Sunday, 10 March 2019

Blankets and baskets


Hello! Everyone ok? I hope you've all had a good weekend. Ours has gone in a blink, I honestly don't know where the last 48 hours went. I feel like I spent most of it cooking or doing washing, which can't be true. I'm sure I slept. Thank you so much for your comments on my last post. I really enjoyed thinking about how time passes on a usual Saturday in our house, and it definitely made me more mindful and present than I normally would be.


Today, I have a few finished projects to share with you. First, the rather beautiful super chunky rainbow blanket, by Lindsay Newns at her blog Lottie and Albert, This blanket has proved popular on social media because it's gorgeous, fast to work up and inexpensive to make. The idea is to use six strands of DK yarn and a 20 mm hook. to create chunky, squishy rows of crochet. 


You begin by winding your six balls of yarn into one huge ball, which you work from, rather than having six bobbing about by your feet, getting all tangled up. 


Then it's just a case of working out how large you want your blanket to be and buying the required amount of yarn. I used twelve balls together to make a blanket that is 70 cm wide by 230 cm long. I deliberately wanted it long and skinny, so that I could use it as a blanket on the sofa, or to throw over the foot of our bed. 


For the six-stranded length of yarn, I used Stylecraft Special DK in the following colours: two strands of Grey and one each of Black, White, Mustard and Raspberry.


The pattern suggested decorating the blanket with pompoms, but I felt these might be a little too tempting to the whippet, so made tassels. I bought a third ball of DK yarn in Grey and made fifteen each for either end of the blanket. 


A bit of an afterthought, those tassels are actually my favourite part now. I was a bit worried about the darkness of the colour combination of the yarn at the start of this project, but now that it's all finished I'm glad I didn't go paler. It's incredibly soft and squishy and has quickly become a sofa favourite. 


Last weekend I got around to doing something I have been meaning to do for about four months - make a fabric liner for our black wire log basket. Unlined, bits of wood are constantly falling out through the gaps of the basket, creating loads of extra mess to be vacuumed up every day, and I have enough of that already. We've been using an old pillowcase safety-pinned to the basket all through the winter as a stop gap, but it just looked so sad and ridiculous that I finally made a liner. As always with my sewing machine, I need to build up to using it, mentally clearing my head as I physically clear the kitchen table. I measured the circumference of the basket top and bottom, and the height, then worked out a pattern in my head including a seam allowance. Miraculously it fitted, and I sewed on some black grosgrain handles to hold it in place.


Because I always do these sorts of things in a rushed, half thought out fashion, I had bought much too much of the linen-cotton blend fabric and there was plenty enough leftover to make a couple of simple pillow-back cushion covers.


The fabric wasn't cheap, but I will always happily pay more for natural fibres over man-made, and I needed the durability linen would provide to this fabric to prevent a sharp piece of wood tearing the liner. It also makes the perfect cushion cover: soft, practical, washable, and the linen giving it that beautifully rumpled look when it's creased.


And look how well they work together! I didn't really think about how they would match - I never think about how anything will match, but just go with it - but the cushions and blanket are firm friends already. 

16 comments:

  1. Well done all your projects, but the blanket is a standout & thanks for the "how to make" info. Wonder how it would go in lots of scraps wound together? The basket lining & cushions also look good & in a pretty pale pink. I love how you decorate & am quite often envious. Have a great week & take care.

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  2. Nicely done, I'm always impressed with how much you create, you use your time wisely I think. The blanket looks deliciously squishy, and beautifully finished with the tassels. And nice job on the liner and cushion covers. I'm a big fan of natural fibres, linen is particularly lovely. CJ xx

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  3. I love, love, love your new blanket! Your beautiful photos really do it justice and the tassels are a perfect addition. Best, Jane :)

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  4. The blanket looks great...6 pieces of yarn as 1 no wonder it looks so thick and luxurious.

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  5. I love the colour combinations and the fact that you hadn't thought them through to begin with and that they just happened - it reminds me of how I went through most of my textile course at Art College just happening on colours combinations and had the most wonderful surprises.
    Do you use natural wool for your blankets or are they Acrylics - I am just getting back into knitting again after a twenty odd years break and all the baby wools seem to be Acrylics.

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    1. I used acrylic DK for this blanket simply because of cost. Wool yarn is just so much more expensive when it's for a big project like this. However, if I am making something smaller for the home or something to wear, then I would definitely choose wool, cotton or linen. :-)

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    2. That is good advice about size and cost. I must say the Acrylic wools are so soft now and I did wonder if they are less itchy for a baby. I bought just as the pattern suggested so I give myself the best possible chance of success!!

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  6. I also love that blanket - the colors are just perfect. I would never have thought to add tassels but they look great. I love the pink pillows added in to your sofa d├ęcor also. Beautiful photos, as usual. You're so talented! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. It looks all really great together, and that pale pink is - for me - THE colour for spring, either alone with grey or combined with other pastels.

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  8. What a lovely colour combination, perfect for your sofa. Looks so inviting. Enjoy

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  9. As usual Gillian, very nice work. Sewing isn't my cup of tea either, but it is a good skill to have when something needs done.

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  10. Would you mind possibly me asking what the patern was you used on the blanket?
    Its such a brilliant idea I'd love to crack on with one myself ASAP

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    1. Hello, yes of course, it's called the Rainbow Blanket and the crochet pattern is available from Etsy:
      https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/494255526/crochet-rainbow-blanket-and-cushion?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1
      There is also a pattern for a knit version of this blanket too.

      Gillian x

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  11. I read years ago that a room will always look well put-together, even if nothing actually 'matches', if put together by the same person. Your home always looks lovely.

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  12. What a brilliant trio of items which do indeed all go really well together. You have been on a roll this week. Don't be afraid of your machine, the more you sew the better it will feel. Jo xxx

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  13. Gorgeous makes... and I love the addition of the tassels

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