Here it is: the last square, number 100 and the final bloom in my Granny Flower Garden blanket.
I felt a bit sad to make it, really; I’ve had such fun whizzing up these little squares in quiet moments that it seemed strange to have finished. That said, the excitement of the next stage awaited.
Here is Row 10, all done and dusted . . .
. . . and here are all ten rows, piled in sequence and labelled. Let construction begin!
Actually, before I could start there were a couple of decisions to make. First, I needed to choose a joining yarn. If I make a reasonable job then the stitches should be more or less invisible from the right side so theoretically any colour would do . . . but obviously not one I needed for the edging. There was the next decision. The Attic 24 pattern I’m loosely following has eight rounds of additional ‘grannying’ plus a pretty lace edging worked over three rows. I don’t think I need that many: this is a baby blanket, and although I don’t want it to be too tiny, I need to keep a sense of proportion. Five rounds, maybe? Six? When it comes to colour choices, part of me thinks a random mix would be in keeping with the spirit of the project, but as soon as I start playing with colours then themes creep in. I love the idea of harmonious shades, like a paint colour card . . .
. . . or maybe I should go all out with eclectic crazy brights?
Oh, I don’t know! I just cannot visualise this part of the blanket so the best thing to do is to join the squares first and take it from there: perhaps inspiration will come when I can see the patchwork assembled and imagine Baby on it.
I have plenty of yarn and that in itself is an issue because what I am not struggling to visualise is another project. Every time I look at my wool basket, I see rainbows. Simple rainbows . . .
. . . and the more deluxe versions.
There has been a whisper in my head for some time now, like a little tune going round and round, that says a Moses basket blanket in rainbow ripples would be just the thing for the Little One. Now I was pretty sure I had more than enough yarn for both blankets, but never having worked ripple stitch I couldn’t be certain, so the sensible thing seemed to be to make a small swatch to calculate how much yarn the second blanket would need. Using this tutorial, I was rippling in no time. Attic 24 Neat Ripple Stitch (These tutorials are totally fabulous, so detailed and clear with excellent photos – I only have myself to blame if things go wrong!) I joined in new colours without fastening off so that I could undo it all again, which is why there are balls of yarn in the photo. Oh wow, this was fun! Those ripples are gorgeous.
However, as I caught myself reaching for a fourth colour, I felt it was time to rein in my exuberance: I’d done more than enough as a gauge and really what was the point of creating more work just to undo it all again? Wasn’t I supposed to be joining squares?
Okay, okay . . . but I was having fun. Mutter, mutter. Measurements taken and maths done, the verdict was yes, plenty of yarn . . . and that dark red was just begging to be the first ripple in my rainbow.
No, no, no! I have been working hard on self-discipline and will power in preparation for running a half marathon and I’m quite pleased with how I’m doing. If I can stick to a training log of running every other day without fail and get through a ‘No Wine Week’ without so much as sniffing a cork, then I can finish one blanket before I start another. Yes, I can. Anyway, I was so far off piste by now, I really needed to get back to the job in hand: creating my patchwork flower garden.
I decided to go for the shrimp yarn as my joining colour; it melds well with the other colours and I don’t want it for anything else. I’ve chosen to join the squares using a crochet slip stitch method – instead of stitching with a tapestry needle – for three reasons. (1) Much as I love messing with wool, I detest sewing bits of it together (2) I think slip stitch is a neat and nifty way to join (3) It preserves a sense of this being a crochet project, rather than crochet with a lot of dull sewing thrown in. Joining Granny squares
I’m joining the squares horizontally first, going straight from one pair to the next (it’s a bit like chain stitching patchwork pieces on a sewing machine), then I’ll do the vertical joins. On the wrong side there is a neat row of chain stitch; on the right side maybe a few visible stitches, but they seem ‘barely there’. The squares aren’t flattened, leaving a little bit of texture which I like.
This is a very calm and gentle activity and I’m working my way methodically across the rows, daydreaming once again.
It’s exciting to see the work taking shape – there’s something in my basket now that is starting to look like a real blanket. Lovely!
Oh, and what’s that lurking in the other basket? Er . . . guess who fell off the blanket wagon? So much for will power! 🙂