Sunday 7 June 2020

A stash reassessment

I have a blanket on my bed that my mum and I made together around 15 years ago. It's made from an assortment of aran-weight yarn, chunky-weight yarn and DK-weight yarn held double. The blanket has been in constant use for all of those 15 years, and is definitely on its last legs. As with all the best knitted objects, this blanket contains a lot of precious memories: making it with my mum and my mum cursing me for making the blocks in lots of different sizes so we had to do a proper crazy-paving job to get all the squares to join together at the end (the blanket has four edges; they're all different lengths); me knitting my way through a stitch dictionary one summer, trying out all the different stitches and learning how cables and lace worked; being curled up next to my bedroom window in one of my old houses wrapped in the blanket while watching the waves crashing on the seafront; innumerable blanket forts and tents made by me and the kids. But all good things must come to an end: this blanket has been heavily patched and repaired, and probably only has another couple of years of life left in it, so it's time to start thinking about a new blanket.

The old blanket has seen better days

I had been deliberating about what to make as a replacement for this blanket. I contemplated a crochet granny stripe blanket made from sock leftovers, but realise based on the progress I've made on my mitred-square blanket that a fingering weight blanket might take me *forever*, so something heavier weight is in order. I have various DK weight oddments lying around from all sorts of projects, but quite fancy something with a unifying theme. I've also realised that large blankets hold together better if they are crocheted than if they are knitted: my husband has a crocheted blanket I made him that is holding up much better than my knitted one.

A few weeks ago I realised that I had the solution in my stash (as ever...). When I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, my siblings bought me the yarn for an amazing Mr Men blanket that I was going to make for my daughter. I didn't even start the blanket before she was born, let alone finish it. Now the blanket has one square, and that's not even square. I hate reading charts for corner to corner crochet, so I made one block and abandoned the project.

Mr Happy? More like Mr Wonky!

The Mr Men blanket was designed with a white background, then lots of single balls in *all the colours* to make the characters. This means that upstairs I have a massive bag of brightly coloured yarn and about the same amount of white yarn. It's all the same base (Stylecraft Special DK) and would be much happier being a blanket than living in my wardrobe unloved. Last year I made a crocheted blanket for Madeleine of Kingfisher Knits when her son was born. I used the Solid Granny Square pattern by Sandra Paul and joined the squares together using the join as you go method from her Battenberg blanket. Of the things I really liked about making the blanket was that I could make a massive pile containing half the squares, then join them all together while making the other half of the squares. So that is my plan for the new blanket!

All the colours

Do you have a favourite crochet blanket pattern that you go back to time and time again?

Square one

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