Just in time for this mild autumnal weather, I have finished the cotton blanket I started last summer on holiday in Devon. I didn't like it a lot to begin with, and put it to one side for a good nine months before picking it up again last June to start work on again. I must have needed the break, for when I looked at it again, and looked at the yarn I had chosen, I remembered what I had wanted to do with it and why I started the project in the first place.
This blanket was inspired by the much-photographed tiled wall of Sugarhouse Studios in London. I have never been, but had seen a few photos online and loved the diamond shaped tiles in their muted pastels, with the swathes of colour that seem to move across the diagonal grid.
Struggling as I always do to think of imaginative names for the projects I complete, I asked people on Instagram to suggest a name for this blanket, and the results were just amazing: Brilliant Butterscotch, Summer Sorbet, Ice Cream Dream, Summer Daze, Summer's End, Patchwork Summer, Summer Dream, Sweet Summer Haze, Sundae, Tutti Frutti, Wine Gums, Raspberry Ripple, Forget-me-not, Indian Summer, Gelatto Potpourri, Summer Sundae, Fading Flowers, Summer Meadow, Wildflower, Fading Glory, Last Blooms of Summer, Pumpkins and Pear Drops, Essence of Summer, Ice Cream and Faded Flowers, and the wonderful Two Scoops in Paris, which sounded like a great name for a novel.
I love how all these names picked up on the themes of ice cream, confectionery and summer blooms, but also the transition from late summer into early autumn. That time of year when there is colour everywhere, but it's softening and fading as cooler weather takes hold. That's what I wanted from this blanket: all the joy and memories of a good summer - the wildflowers, ice creams, days at the beach, blue skies, sunsets - keeping me warm both literally and figuratively. In the end I went for "Sugarhouse Blanket", which was what I referred to it in my head the whole time I was making it.
I used a standard Granny Square pattern throughout, but opted to set the whole blanket on the diagonal, just like the tiled studio wall. I filled in the sides with half Granny Squares, so that I had straight edges for the border.
I used the join-as-you-go method which I think worked well here. It definitely stopped the blanket looking overly balanced or perfect, as you can't lay out all your squares at the end and move them around, and helped the random feel I was aiming for. Also, along with the single-colour squares, it meant I had significantly fewer ends to darn in, always a good thing!
The border is very simple, just three rows of double crochet (UK terms) in white, nice and crisp. I'm not a fan of a fussy blanket border, it's just not for me. In fact I think this barely qualifies as a border, it's so thin - perhaps it's more of an "edge".
I used a 5 mm hook and Drops Paris cotton yarn in the following colours:
17 Off White
26 Dark Beige
57 Light Light Pink
20 Light Pink
28 Powder Pink
60 Dark Old Pink
21 Light Mint Green
25 Moss Green
29 Light Ice Blue
101 Light Blue
23 Light Grey
I haven't measured it, but it's big enough to drape a little over the sides of a king sized bed.
I'm not sure how many more weeks I'll want a cotton throw on our bed. I may swap it for a thicker woollen blanket soon, or I'll add the winter duvet - it depends how much longer it stays mild for. Already we've had the odd evening where we've switched the heating on for a couple of hours, although we've yet to light a fire. But I know that I'll be overjoyed to unpack this beauty next spring and enjoy using it in the warmer months.