While putting the finishing touches on Aidan’s blanket, I began to daydream about my own. I knew this was dangerous, because a blanket is a pretty big undertaking for an instant-gratification kind of girl such as me, and if I do too many long-term projects back-to-back, I inevitably end up abandoning one of them out of boredom. One blanket per year is truly enough for me.
Or so I thought. I just couldn’t shake the thought of a lap blanket of my own. I was stealing my kids’ afghans every night for my cozy tv time, after they went up to bed. And so I stopped fighting it, and started work on My Blanket.
I had a clear vision for what I wanted it to be, but no real idea how I wanted to get there. I wanted big red flowers with lime and aqua centers (to match my family room color scheme), and I wanted them spread apart on a creamy white field. So I set to work trying to create the perfect flower. It took some time and some experimentation, but I finally got something I was happy with.
Then it was time to add white to the flower and turn it into a granny-square-style block that I could easily connect together into an afghan with my usual join-as-you-go method. But that was not as easy as it sounded. Keeping the flower well-defined against the white was a challenge. And once I had that figured out, the 8-petal flower did not take kindly to any of the shapes I tried to force it into. I finally had some luck making octagon blocks, and I got so far as to connect twelve octagons and five squares together into what would have been about one fourth of my blanket. But the joins were kind of puckery, and when I filled in the edges to square it off (like I did with the hex blanket), the puckers and messiness were even more pronounced.
I just didn’t like it.
So in a very uncharacteristic-for-me move, I ripped back all of the white until I had nothing but flowers left again, and decided perhaps squares were the way to go after all.
My first attempt at squares failed miserably, with more unevenness, and the flowers looking kind of square-like. My second attempt was much better: the squares fit together nicely, and the flowers retained their floral shape. (Yay!) So I fit together twelve of these squares, and once again had about one fourth of my blanket done.
And this time I do like it.
What’s funny here, though, is that it took me so long to get to this point, that it has felt like something of a milestone. So much so, that I got that warm fuzzy feeling of Project Completion, which has left me with zero desire to work further on it. I feel finished. Except for the fact that I have an afghan that only covers my feet and my calves.
Will I finish the rest of this blanket this summer? Time will tell. I do tend to think that block-based projects like this one are really perfect for this time of year, squares being so portable and not at all warm on your already sweaty lap. I just need to prod my brain into realizing there is still three quarters of a blanket left to make here!
Perhaps thinking about border design with push me forward. I am really looking forward to figuring out how to edge this thing. My usual granny design is a distinct possibility, but I also like the idea of something more feminine. Perhaps scallops of some kind that echo the flower petals.
Decisions, decisions… 🙂
11 thoughts on “Summer crochet. Or not?”
I LOVE your crocheted flowers and the colors that you chose. I actually like the hexagons with the small flowers in between but if you didn’t like it (and it’s puckers) than it’s best that you moved on. I love squares too and yours look great. Just carry around a little project bag everywhere you go and by the end of summer, you should have a big chunk finished. I can’t wait to see it finished.
It makes me realize that I too have knitted blankets for everyone but myself. The next one will be for me!
I liked the look of the first one, too, but I just couldn’t make it work.
Here’s to selfish blanket knitting! 🙂
color me weird. I actually like the design of the first one better then the second one. I think the wonk would come out with blocking.
I liked that first design too, but I just could not get rid of the wonk, and I tried blocking. There was more wrong with it than you could see with that image. This new version just has so many fewer fiddly things about it. I’m much happier, even if it would have been nice to have the little bits in between.
ahhh still wonk with blocking. well that sucketh. Maybe in your free time you can work on that design to try and get rid of the wonk. or not. have a great weekend
I’ll give it some thought 🙂
Thanks! Still trying to get myself to pick it back up again, though…
I’m completely fallen into my usual “large project” summer hiatus. I’m hoping I’ll pick up my granny hex blanket when it gets a bit cooler. For now…I’m making baby sandals. 🙂
Baby sandals sound like a nice instant-gratification project 🙂
I actually just picked up the blanket again last night! I had a few finished flowers that I turned into blocks.
[…] (leftover from my first Tea Leaves) and a ball of Berroco Vintage (which I had laying around from my current blanket project), and I made a couple of good and proper swatches with […]