There are very few really new designs when it comes to crochet and some patterns are classics. What I love though is that you can make them your own either by using a few tweaks or in using your own individual colour choices. Don’t you get excited by the planning stage for a new project? Which colours to put together? How will they react to each other? This is certainly what I love about crochet.
Of course I am very lucky being able to delve into my teeny tiny wool shop here at Escape to the crochet and play around with the combinations. All our guests can enjoy this game too without the pressure or hurry of being in a big yarn shop or the guesswork of internet shading. We have an amazing array of Stylecraft special with most of the range in stock. Come and see!
I’ve found some beautiful African flower blankets on line in quite a few different versions and this is a pattern which was telling me ‘now please’. So it was time for some research as I knew it would be a major project for me. I chose the basic pattern for the flower motif on Heidi Bear’s blog.
I then made the decision to use a continuous join. Can you imagine hand sewing all those hexagons together? Nope neither could I! It had to be a crocheted join and Cypress textiles introduced me to the PLT join that is ‘pull loop through’. Deciding on the join at the outset was important because this particular one forms the last round of the motif.
If you’ve ever read Heather’s blog at The Patchwork Heart http://www.thepatchworkheart.co.uk/(highly recommended too), you will see that she has an amazingly organised approach to multi coloured projects and here I found my inspiration and decided to do mine the same way. Now that’s not normally how I work at all so this was a challenge. At this point I must express my heartfelt thanks to all those in the crochet community who share their knowledge and techniques so generously. We can all learn so much from each which is very enriching.
The theme of my blanket is Springtime so I wanted the colours to reflect the beauty of the spring flowers outside in my real life garden. Primulas, pansies, primroses, daffodils and tulips were all in full bloom with lush spring leaves sprouting all around. I spent ages choosing my colours and eventually selected fifteen from the Stylecraft special range, which I felt balanced each other: emperor, plum, grape, raspberry, pomegranate, violet, wisteria, parma violet, duck egg, pistachio, lemon, sunshine, apricot, soft peach and cream. The joining colour would be number sixteen but at that time I just couldn’t decide what it would be.
I made all the middles first, eleven in each colour for an eleven row blanket. Then I set out my yarn colours and gave each colour eleven different middles for the next rounds.
Here is the pomegranate round for each different centre.
I stored them in their groups in plastic freezer bags. After completing that stage I repeated the process for adding the next colour. See how disciplined I was! But don’t they look pretty all set out? Here is the wisteria edge being added to this set.
Once I had finished making the flowers (phew!) I spread them out into rows for the last time, ready to start joining. At this stage it became clear that I needed to find a way to keep them in order so after a bit of brain wracking I came up with the idea of woolly lollipops. I threaded each row onto plastic drinking straws and wrapped an elastic band round the base of the straw to keep the rounds in place and wrote on the row number. Sorted!
Finding the right joining colour was not an easy task but I’m happy with what I eventually settled on, Stylecraft sherbet. I think it is in keeping with the bright, spring theme I was after.
Then to learn the plt join, not the easiest but once you get the hang of it, perfect for a nice tight finish. There was much frogging and cursing at the start though and I could find a few mistakes in there if I really looked hard as in most projects I think. It’s really worth persevering with the technique as the finish is great and maybe you will be cleverer than me at picking it up.
Only a few more decisions left to make at this point. Should I fill in the gappy edges? I decided not and quite like the wavy edge. Then what about a border? Simple proved best for such a colourful work and I picked pomegranate for a double crochet round, working into the back loops only so as to preserve the shapes of the hexagons. Quite neat I think?
Tah-dah! So there it is finished with all the usual happy and sad feelings of completing a big piece.
It has been with me for about six weeks so I will miss it. I’m going to use it on one of my B&B beds for when we have crochet guests staying so I very much hope they like it.
I hope you feel inspired to have a go as this is a really satisfying crochet project
Now what next I wonder?