Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Chevron blankets times 3!

There is an immense sense of delight, pride, accomplishment of purpose and satisfaction when looking at a finished project and one can say "Well done". I said that to myself near the end of November last year, when I set about carefully folding and wrapping a parcel of soft, beautiful blankets.

Early September and with Spring just around the corner! My dear friend in the UK and I started chatting on Messenger about blankets, crochet blankets! And how she finds her granddaughters are very partial to the throw I made her!! And so it came about that we decided I would make her three blankets and send them along with her sister-in-law who was visiting in December. Within a few days we had a plan, we decided on a pattern and colour palettes and next stop was my local specialist yarn shop. The brief .... three granddaughters, three blankets in different colours and using the Chic Chevron Blanket by Red Heart.

Came November, the blankets were done! My sense of achievement was enormous .. I had two bad bouts of bronchitis and we had enduring heatwave conditions through the weeks, and can I tell you, it is so challenging to work with yarn when the temperatures are hitting 32-33 degrees C every day! Buuuut ..... this is what I did;  firstly made sure I was outside on our deck in the cool of the early morning .. the kettle was on at 4:45am some mornings! Secondly as the day progressed I sat with a fan on, ice water to drink on hand, and a near dripping wet face cloth close by that I used constantly to wipe my hands, and drape around my neck and shoulders, the coolness of the icy cold cloth was very refreshing! And lastly I do keep I small bottle of baby talc on hand to shake on my hands to keep them dry!  Now this might all seem a bit extreme, but if you are living in the Southern Hemisphere i.e. South Africa or Australia and no doubt some other countries south of the equator too, we are experiencing the very worst that the current El Nino episode can throw at us. Beastly hot weather, no rain, dusty winds, so hot at night one cannot sleep .. just too awful.

Anyway, back to the blankets. We called the project "The Secret Santa Project" aptly named because the girls and indeed the whole family had no idea they were getting the blankets for Christmas from their Grandma!  Only a necessary handful of folk knew about the project .. right up to Christmas Day when they opened their gifts! The anticipation was delicious! And happily the girls were utterly surprised and quite delighted!

Some details:
First up is the blanket in colours of White, Black, Plum, Emperor Purple, and Parma Violet. Pattern sequence:  4 rows each of White, Emperor Purple and Black and 3 rows each of Plum and Parma Violet.

Second up is the blanket in colours of Sherbet, Aqua, White and Pomegranate. Stripe sequence: Repeats of 4 rows of each colour, then 2 rows of each colour.

Third up is the blanket in colours of White, Sherbet, and Aqua and Aspen. Patterns sequence:  Repeats of 4 rows in each colour.

Border rows on the three straight sides:  I followed the First Row of Lucy of Attic 24 Ripple blanket except I used Sc(US) Dc(UK) stitches. The second and third rows were the same.

Border row on the bottom of the blanket     

Some tips to remember when making chevrons/ripples:

1) Count your stitches between increases and decreases .. all the time, in every row.
2) Keep your edges straight, if they are not you have not counted the stitches accurately.
3) I start with a longer chain of stitches than I need, then I count carefully when I am doing Row 1 be it scs, dcs, hdcs or trs, until I have the right stitch count.  That way if you have have lost your count doing the chains, and I do, you will not be short of chains on Row 1.  Then the extra chains can just be pulled out.  Does that make sense? I hope so!
4) When you work the first and last sts along a row, make them a little looser so that the sides of the blanket do not pull up.

Chevron and ripple blankets are relatively simply to make once you get the hang of the pattern repeats.  I enjoy rippling along immensely!

Lots of love, thanks as always for reading, Pat xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Edit add-on:  We have had the most welcome relief from the hot weather in the past few days with storms and rain almost every day, and the temperatures have dropped below 30 degrees C for the first time since September.  Glorious days and nights ... YAAAAAYYYY!

Edit add-on:  Pleeeaaassseee forgive my huge knowledge gap here;  I have gone onto Photoshop for the first time ever, and here is my very wibbly wobbly attempt to illustrate how I filled the gaps on the top of the chevrons.   If I can do a better picture, perhaps with white lines, I will put it up!

OK  .. each gap is filled in separately.  Beginning on the right side of the blanket and at the top of a zig zag on the RHS, and working in Dc(US) or Tr(UK) sts, crochet 3dc tog, then I followed the chevron pattern ~ dc x 9, dc 3 tog, dc 3 tog, dc x 9 ~ then to end work 3dc tog. Turn. 
Chain 3 - stands as first st, then dc 2 and combine with 3 chain to make your first 3dc tog ~ dc x 5, dc 3tog, dc 3 tog, dc x 5 ~ 3dc tog to end. Turn.
Chain 3 again, and combine with your following 2dc to make your first 3dc tog ~ dc x 1, dc 3 tog, dc 3 tog, dc x 1 ~ 3dc tog to end. Turn.
Chain 3 again and combine with your following 2dc to make your first 3 dc tog, 3dc tog to end. 
Now your chevron gap should be closed.  Repeat with the other gaps.

I must emphasise that I frogged my work several times,  until this little pattern looked as if it would look give me the look I wanted. I followed quite a few methods I found by Googling (what would we do without it!), but none looked OK to me.  I winged it as I went along until I found a way to make it work best for my blanket.