A blanket for a friend
One of my friends has had a tough few months, and has a few more tough months ahead of her. Without going into any details, it's the type of tough where no one can really do anything, except be there for her. As we live almost two hundred miles apart from each other, I don't see her very often and so can't do things like go out for tea with her, or buy her lunch, that sort of thing. I have to make do with regular text messages and phone calls.
Whilst there isn't anything practical I can do for her, I can crochet something - and so I decided to make her a blanket. Just something to show I'm thinking of her and she's often commented (positively!) on blankets I've made in the past so I thought she would definitely appreciate one of her own.
I wanted to make a single bed sized blanket comprised of small motifs so I could make this whilst commuting. I searched Ravelry for square motif designs and found a few I thought would work. Using whatever yarn I pulled out of the box of miscellaneous yarn I have in the living room, I set to experimenting (the colours are only indicative of where I would change colour and are not the final colours chosen!).
My first one was this circle design with an odd border.
The circle bit I quite liked doing, but I couldn't find a border I liked. I needed to turn it into a square so I could neatly join them all together, but I didn't like various things I tried.
Then I moved away from squares and found this pattern:
I liked it to begin with, but the further I went with the pattern (in the hope of it turning out square) the less I enjoyed it and so I didn't get much further than this.
Maybe I did want to do squares after all. I found Yarn Clouds Square which I thought was pretty and would look good in lots of different colours.
I made one and quite liked it. But I didn't want to make any more, which meant this clearly wasn't the right design either. So I put it aside just as my friend happened to send me a message. In it, in the context of something completely different, she said how she prefers things to be simple and not over-complicated.
Which I had known all along about her, of course I had. I just hadn't thought about a simple blanket. So I had decided - granny squares it was going to be!
You can't really beat a granny square - true, they're not complicated, they're not particularly exciting, and yes I was probably going to be bored of them after not too long. But I think they look good and I definitely preferred them to other things I'd crocheted that day!
Her favourite colours are blues, purples and greens - colours that conveniently go well together! I chose two shades of blue (Turquoise and Sherbet) and two shades of purple (Wisteria and Lavender) and Cream for the centre of each square plus the final round. I made the squares in batches of 24 (the number of ways in which the four colours can be ordered) then joined them together during the final round.
There were a lot of ends to sew in. 12 per square. That's a lot! But I was crocheting and sewing on the train to work and it didn't take me too long to get all these squares made. The final round and joining had to be done at home as the blanket was getting too big to transport, and that was how I was spending my evenings.
It was eventually single bed sized (roughly) which was convenient as by this point I really had had enough of sewing in those ends! I've added a border of a round of each of the colours and then finished it off with cream. Simple. I did have a quick look at slightly fancier borders, but decided that simple was the right way to go.
I was not impressed when this happened just a few stitches from the end of the round:
I did have another ball, but it was still annoying!
I am so pleased with how this has turned out. It's been made with love and I hope it can make a tough time just a teeny bit easier.
It was posted off this week and has safely arrived at its destination. Judging by this text I received, I think she likes it: "Fluffy Owl, I love you very much! Thank you so much for my blanket, it's gorgeous. You've put a huge smile on my face xxxx"
And yes, she did address me with my owl name. A lot of people in my phone are there as owls rather than their proper names and sometimes I genuinely have to think about what their real names are!