Monday, July 28, 2014

Crochet Baby Blankets - A ripple a day...

There are two new additions to our (extended) family this summer! My cousin is expecting her first baby and the Other Half's cousin is expecting her fifth (!!). I thought this was an ideal opportunity to take my crochet skills up a notch and tackle something slightly bigger than a jam jar cover or a little bowl!

Neither families know the sex of their new additions so I opted to crochet them both a blanket in, what I guess would politically-correctly be termed as 'gender neutral' colours.  Personally I am not a big fan of pink for a girl, blue for a boy way of thinking and I think this lovely palette of spring green, sunny yellow, fresh white and soft grey work beautifully together.

I have seen so many beautiful crochet blankets on Instagram - granny squares, granny stripes, chevrons, ripples and hexe's - I didn't really know where to start so I nipped over to the fabulous Attic24 blog and had a skim through some of the amazing tutorials and ideas on there.  Lucy's blog is an absolute inspiration - first stop for any would be hookers (ahem) . Attic24 was one of the first blogs I found and followed when I began dipping my toes in the blogging world and if it wasn't for her beautiful, colourful blog (and Mollie Makes) I would probably have stuck to knitting needles and never discovered the joy of hooky time!

my Clover Amour hook is awesome!

Lucy's tutorials are so easy to follow and I quickly found what I was looking for - the Neat Ripple (re-christened by me as 'the Gentle Ripple' because it just is :-) ). Lovely undulating stripes in as many , or as few colours, as you like.

It didn't take long to get going, although the first row was a bit of a bitch!  Once I settled into the pattern I found it very therapeutic...

I love the finished blanket. With hindsight I may have planned the colour sequence a little better - it was a bit random to start with but from randomness a pattern emerged and overall it's a very pleasing effect.

For the second blanket I decided to try something a little different (to be honest I was afraid I would get bored doing two exactly the same and give up!)

I found a lovely pattern in the Nicki Trench book 'Cute & Easy Crochet' for a baby blanket using a different 'ripple' - although Nicki refers to it as 'fan stitch'.  This time I planned the colour order in advance, even sketching the blanket in my project book and colouring in the rows till I got a sequence I really liked....

The original pattern had a frill all around the edge that I thought was just a touch too fussy so I just stuck to a simple half treble and double crochet border.

I am really pleased with how both the blankets came out. I am also really pleased with myself for not giving up halfway through and actually finishing not one but two large-ish projects in only two months! 

Fired up by my hooky success I have even committed (ie bought the yarn)  to making a larger blanket as a Christmas present AND another for Roo who was feeling most put out that everyone else was getting cosy blankets and not him! 

Both blankets were made using Stylecraft Special DK yarn - excellent price, easy to use, comes in a HUGE range of colours AND machine washable - an essential quality for baby items in my opinion!

So, have I tickled your fancy for a little ripple or two?

It really is a lot simpler than it looks and a blanket is such a satisfying thing to make.
(although maybe not during this current heatwave!)


Happy Hooking!

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