So many people have loved this blanket that I decided to share it with you.
It’s a very simple design which uses a few techniques that I’ve learned along the way including two variations on join-as-go to join the granny squares.
Learning to crochet is all about increasing confidence and skills, right from your first chain to the most complex designs. We all have our preferred projects too. Not for me the gorgeous little amigurumi animals that some people can turn out. Blankets must be my absolute favourite makes, especially using lots of colours.
Here I’m adventuring into Batik and getting to know what this yarn can do.
I was very excited to add Stylecraft Batik yarn to my Teeny Tiny Shop here at Escape to the Crochet and could not wait to dive in and explore the fabulous colours. Batik has such a soft and snuggly feel to it with the 20% wool giving it a nice springy texture, enhanced by the fleck in the colour.
My starting point when I’m thinking of making something is usually to see what other people have already made. Looking about it soon became plain that granny style squares look great in Batik. So I selected eight colours, coral, plum, heather, raspberry, rose, old gold, pistachio and olive to make a start. Those old fashioned tubes of fruit pastilles come into my head every time I look at them! I added graphite as the joining colour, a good foil to the brighter colours
I can claim no credit for the pattern used to make the centre panel as it is based on Lucy’s Summer Garden granny square which you can find here: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/summer-garden-granny-square.html
If you haven’t yet discovered Lucy’s delightful Attic24, full of well explained straightforward crochet patterns which she so generously shares, then do pop over and have a look. You will be inspired.
I made the first two rounds in organised style, starting with five centres for each colour. This will give me a couple of extras when it comes to joining but that adds a bit of colour choice. Now I have the second round completed and they look like circles rather than squares.
This is because they only turn into squares as you join them. Again Lucy has an excellent tutorial for joining as you go. If like me you can’t stand the idea of sewing squares together, you will love this method. It’s like magic as those little circles become squares and ultimately a piece of crochet fabric as they go together.
Choose your first circle and complete a round to make it a square using three trebles for the side spaces. In the corners make two groups of three trebles separated by one chain to make the corner. Complete the round by slip stitching together.
Then take your next circle, here the one with the coral centre. Begin by completing one side of your square but instead of making one chain in the corner use a slip stitch to secure the two squares together. Continue along the next side slip stitching across to join the two squares. Complete the other two sides of the square as before and then choose another circle to add in next, in this case the pink middle. When you have a row of six squares joined then start adding the next row at the top again.
In this row there will be two sides to join rather than one but it’s just the same technique. The centre panel of the blanket is six by six squares.
The next bit is so easy and relaxing. You can see I’ve returned to the original colour palette with this picture. I’ve used graphite to complete rounds of granny stitch and included some rows of colours too from the centre colours. It’s really up to you how many rows you add here. I used seven graphite, three rows of single colours, three graphite and three more of single colours before I decided it was time for a change.
Now I made another set of two round circles, this time using a single colour for each motif. It was a bit of a fiddle to get the count right for adding these to the main blanket but you know you can always wangle it right with crochet. I used the graphite as a continuous joining colour this time working back and forward along the edges of the motifs and the edge of the blanket so that it was all firmly fixed together. A continuous round of graphite completes the squares.
If you aren’t familiar with this join it’s well worth learning as it comes in so handy. The wonderful Heather at The Patchwork Heart has a great tutorial, generously shared for us all, which you can find here: http://www.thepatchworkheart.co.uk/2015/05/joining-squares-method-3-continuous.html
Now you are back to the easy bit! My final granny rounds are made of two graphite and one colour. The edge is finished with a round of doubles. That’s it!
On the whole I was quite pleased with this and really enjoyed making it. I did think that the centre panel could do with a bit more definition around the edge. Which is why, when I started my next Batik adventure I added a round of doubles before starting the background colour. This time I’m using a slightly paler palette with silver as the joining colour: coral, pistachio, rose, sage, teal, mint, cream and cherry. They even sound delicious don’t they?
The centre panel is worked in exactly the same way as before.
Here you can see the cherry used around the edge of the panel which I think works well. I’ve repeated the cherry doubles at the edge of the silver grannies too. This time I’ve opted for colour dots on a background of silver trebles but that’s as far as it goes for now. Hopefully I can show you the finished blanket before too long.
Go on, be inspired and dive into your own Batik adventure.
Stylecraft Batik is in stock in our Teeny Tiny shop @ £1.70 per 50 g ball.