Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Crocheted My First Blanket!! (and then took a lot of pictures of it)

two bed-heads under a blanket :)
I finished my first large-scale crochet project!!  It's the car play mat blanket based on this idea and pattern from The Purl Bee.  

I am so proud of myself and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. Every time I wrap up in it (often with a little one tucked in next to me!) I'm cheered by the colors and my accomplishment.  I love this blanket!

For the most part, I followed the instructions offered at the blog post I linked to above.  I only made a few changes.  Firstly, although I would love a yarn budget that would allow for the gorgeous wool used in the original, I settled for soft acrylics (my favorite to work with was Bernat Satin).  This made the blanket very heavy.  It's no bother to me, because I'm always chilly, but if you want to make this blanket and you live in a warmer clime, you may want to consider using a different type of yarn.  The other big change I made was that I put a border around the outside of the entire blanket.  I very much like the look of the finished edges. (It also strengthens the whole blanket by putting a barrier between real life and the "weak" seams where all the squares were joined.) I put three rows of single crochets around the outside.  (I did not turn my work, just joined the rows and continued working around.)  This is getting a bit technical, but just in case one of my readers is seriously thinking about trying this project and you want to know what I did...  While I was crocheting the first row around the edge, I "built up" the "ditches" (?) where the individual squares come together.  At each "ditch" I did a half double, then a double in the very center of the "ditch" and then another half double.  Then I continued on with singles until the next "ditch".   The second and third row I just crocheted singles the entire way around (except at the corners where I ghetto-guessed at the increases I needed to make the turn.  Sorry I can't be more specific.) (check out a mini tutorial on this "ditch filling in" at the end of the post.)

So, you've seen how my kids use this blanket.  Allow me to show you its proper use...

* * * * * *

Here's a quick photo "tutorial" on edges at the "ditches."

the joining "ditch" before I filled it in with the noted stitches
after I filled it in with with a half double crochet - double crochet - half double crochet
continuing on with single crochets
what it looks like after the second row of single crochets was finished 


Like the old song says, "comments are a girl's best friend." Or something like that... So... leave a comment! I love chatting here! Pretend you're on my back porch, kick the broken plastic sandbox toys aside, sip your iced coffee, or beer, or (__fill in the blank with your beverage of choice__) and let's talk about all the things, because back-porch blogging is what I do!

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