Monday, 5 October 2015

Blanket Season

As craft bloggers go - and one who crochets at that - I don't think I'm a very prolific maker of blankets. Since I learnt to crochet three years ago I have made two very small baby blankets which were both given away as gifts, a lightweight cotton throw, and one huge, heavy wool granny squares blanket. That doesn't seem much to me, given all the hours of crochet I must have done over the last three years and so it's with some surprise that I find myself with three blankets on the go at the moment. 

I think I have a bit of a love hate relationship with blankets. They just take so long to make, and I get bored and ignore them in favour of quicker projects like stool covers and wall hangings and scarves, and then of course that makes the blankets take even longer.


I have been working on Bella's zigzag rainbow blanket since Easter, with a long hiatus over the summer when it was too warm to have it on my lap. It is now absolutely enormous. I wanted it to be about the size of a single duvet cover, which it will be, so it can properly cover a single bed. (I can't be doing with too small blankets - more on that later.)

I don't especially love this blanket, but Bella does and that is more important because she chose the colours and pattern and it's for her room. But I'm near the end now, with only four more colours to go, and I have a renewed enthusiasm for the project.


I suspect that when it's finished, blocked, edged and laid out on her bed, I'll really like it.

Also in progress is my Cedar River blanket. Well, I say in progress, it's more like it's on pause at the moment. I haven't touched it in about a month, but I'll get back to it soon, I know I will, because I just adore it.


Everything about those colours and that pattern delights me. I already know that wherever it goes in our house it will look good. But for now it sits tucked up in it's basket, waiting patiently.


And then there is my granny squares blanket, which I kind of think of as my nemesis. Oh, I spent hours on this, and quite a lot of money, but there's no getting away from it: it's just not big enough for our bed.


It looks like a handkerchief, just perched there like that. It makes me so annoyed! I invested all that time and money in the creation of a beautiful thing, and I look at it and all I can think is: It's too small. 


It's been draped over the back of a chair in the living room for months where it looks nice but I feel that it's wasted there, it's not serving it's intended purpose. I made it for a bed, and for a bed it will be. I just need to increase the border by six or eight rows, then I think it might just be big enough. 



I've bought eight more balls of the off-white and two of the black. I had such trouble finding the exact yarn (Rowan Pure Wool DK) as I think it's perhaps being discontinued and replaced with the Pure Wool Superwash DK, but I managed to get some from eBay. Good old eBay.

And with all this blanket activity, my yarny corner of the living room is starting to get out of hand. Even John - who rarely moans about things like this, lovely man that he is - suggested that it might be taking over the floor slightly, not to mention blocking any heat from that radiator.


What started off as a stylish basket of yarn next to an armchair has morphed into a big pile of half finished woolly projects. But it's ok. In fact, it actually makes me happy. It doesn't matter when the blankets get finished because, as with so many crafty pursuits, it's as much about the process and the journey as the finished item. 


I'm joining in with my friend Jennifer's Winter Project Link Party, an opportunity for bloggers to share our crafting, our makes and our WIPs during the colder months. Do go and look at her beautiful blog if you don't already know it.

46 comments:

Jennifer said...

Oh, thank you for joining in and for saying such lovely things about my blog. I always enjoy your crochet projects, Gillian. They seem so neat and tidy to me, like very skilled crochet should seem. I love the blanket you made for Bella, it's so perfectly little-girl, like she'll look back on it someday and see her eight-year-old self in it. Your bed blanket is just gorgeous and I feel for you because of the size. I did the same thing with the first blanket I made for our bed, a giant granny square, and now I want to make a new one that will be enormous. I think your plan for expanding the border is a good one, it should help a lot and it will be very dramatic-looking with the black added. Your projects are lovely as usual and I'm looking forward to seeing more this winter.

CJ said...

Lovely blanketyness Gillian. The Cedar River blanket is going to be really striking, it's fantastic. I'm knitting a blanket for my littlest boy at the moment, I really must take a photo or two. Like you, I need it to be a proper size. CJ xx

Caroline said...

LOL!! My John says the exact same words to me...... I think your lovely curated stash of yarny goodness looks inviting and cozy. Just right ;-)

Amy at love made my home said...

You have some great things underway! I do like a large blanket myself! xx

the linen cloud said...

So much beautiful woolly goodness Gillian. I love them all! I can just imagine you cosied up crocheting away the hours in your armchair. Bee xx

kathy b said...

It came out just beautiful! I am making a leftover sock yarn blanket...it seems to be taking forever!

Gracie Saylor said...

Each of the blankets in this post is uniquely stunning to me, Gillian. I admire your beautiful hard work and feel encouraged to get on with my projects as well because of your good examples. I appreciate your observation, "...it's as much about the process and the journey as the finished item." Thanks for posting and joining the party celebration :) xx

Lilly's Mom said...

Wow! I'm so impressed with the beautiful items you have created especially since you just learn to crochet three years ago! Your blankets are truly stunning. The colors you have chosen are so complimentary. I hope you can add to the lovely granny square blanket. It's really very pretty. Sending you good wishes from southern California :)

VeggieMummy said...

What a lot of blankety goodness. I love all of them and I'm sure that when you've increased the border, your granny square blanket will look just perfect in its intended position. I'm also glad that I'm not the only one with a corner of excessive craft baskets! xx

Ladybird Diaries said...

All beautiful blankets Gillian. I have a bit of a blanket making obsession myself :-) I especially love the one you are making for Bella...just gorgeous.
Marianne x

Sarah said...

Strange, I had a dream about crochet blankets last night. Buying them as opposed to making - crochet is something I can't do, try as I might.
I know what you mean about just seeing the blanket as too small rather than the lovely thing it is. Things like that bother me too. I hope you're happy with the result once you've made it a bit bigger.
As for all your woolly stuff, perhaps it's a good excuse to look out for an old trunk or blanket box :)
S x

Emm.A said...

I love making blankets. I've crocheted three blankets so far and I also started to crochet about three years ago. I would really love to make a colorful ripple blanket (Attic 24 style!) but right now I'm really into Amigurumi and I don't have the time to make a blanket. But I might start one after christmas!
And I really LOVE the Cedar River blanket! The pattern is so fresh and individual and it looks gorgeous on a finished blanket!

Librarian said...

It must indeed be somewhat annoying, having spent so much time (and money) on the beautiful work of your own hands and then discover that it is too small... But I am sure you'll make it the right size eventually. As for the wool corner, I would be less worried about anything blocking the heat from the radiator and more about something too close to the radiator actually starting to smoulder and cause a house fire... Things like that do happen, and I am always VERY careful not to have anything in front of the radiators in my flat.
I am sure I've said it before, but I so love the yellow duvet covers and pillow cases in your bedroom! They'd look perfect in my bedroom, too :-)

Susan Smith said...

I think all your blankets are lovely and am looking forward to the WIP's as finished pieces. I have the Spice of Life cal on the go at the moment. I'm just watching evening new and we have around 100 fires burning around Victoria, as we've had the 2 hottest October days since records began. It's scary and I'm not looking forward to summer at all this year. We've had very little rain this winter. Take care.

Gillian Roe said...

Good advice. But I'd be ecstatic if any of the radiators in this house actually got hot enough to heat a room nicely, never mind start a fire. ;-)

Gillian said...

Your blankets are lovely and I especially like the Cedar River one. The colours are beautiful. It's so annoying about the granny squares blanket being a bit too small. Increasing the border should really help. I try to keep only the project I'm working on beside the sofa in the living room. But then, as I usually end up working on several things, the pile gets bigger and bigger. Of course, when a project is finished, I should really take the left over yarn and store it away neatly with the rest of my stash but all I want to do is get on with the next project! Eventually is all gets sorted out.

Christina said...

I made a blanket for my daughter, I didn't like the colours or the pattern but she loves loves loves it. The blanket you are making for Bella is looking great and even if you are not enjoying it much, her delight will be well worth the effort. The other two blankets are gorgeous, too. I am well impressed that you have three on the go! xx

Anonymous said...

What I'd really like is a cafe down the road where you all gather, knitting your blankets, so I could come along and learn how to do it. I think I'm going to have to teach myself to crochet... I absolutely love your granny squares blanket – the colours are brilliant. In fact all your blankets are lovely, regardless of size issues.

Debdor said...

I feel your pain with the too small blanket, from experience I would say you need to either frog the edging and add more squares sooner rather than later, or it will sit in the basket of doom... ( I have such a place ) It is gorgeous and worth it...

Ali McDonough said...

Love them all, but holy moly I LOVE the Cedar River one!
ali
www.simplysummerstreet.wordpress.com

Annie Cholewa said...

I've just caught up with your last few posts - I like butter thick enough to leave teeth marks in too, but I'm not sure my arteries do! - and now am admiring your blankets ... I honestly don't think I'd have the staying power for one, even if I could crochet. And your Cedar River has to be my favourite too ... I am so going to have blanket envy when that one's done, not sure I'll envy you all the hand ache it took you to get there though!

Marion Ogden said...

I love all three blankets, all the colours are just gorgeous. Adding more rows round your granny square blanket is a great idea. I think if the edges can go over the sides of the bed even for just a few inches it will make such a big difference. X

Jo said...

Three beautiful projects, and you're well under way with them all. It's so disappointing to invest money as well as so much time in to a blanket not to love it when it's finished. I think adding to the border is a great idea though and I bet you'll have a totally different view of it once it's big enough to serve it's purpose. I think all your projects are fabulous. I'm joining in with Jennifer's link party too, it's a great idea.

Michelle makes and bakes said...

Love the blankets, I have just started doing blankets and I have to say really enjoying it, I just love the granny square blanketx

Clare said...

Lovely blanketiness, I'm another culprit with at least two on the go at the moment, the only blanket I have ever finished has been a baby one. They are lovely to workon though this time of year I always tend to pick them up when autumn begins
Clare x

Jenn M said...

Oh! The space beside my chair looks exactly the same way, only with an old apple basket! I just love it though - it's my basket of happy I say; filled with a blanket in progress, some autumnal shades of yarn and the makings of a tea cozy. Good luck with your blankets: I think a wider edge on your granny square will work out and look great.
Happy Days,
Jenn

Life With The Crew said...

Wow Gillian - this is quite the impressive blanket display. I can't imagine how much time you have invested in them! (Maybe you don't want to think about it...) And they are all lovely, despite being not done yet or too small for your bed. You should feel proud that you can make such lovely handmade items that are practical and beautiful. My favorite is the one for your bed - so bright and cheery.

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

I'm a huge blanket maker. I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure why they always end up being so darn big too. I do have to be very regimented when I make them. I set myself a personal challenge of so much per day. That way, it sort of stays fun for me (though I guess it wouldn't be for everybody), and I can get them done in a reasonable amount of time then. I'm currently almost finished one that is nearly all plain. I was worried I'd get so bored, but I have so enjoyed the whole process. Again, it's turned out HUGE. Seriously, I need to curb my sizing.

I adore your Cedar Blanket. I love the colours you put together. They are not colours I naturally gravitate towards, but I always UTTERLY love them when I see how you've put them together. I'm always so fascinated by how people group their colours together.

xxxxxxx

p.s ....and as for yarn pile ups.......let's not even go there!

Katie said...

Love the colours in all of those blankets, and it has got to be worth returning to that granny squares one, what a sense of achievement when it is big enough!!

Sarah said...

This was such a cosy post to read during a tea break! Good for you for biting the bullet and tracking down the extra yarn for the granny squares blanket. With your designer's eye it's going to look so smart and dramatic and have the drape factor. I made Alicia's sunshine day cot blanket last winter using merino wool so I know how costly pure wool blankets can be. That said I'm still using a pure wool crochet blanket my mum made for my first freezing house in 1985 so perhaps I should say what excellent value they are rather than costly! I'm currently crocheting a couple of stool covers. Now I wonder who gave me that idea?!

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I'm not at all sure that I'd ever have the patience to finish a large blanket! I think I am content to be a scarf girl for now. I also can't believe that you only started to crochet three years ago! I am inspired and humbled.
Leanne xx

Pati from London said...

I have had half a blanket waiting for me to finish for the past two years and it is getting to the point that I feel it's calling me now... In fact, I have soooo many projects on the go that I'm getting a bit stressed. I feel I need to try and finish them as this situation is preventing me from starting new things I want to make.....and the yarn is seriously piling up.... Your blankets are lovely. The one I'm making is similar to your last one....:-)
Have a great rest of the week, Pati xx

Caz.P. said...

oh, I love it. Someone who has as much stuff down the side of the chair as me ! I have 2 cardi's and a poncho...oh dear I seem to have started a Lady Kina (free from Ravelry) cardi now ! ha ha.I do finish things ,usually when I want to wear them.

Caz.P. said...

by the way Gillian, when you add a bit more to bed blanket ,take into account the extra weight pulling down the sides. You really just need enough to curl over the edges. ( I made that mistake and had to pull some back )

mags said...

Love them all and glad you are going to be able to rectify your blanket, far too gorgeous to just be on the back of a chair. Xx

Cecily Graham said...

As an avid knitter, I've been saving all my leftover bits of wool for ages, specifically to make a granny squares blanket like the one on your bed. One of the first posts I read on your blog was about that blanket, and I think it's lovely. You have a great eye for colour. And I know what you mean by saying your pile of wool makes you happy - it's a promise of all the good crafting time to come. Now I just need to learn to crochet!

Sharon - creativity and family said...

I love, love blankets! Those few rows of border should work well. I am glad I am not the only one with piles by my armchair :-) I do get the occasional Hubby comment but usually he is very tolerant too. x

mamasmercantile said...

Just popped over from Jennifer's link up, you certainly have three stunning projects on the go. I am looking forward to watching your progress.

Mereknits said...

For someone who does not love making blankets the ones you have made are incredible. I love them all and the blanket you feel is to small for your bed would be perfect with a wider border as you say or just to be placed over the back of the sofa for a cool Winter evening. I am joining in with Jennifer myself and intend on making some sweaters.
Hugs,
Meredith

Jan Doling said...

I am so pleased that someone else has a corner of their room piled up with yarny projects, mine is definitely taking over and I really must get it sorted. Your blankets look amazing and I am sure you will be pleased with your granny square blanket once you have extended the border. xx

Jo said...

I am on a bit of a yarny crusade with a blanket too at the moment. I am willing you on to finish Bella's, so near and yet so far. Come on woman!!! (Lots of cheering) Jo x

Miss said...

I just undo and redo a blanket for my winter project party as I made a blanket a little too small!!! I totally understand you about time and money when making a blanket!!
But all your blanket (even if it is small!) are beautiful and perfect to me!!
I will follow your winter project party as I joined the party!
Have a great day,
Miss

Alison said...

I'm sure a few extra rounds on the granny square blanket will save the day. Bella's blanket is looking good, not long to go now :-) I think the yarny pile by the radiator makes it look like you mean business! xx

Anne Schueler said...

All these blankets look wonderful!

I have two wip blankets sitting in the corner at the moment as I needed to work on something which works up quicker...

Take care
Anne
Crochet Between Worlds

cassie said...

I've yet to knit a blanket, although I've sewn a few. I love your Ferm Living basket and am looking forward to the days when I can keep a basket of yarn on the floor and it won't get pawed through and unraveled by small hands. I love the colors in your Cedar River blanket! Perfection!

Penny said...

Hi Gillian, I just left a comment but it seemed to disappear, so apologies if it reappears and I leave two comments! The blanket you are making for your daughter is really beautiful, and although it may not be the colours and pattern you would have chosen, she will be thrilled! I know what you mean about the blanket on your bed. After all the time, effort, and money, it would really annoy me too if it wasn't the right size. Your idea for a border will must finish it off perfectly, then instead of sighing with exasperation every time you see it, you will sigh with satisfaction! X