Friday, October 25, 2019

Blanket Weather! (Crocheted ripples and granny stripes)

Crocheted Ripple Blanket
The first blanket I ever crocheted took almost two years, off-and-on, to make. I started it when I moved back to Maryland in 2015, and wove in the final ends in 2017. 

Feeling desperate for cheerful colors at the time, I chose a basic ripple pattern and picked up a rainbow’s worth of Baby Bee Sweet Delight, a DK/sport-weight yarn from a big-box store I usually try to avoid. Honestly? The color choices offered in this line were terrific. And, for an acrylic yarn, it was surprisingly nice to work with. 

The fabric is just right for napping under on a summer afternoon, or for layering over other blankets in spring and fall. And it’s so bright and happy looking, it lifts my mood all year long.

Now, sometimes man-made fibers can turn harsh and crispy when laundered, so I chose not to wash or block the finished project right away. After many, many cat-and-dog naps, though, I just couldn't avoid it (nor did I want to). 

Nervously, I ran my blanket through the delicates cycle with a little detergent and a splash of white vinegar. Then I put it in a cool dryer for half an hour, and let it finish drying over a rack. And...the blanket stayed nice and soft! Charley gave it his seal-of-approval, so you know it feels good.
Granny Stripes Blanket
Fast forward to October 2019. Our weather is feeling really autumnal, now, and the leaves are finally starting to turn. This week, it was chilly enough indoors that I pulled out the Granny Stripes Blanket I started last year, and finished a few (long) rows. 

I just love the rhythm of crocheting swathes of colorful woolly stripes, especially since I started using Clover Amour hooks. The grips are comfortable, and the tips catch the yarn perfectly. In fact, I liked them so much that I eventually got rid of almost every non-Amour hook I owned. (I'm not an affiliate...just a fan!)

Granny Stripes patterns are a great way to use up gobs of the fingering/sock-yarn scraps I accumulated over the years, as well as a few gorgeous colors from my lovely friend Denise and her mom. You can find several variations on the theme, but I used Attic 24's for inspiration. 
Admittedly, making a blanket with lightweight yarn is a labor of love. It won't be done anytime soon, but a lot of wonderful memories have been crocheted in, and it's the perfect project to pick up when you want something simple and mindless to keep your hands busy. 

When warm weather rolls around, though, this is one project that definitely goes on hiatus. After all, who wants to climb under a pound of wool and work on a giant afghan in the infamous Mid-Atlantic heat and humidity? 


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