Okay, so I can finally reveal the real reason why my posts have been so few and far between since this fall. Ryan and I are expecting a baby girl the first week of June! However, with working full time, chasing a toddler around, and my new found need for 12 hours of sleep a night, I haven’t been crafting quite as much as I would normally, and I definitely have been having trouble finding the energy to get anything actually posted. I have a considerable backlog of potential posts going back to October. We’ll see how many I manage before the kiddo comes… I make no promises after that, for a while at least.
Now back to this baby blanket. We found out that Baby 2 was going to be a girl on a Friday afternoon in January. The next morning I was browsing Reddit, when I stumbled upon this pattern posted to r/crochet. It was like fate. This blanket had to be her blanket. And better yet, it is a free pattern on Ravelry. (Edit 3/11/17: it has come my attention that the pattern is no longer free, but I think it is well worth the $3.99.) Many thanks to SassySSS for the beautiful pattern. It’s a little out of my usual crochet comfort zone. I usually make things that are very colorful, and rarely “dainty”. I’m not a doily person. (not to mention I can’t crochet with thread, I’ve tried, it’s impossible.) But, this monochromatic, lacy blanket just spoke to me. I loved the color, the dainty, blossom stitch, the lacy border, all of it.
I made my usual stop at Joann to find some yarn. I liked the color of the original and thought I could find a dusty purple or antique pink that would work just as well. I couldn’t. I really wanted the exact blanket from the picture I’d seen, so I did something I’ve never done before; I ordered the recommended yarn for the pattern on the internet. This yarn happens to be Comfy Worsted in Seraphim from Knit Picks. The color is deceptive. It is a shade of lavender that falls somewhere between silver and taupe. It’s feminine without being overly girly. I like it a lot. The yarn itself if a cotton/acrylic blend. I’ve never made anything out of cotton yarn other than dish cloths, and I was amazed at how soft this is. I haven’t washed the blanket yet, but it is machine wash and dry-able. Hopefully it holds up.
The original pattern made a 20 x 20 blanket, but I prefer baby blankets closer to 30 x 30. The pattern is easy enough to scale, it can be made with a starting chain of any multiple of 8 +1. The tricky part was making sure I was buying enough yarn. One of my big qualms against ordering yarn on the internet is that it is much harder to get more if you are short. I can pop into Joann any old time, but ordering one ball of yarn and having it shipped, plus matching dye lots, is more hassle that I want to deal with. This is where that degree in Math I have comes in handy (or 8th grade algebra). If the original blanket is 20 x 20, that is 400 sq inches and it took 4 balls at just over 100 yards each. So a 30 x 30 blanket would be 900 sq inches, so I would need 9 balls. I bought 10 just to be sure to have enough (what’s an extra 3 bucks?) and in the end I used just under 9. Perfect.
More math. If the pattern starts with a chain of 81 to make a 20 inch blanket, my 30 inch blanket would be 50% larger. So I multiplied 80 by 1.5 to get 120, so my starting chain was 121. This was approximately 27 inches. I ended up with 63 rows to make the blanket roughly 27 x 27. Once I added the border, the final blanket is just about 31 x 31 inches. It’s not quite square, but the yarn has some stretch and I can make it close enough. The pattern does not recommend blocking. I guess we’ll see how it comes out of the wash.
The pattern itself is much easier to work up than I thought it would be. I mentioned that I don’t normally doing anything lacy, and when I first read the pattern it was a bit intimidating. I highly recommend working up a swatch and doing a few rows just to get a feel for the pattern. Once I did that, and became familiar with the special stitches, the pattern is actually really simple. And the chart (which I’d never used before) was actually helpful to see how the stitches all line up. The only part I had any problem with was the row 4 of the border. I had 4 stitches to do sc in and the pattern said the next 3 sc. After searching for where I went wrong, and trying to count stitches in the photo from the pattern, I decided it didn’t matter and just added my extra stitch. The next row worked out fine (not sure how exactly), and the end blanket looks fine, so I’m not going to worry about it.
So there you have it. The first thing I made for my baby girl. I am sure she will love it. It is soft and cuddly, and pretty. I really do love the stitch. I think it could be used to make a whole host of pretty, girly items.