Bluebell granny blanket

Hello again.

I finished my bluebell blanket today and hope you won’t mind if I share the joy. It’s based on a simple granny square pattern but as ever it’s the colours which excite my imagination.

Bluebell was the colour I initially picked out from the glorious collection of Stylecraft Special which I’m lucky enough to have in my Teeny Tiny shop here at Escape to the Crochet. Quite why we get attracted to a particular colour I’m not too sure but I really wanted to use Bluebell! Well there is none of this colour used in the main squares but I knew that choosing it for the join and border would make my blanket a Bluebell blanket.

The rest of the colours, fourteen in all, came next: lemon, mustard, lime, meadow, aspen, mint (baby Special), spring green, parma violet, violet, lavender, fuchsia, blush, plum and bright pink.

Spring has had a very slow start this year. I sometimes think I am a bit obsessed with the passing seasons. Each in their turn, at the right time of year and I’m happy. But this year winter would not let go and my favourite season was on hold. It’s quite rural here so we eagerly watch the changes in the countryside as blossom and spring flowers start to burst. The skies are filled with the sounds of skylark, curlew and lapwing and a day or two ago, wonderful swallows are returning to our barns after their winter in the Southern hemisphere.

Bluebells, real beautiful bluebells are this week carpeting woodlands with their misty blue haze. The pictures are of a beautiful wood we visited whilst away with the family a few days ago. The bluebells were definitely starting their magic. My blanket is finished just on time!

So down to the nitty gritty and this blanket began on the ‘production line’ method where you make a set of middles for each colour and then add round two, three and onward in sets. It’s a great way of getting good colour distribution through the work and I learned it from the fabulous, creative Heather at The Patchwork Heart. http://www.thepatchworkheart.co.uk/ 

I planned eight rounds for each square and for the finished blanket to be seven squares by eight, so in total fifty-six. Using fourteen colours that gives four middles of each colour to start off. I darn in all ends for each set when it’s complete, what discipline! I think if you didn’t do this it would be a bit of a nightmare later.

Next match the centres to a colour for the second round and off you go again. This is fourth round matching here.

Keeping the squares a good shape is important so remember to turn over after every round and it will stay nice and even. My choice is to make one chain in each corner and none down the sides for a nice close finish using a size four hook but I do work fairly loose.

 

The fun part is matching each piece to the next round’s colour. I just love all these minute decisions you have to make when creating something like this don’t you? It might be ‘just a granny square blanket’ but it’s going to be a good one if you plan it well.

Incidentally this is a good read if you are interested in or care about the countryside. John Lewis-Sempel has written several others too and I’m working my way through them. Shame you can’t read and crochet at the same time.

To give texture to the finish and frame each square I decided to use a raised join, simply putting wrong sides to wrong sides and double crotcheting the squares together in vertical lines. At last I could use that delicious bluebell yarn! Then I worked the horizontal join using one chain at each crossroads to keep it even and the blanket was made. A row of double crochet around the edge, worked into the front loop only, completed the frame. Here are the squares arranged in joining order.

And here they are joined.

Lastly the border gave me another decision to make and not always an easy one. I started with two rows of plain grannies using bluebell and working into the back loop only. Then I made loops of four chains anchored into the granny spaces with double crochet.

The next round was a kind of open shell worked into the chain loops using two trebles, two chain, two trebles. The last round was a double crochet round a bit harder to describe, but basically crotcheting two together in the dips, one dc in the next stitch then two dc, two chain, two dc in the chain space to make the pointy effect. It was really easy and gave a slightly ruffled effect which I really like.

 

I always think that crochet design doesn’t have to be complicated to be successful. This little beauty will be gracing one of our B and B rooms next time we have guests for a crochet retreat so I hope they enjoy it.

 

Happy crocheting everyone and enjoy your springtime.

Gillian

 

 

 

Bluebell magic.

10 thoughts on “Bluebell magic.

  • April 28, 2018 at 9:26 pm
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    I love reading your blogs, Gillian. You have a wonderful gift of weaving magic into our everyday lives.
    Winter has definitely overstayed its welcome but Spring has sprung at last and my lovely hometown swallows are here 😊
    Your bluebell blanket is truly beautiful and your next retreat guests are sure to love it.

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    • April 29, 2018 at 6:19 pm
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      Thank you Jenny for those lovely comments, much appreciated.

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  • April 28, 2018 at 10:52 pm
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    I also love granny squares. I love the blue bells reminded me of when I was in England in 1974 and walking in the woods around Arundal , Sussex , and the daffodils in the country estates. I have on my too do list another trip and it will have to be in spring. Love your site. Cheers Penny👏🌺

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    • April 29, 2018 at 6:18 pm
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      Thank you Penny and so good to ‘meet’ you here. I hope you make it back to an English spring soon.

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  • April 29, 2018 at 8:13 am
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    That’s a lovely selection of colours, resulting in another stunning blanket, the border is lovely.

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    • April 29, 2018 at 6:17 pm
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      Thank you Aline. xxx

      Reply
  • April 29, 2018 at 11:01 am
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    This is the first blog I’ve read and it’s lovely to read something written by someone with an obvious passion for what they do. In addition, the blanket is beautiful; I’ve always avoided finishing my granny squares in different colours because of the problems sewing them together (I’m really a novice) so was interested in how these squares were attacked to one another. I am bringing my mum to one of your event days in August and am so excited. Keep up the good work and I look forward to the next blog.

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    • April 29, 2018 at 6:16 pm
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      Thank you so much Michelle for your thoughtful comments. Really, really I’m no expert at either crochet or blogging, especially the latter, but doing both gives me pleasure and focus. Maybe it encourages others too? I’m looking forward to meeting you both in August.

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  • April 29, 2018 at 3:44 pm
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    Gillian I absolutely love your bluebell blanket !! That blue is stunning and your colours just sing out . As you know I am going to try Heathers granny blanket and I got some wool at your last retreat . I have 8 colours but not sure that is enough . Maybe I need a few more . Do you have any spice in stock ? What about a touch of lipstick. I definitely need to see your shop again .perhaps I may be able to come to your coffee morning .getting back to your latest blanket. Is every square completely different . ? Your join is so neat ,much better than mine !
    Enjoyed all you latest photographs of your holiday ,looked lovely. Hope to see you soon 😃😍🍰

    Reply
    • April 29, 2018 at 6:13 pm
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      Thank you so much Margaret. It would be lovely to see you again soon. I enjoyed using 14 colours and yes each square is different. I’m afraid Spice is still out of stock so I’ll be trying to order again next time. But there are lots of others to choose from so why follow the crowd? Do your own thing! xxx

      Reply

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