of the project you will have come across something completely different that you love and will now have to start another blanket. Welcome to crafting.