Crochet finished! The blanket is blocking now, once it dries - which might take a couple of days in this weather - I’ll weave in the last few ends and treat it to a photo shoot.
For the record, the rows I put in between each ‘strip’ of joined-at-the-corner motifs were:
- hdc in back loops (cream)
- sc in back loops (beige)
- dc in back loops (cream)
And my border rounds were:
- dc in back loops (cream) - not in every stitch, just enough to make it lie flat, which was approximately 3 dc for every 4 stitches
- *dc, ch 3, skip two stitches* (brown)
- *dc into space, chain 3* (dark grey)
- *dc into space, chain 3* (pale pink)
- *dc into space, chain 3* (medium pink)
- *dc into space, chain 3* (dark blue)
- *dc into space, chain 3* (cream)
- 3 hdc in each space (cream)
- *sc, ch 1, skip one stitch* (brown)
- *(2dc, ch 1, 2dc) into space, ch 1* using smaller hook (cream)
With a burst of speed, the joining is all done, and the blanket is currently being blocked! It’s not finished - I still have to make a border, which will be at least seven rows around the perimeter, but I want it to be flat before I start so I can space the border stitches appropriately and avoid rippling.
My joining method was one I “un-vented” while playing around with the squares.
It’s a row of slip stitches, worked on the front side using a significantly larger hook, but the hook direction changes between each stitch:
For stitch 1 (3, 5, etc) go through the outer loop of square A, then the outer loop of square B, yarn over, pull through all three loops on the hook.
For stitch 2 (4, 6, etc) go through the outer loop of square B, then the outer loop of square A, yarn over, pull through all three loops on the hook.
This way the stitches ‘face’ opposite sides, so each pulls on its neighbours and they settle into a zig-zag pattern. When stitched it stands up like a ridge, but with blocking it flattens and looks almost like a little braid or cable. It’s a little awkward to work, but I love the effect, and it avoids that uneven ridge you get from a normal slip stitch join.
If there is interest in this method I might make a little tutorial video, let me know if you’d be keen…
I’ve been working on this - very slowly - in between other projects, and have just finished putting rows of natural and cream on each strip of squares.
All motifs finished - when I had 41 squares I laid them out and found I’d reached the intended size. I expected it would take more! I decided to square up all of the sides, so I made a few more half-squares (16 total) and a little quarter-square for each corner. Now to start on the bands between each row.
Plans for the blanket are firming up: I’ve decided I want to lay the motifs out in a diamond formation, so I made some half-squares to even up the two long sides. It took significant experimentation to figure out the half-square pattern, as I wanted the border rows to go all the way around and therefore could not simply make half the pattern in rows. It turned out to need three coloured arcs, then the off-white border, with some dc and trc in the acute corners to make them pointier.
I also plan to put in some extra off-white rows (maybe with a little other colour) that go from one side of the blanket to the other between each row of motifs.
I’ve got 30 full squares and 10 half squares completed.
Oh, and I added one more dark shade, a charcoal grey. It’s a mystery yarn I acquired years ago that doesn’t have any identification, and it’s fingering weight so I’m doubling it. Very pleased with the addition.
Making a few more squares here and there, I’m up to about 22 now. The dark blue shade was standing out a lot, so I added a dark brown of similar value, and the squares look more balanced now.
(That’s why I don’t use a join-as-you-go method with blankets made using random selections from a palette - arranging the finished squares to evenly distribute colours means there’s no problem adding in colours partway through, or running out of some before the end.)
Opinions were unanimously in favour of the cream edging, thank you for helping me to make up my mind! As my “background” project this blanket is moving very slowly, but I have enough now to have an idea how it will turn out.
It’s a very restrained palette, but I think I’m getting enough variety in the combinations for a pleasing finished effect. No real idea how big it will be yet, I’ll keep making squares until I get near the end of my coloured yarns and then see how many there are. Perhaps 7x9, 7x10, 8x10, 8x11, who can say :)
Now I’ve begun I have a conundrum. I cannot decide whether to edge and join the squares with a creamy, buttery neutral (as originally planned) or a crisp, clean white! I made a couple of blocks with each and the choice still isn’t clear to me. The cream works well with the interior shades, but doesn’t offer a lot of contrast and the overall effect is quite yellowy and antiqued. The white is more modern and will provide a better showcase for the colours, but it’s not as soft and gentle. HMMMM!
This is going to be my long-term background project, to be worked on while I’m in between other things, and I can carry on making the inside of each square for now so the decision is not urgent, but eventually I must choose.
I’m using Motif #100 from Edie Eckman’s “Beyond the Square” with an extra round continuing the pattern then a round of hdc. Each square will use colours selected at whim for rounds 1-4, and Berocco Vintage in Butter Cream for rounds 5 and 6. Not sure how big it will be yet, let’s see how far the yarn goes.
The colours were inspired by my beautiful baby daughter, with her light brown hair and blue-grey eyes. Calling this my “hobbergobber” (i.e. hobgoblin) blanket is my attempt to make that sentiment a touch less mawkish :)