Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Big Blanket

Something happened the other day, something that hasn't happened for a long time. I was projectless. Not for long, I will quickly add, but for a brief window in my life, I was projectless.
A couple of my larger projects have been finished and sent to their new homes, including one very large one. Introducing the massively enormous patchwork blanket, a present for my Auntie and Uncle on their silver wedding anniversary.

I started this just after I finished Little P's mini patchwork blanket, so maybe back in March I think, and finished it a few days before the day it was due - so it was a mammoth project, 5 months in the making! It was more of an 'evening project', one for when Little P had gone to bed and I could watch TV and crochet square after square, joining as I went along.
I based it on Attic24's Patchwork Granny Blanket. It is made up of 144 six-round granny squares (my calculation told me that was nearly 20000 double crochet stitches alone!) and then finished off with a calming border - 7 rounds of 'grannying' and then a round of moss stitch (in purple to give 'dotted' effect) before finishing with a round of bobble shells (see Attic24 tutorial).

I forgot to measure if, but it must be at least 180cm x 180cm. It consumed an enormous amount of yarn - Stylecraft Special DK - in loads of colours! I machine washed it before giving it to my Auntie and Uncle, and was so nervous hoping it would come out in one piece, and not just a jumble of wool! It was greatly received and I was a bit sad to see it leave, as it had been a labour of love for so long! I guess I'll just have to start another blanket, as I feel a bit lost without one on the go! Just look at that feast of colour...

Yesterday was the 3rd Birthday of my little niece, so of course I had to make a little something for her. Just like her cousin, Little P, she is all girly and pink and fluffy, so I thought I would make something pink. I decided on a monkey, using the 'Monkey Girl' pattern by Lilleliis. I changed it a bit to fit with my colour scheme, and adapted the face a bit, but the general shape followed that pattern. I used Rico Creative Cotton Aran as it's super soft and bright - great for chunkier toys...

Here she is having a photo shoot in the garden (ignore the weeds! No time for weeding at the moment!)

Whilst making her, I had an idea for my own design monkey - and more animals, maybe a series - so watch this space for a new creation!

After finishing the monkey, and catching up with a couple of other bits, I actually had to think of something to crochet. I had an empty list of my phone to-do app - first time in a long, long, time. I had caught up after all the babies, birthdays and anniversaries. What to do?
It didn't take long before I rediscovered the bag of Hooplayarn I had picked up at last Autumn's Knitting and Stitching Show at the Ally Pally (read my post here). I had bought loads of odds and ends in a variety of colours, with the plan of making a rug. I had visions of a small, round rug, but never really got on with it. Now was the perfect time to start, and with my recent love of mandalas, it seemed like a great opportunity to make a really big one.
I started my research, but it didn't take long to find inspiration. I wanted to keep the pattern fairly simple, and let the colours do the work - although I didn't want just round after round of double crochets. I discovered that one of my fave bloggers, A Creative Being, had in fact designed just what I was looking for, and had a free pattern - brilliant!
I set to work with my Hooplayarn and a 15mm hook. It was a struggle at first, but I soon got into the rhythm of working with such massive yarn.

It worked up fairly quickly, but I soon realised my odds and ends wouldn't go that far. In fact, I've now ground to a halt, and have ordered some more Hooplayarn to get me going again. Hooplayarn are exhibiting at Yarndale in a few weeks time, and I'm hoping I can get some more odds and ends then! I love it so far though...

mmm.... colour...I hope the new bobbins hurry up and arrive so I can continue with it!
Now I'm a bit stuck again for projects... maybe I will have a play with that monkey design?! Until net time...


  1. hello!!! I love all your crochet stuff you've created!! you're so talented! i have a quick question on your rectangle monkey is there any way you could tell me the pattern you use for the just the body? Ive searched endlessly hours and hours to find a pattern that gives me that same rectangle shape and I found nothing! Im trying to create something for my daughter that calls for that same body shape. Please help! (:
    thank you loads!

    1. hi, thanks for your kind comments :) I am planning to write up the little monkey pattern properly, but I have some scribbly notes that I hope will help you! I used worsted/aran weight yarn and a 4mm hook and the rectangle part is about 3in x 5in. Note that the end you make first with the chain is the 'neater end' so I used this as the top of the monkey and hid the not so tidy join underneath!
      Firstly, chain as long as you want the width to be (mine was 13)and sc in 2nd chain from hook. then 2sc in next chain. sc in next 8. 2sc in net stitch, sc in last. turn and work on reverse of chain, do exactly the same - sc, 2sc, sc in next 8, 2sc, sc in last. (28)
      I worked in a spiral so didn't join the round but kept going with the same pattern.
      Row 2 (sc, 2sc, sc in next 10, 2sc, sc) x2 (32)
      Row 3 (sc, 2sc, sc in next 12, 2sc, sc) x2 (36)
      Row 4-26 sc around (36)
      Row 27 (sc, sc2tog,sc in next 12, sc2tog, sc) x2 (32)
      Row 28 (sc, sc2tog,sc in next 10, sc2tog, sc) x2 (28)
      Row 29 (sc, sc2tog,sc in next 8, sc2tog, sc) x2 (24)
      fasten off with a long tail and stitch closed (I stitched the legs in when closing up the end of the rectangle)

      To make the rectangle 'fatter' just add more increase rounds! hope this helps, let me know how you get on and I'd love to see what you are making too!

    2. thank you so much!! you are too kind ! ill get started on my project asap and try to finsh soon hopefully (being a mother of a 1 year old life always tends to interupt (: ) ill post pic when im done

      dannie (: