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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baby blanket bingo

It seems that everybody I know is getting ready to welcome a new life into the world. So over the past month, I've had to step up my crochet game. Last year, I finished one blanket and it turned out lovely, but the color switching really slowed me down. With due dates each approximately one month apart, I don't have that kind of time this year. So, I chose...efficiently (last year, I chose...poorly. Anyone else been re-watching Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade?)

Choosing simpler patterns is good news for my friends, who will hopefully each get the blankets within one month of birth (I figure if people have up to a year to give a wedding gift, a month  is acceptable for a baby gift). It's bad news for my yarn stash, which hasn't shrunk at all due to the fact that I am terrible at buying enough single-color yarn to make anything of reasonable size (usually I buy yarn that's on clearance - aka, not much of it - plus I am a magpie, so I am easily distracted by crazy-colored variegated yarn).

For the first blanket, which I finished last week (for the record: four days before the due date and two days before the actual birth - which would be perfect except it needed to be shipped to the US), I chose a lovely bright green yarn by Lang Yarns that is a mixture of silk, rayon, and nylon. So soft. And it can be machine washed (delicate cycle). I chose a white border and then, because I have issues, bought a multicolor yarn to spruce up the edging. I used this pretty, super easy pattern and modified the border to widen it some and incorporate the third color.

I may have delayed sending it off because I entertained thoughts of keeping it for myself (despite the lack of babies in our house).
 I was worried it would be boring, but I think it turned out absolutely lovely, although I didn't manage to finish an owl motif I originally wanted to put on it. I'm so pleased - my crocheting has definitely improved since the last blanket, so I didn't have to use the border to hide any issues.

Close-up of the border. I might finally be learning how to make colors work together!
I'm now working on another blanket that I hope to accompany with an adorable amigurumi elephant (my first attempt at amigurumi, so the blanket may have to stand on its own if things go south). I'm using this lovely, very simple pattern. The yarn is also another silk blend (with cotton & viscose) - this time made by Maddison, a yarn company that seems to mainly do yarns for the Swiss department store Manor, which - unfortunately - means that most of their yarns are not on Ravelry.

Silver for the blanket border (and elephant), maroon for the body (and elephant ears).

Does that look like an elephant body? No? Trunk is forthcoming, that should help.
As you can see, I haven't been opting for traditional baby colors - both mothers don't seem very big on the blue/pink dichotomy, but I also figure that they can pick up a blanket in those colors easily if they so desire, so I wanted to make something a bit different.

It's not really this pink, I promise.
So far, so good - I've been toting the blanket everywhere with me and crocheting on the tram, while waiting for (and sometimes during) meetings, even during lunch. I may look crazy to those around me, but I'm halfway through my third (out of 5) yarn balls for the body, and I still have 17 days before the baby shower!

3 comments:

  1. Ooh, lovely blankets. And that Maddison yarn looks great – I can see I'm going to have to visit Manor!

    Will you forgive me giving my own (free) pattern a punt? Gecko blankie is really good for stashbusting...
    http://www.petitepurls.com/Spring10/spring2010_cgecko.html

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    1. Thanks! I've found Manor is great for yarn for presents - it doesn't have any super special types or hand-dyed, but it is all reasonably priced (I save my handmade/dyed stuff for smaller, personal projects).
      I love your pattern! I just looked it up on Ravelry and it was already in my favorites, but I had no idea it was yours! Your colors complement the pattern so well - I feel like I often screw up my color choices, so it's something I'm trying to focus on.

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  2. Oh, I'm so chuffed you'd already faved Gecko. :-) Just keep playing around with colour. It should be fun. And if in doubt remember Kaffe Fassett's rule: "If it's not working, add another colour."

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