So last summer, we spent a week “up North”, staying with my lovely dad and his lovely wife, in a tiny village on the border between Cumbria and Northumberland. The drive (without stops) was estimated to take 6-7 hours each way, and OH had volunteered to do the driving. Naturally this meant CROCHET TIME for me. Glorious hours of enforced sitting still – for not only myself, but also my children! Some people don’t enjoy long car journeys with kids. I was very fortunate, on reflection, that my two divided their time between sleeping, and inexplicably quietly entertaining themselves. (Both things they usually avoid at all costs.) No doubt, balance will be restored on our next long journey – which happens to be in a weeks’ time. I’ll let you know how that goes!
I had no idea at the time what I wanted to make, so I packed a selection of shades of Stylecraft Special DK, and a 4mm hook. I figured if push came to shove, I could just make more squares for my Pixel Scrappy Blanket.
Thanks to Modern Life, The Future and such, I had my data-laden smartphone with me, so I hopped onto Pinterest for inspiration. I quickly stumbled across this tutorial from Purple Chair Crochet for the sunburst granny square motif, and set to work.
I tried out a few vivid colour combinations before settling on the pink/ mustard/ magenta/ navy scheme. Those experiments then evolved into the Offensively Bright Cushion (below).
It was enough for me to know that I liked the pattern, and in the interest of keeping things portable (we were going on lots of day trips where I might eke out a bit of in-car crochet, or even a few stitches in a cafe here and there) I made the decision that all of the squares would have the same colour combination. A pile of yellow centres took me no time at all, and I naively began to believe that I might even finish these squares before I went home!
These little squares didn’t take long, in all honesty. But there weren’t enough, initally, for a decent sized blanket. I had to decide whether to make more squares, or add some extra rounds to the existing squares. I decided on the latter, and set to work. I did try adding some different colours to the mix (namely red and lime), but in the end I frogged them and stuck with Stylecraft Special DK’s Mustard and Midnight.
Somewhere down the line, I impulsively decided to add the spearminty Aspen shade (also Stylecraft Special DK) into the mix. Did I ever mention that I have a problem with sticking to colour schemes? I couldn’t resist a blast of brightness, but now, looking back, I’m not sure if it was the right decision. The colours were supposed to be a little bit retro, like 60s/70s caravan curtains. I think I took it a bit too far with the spearmint, to be honest. But, it is what it is, and I do love what this blanket became. Even though I completely ignored my own planned design for it.
I used the Aspen yarn to join my squares, using the Continuous Join-As-You-Go Method as demonstrated on the Patchwork Heart blog. I’d never used this type of technique before, but thanks to the tutorial linked above, it was really straightforward.
My favourite bit about this joining method is that it only left me with 4 additional ends to weave in! It would have been two, but I needed to start a second ball of the Aspen yarn and join it in. A welcome thing indeed, after the many, many ends in each square thanks to all of the colour changes. I find myself compelled to work out just how many ends there were…
35 squares, each with ((2 ends per colour change) x 8 colour changes) = 560; plus:
(joining and border rounds)
4 Aspen ends
2 Midnight ends
2 Red ends
2 Fondant ends
2 Lime ends
2 Midnight ends
2 Turquoise ends
2 Midnight ends
2 Mustard ends = an additional 20
560 + 20 = a thoroughly exhausting 580 ends!
I’ve shocked myself with that – is my maths correct?! That sounds horrendous. I suppose it was a bit like childbirth – seemingly never ending; you cannot see beyond the carnage that is the present moment – but now I’ve basically forgotten all of the trauma, and I have a nice *thing* as a result.
This one is less demanding than a baby, though. And it can be tumble dried.
When I get a moment, I’ll come back and add a photo of it all laid flat. Until then, thanks for reading!