My Coast blanket is finished and I am soooooooooo happy with it. 🙂 It is soft and ripply and colourful and gorgeous and I just want to wrap myself up in it – which, given the current weather, would be a pretty unintelligent thing to do. In fact, I really wanted to rush it down to the beach for another Attic 24-esque photo shoot but given it is the height of the holiday season here and there are a lot of happy people trying to go about their beachy business in peace, I thought maybe that would be a step too far along the Mad Englishwoman path. So, I went to the beach for a cooling swim and left the blanket relaxing in the dappled shade of a walnut tree instead.
Now I know it’s unlikely that anyone out there is counting the ripples in the photo but it’s just possible that someone in the know might want to point out that the pattern calls for 84 ripples and I’ve only done 66. Um, yes. Confession time. I’ve been having such a lot of fun in recent months immersed in my second go at crochet that it wasn’t until I needed to sit and follow instructions to the letter for the first bower bird that I realised I have been doing my treble stitch all wrong. Somehow I manage to put an extra stage into it and I’ve been doing this forever. I know there’s a difference between UK and US crochet terms so I wondered if maybe I’ve been a secret American all my life? Well, no I haven’t because I can’t find this particular stitch anywhere masquerading under any nationality: it’s not a treble or a double treble or a treble double or a treble treble or any combination of the above . . . so I’ve decided to call it my Trouble Stitch.
By the time I made this somewhat alarming discovery, I had already worked several ripples of Trouble and wasn’t inclined to undo them so on I went; given that the stitch stands an extra loop taller than UK treble, it only took 66 ripples to reach the required length of 180cm, hence the missing few. Never mind, I’ve lived and learned and at least I can feel like I’ve put my own little stamp on the blanket – even if it is one born out of confusion!
So what now? Well, time to get cracking on the patchwork blanket I dreamt up when weeding leeks some weeks ago. I’ve ummed and aahed a bit over this, especially when I discovered there was a pile of Parma Violet left and thought maybe I should use it for a joining colour as in the Harmony blanket . . . but no, I decided to stick with my original plan and joint the colours directly. The only change I’ve made is to back off from the all-in-eclectic-mix-of-every-colour idea: I know, I know, I’m being a bit of a wimp with that one but when I saw that the vast majority of the colours I had left were blues, greens, purples and neutrals, those reds and golds and screaming pinks (plus grey and khaki) just begged to be left out. I did manage to stop myself going down the colourwash mood blanket route, tempting though that was, and so I am having great fun pulling balls out of my basket and whizzing up the little squares.
Having weighed and measured, the maths tells me there should be enough yarn for 160 squares, putting aside enough to work six or seven rounds of border. I’m going to err on the side of caution and aim for 15 x 10 squares to start: I can always add a 16th strip if there is definitely enough yarn left. This is such a lovely, gentle activity, requiring next to no concentration and so easy to pick up and put down in odd moments.
Unlike my next project in the pipeline . . .
Just look at this yarn, isn’t it beautiful?
This is Manos del Uruguay lace, a gorgeous luxurious blend of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere. Cashmere! Wow, I’ve never worn it in my life so I’m feeling a bit decadent to say the least. I have never spent so much money on two skeins of yarn either, but this project – my summer wedding shawl – is going to be a very special one so I think it’s justified. In my opinion, this yarn has a lot going for it: not just the obvious fact that it’s 100% natural fibres but also because it brings economic and social benefits to rural artisan women, too. The yarns are hand-dyed in large kettles and no two skeins are the same; the colour choices are rich and beautiful and I was very torn when choosing but in the end went for ‘Nixie’ which sings of summer skies and meadows to me. In fact, the photos really don’t do it justice because there are gorgeous strands of yellow and lilac marbling the blues and greens.
Oh, it is exquisite! I have a shawl pattern designed specifically for this yarn (I’m taking no chances) and I have invested in a 3.5mm circular needle with shiny brass tips . . . so all I need now is the courage to start. Ah, there’s no rush, surely? At the moment I’m a very happy little bunny just gazing at the yarn and stroking those soft silky skeins. 🙂