I used Stylecraft yarn for the very first time when I made my Cozy Blanket. From the Wool Warehouse I brought the Attic 24 kit which used DK Special yarn an acrylic which was so soft and not scratchy at all.
I decided to get some more Stylecraft yarn this time I shopped from Love Knitting. If you spend over $A80 you get free delivery. At some point I want to make a Ripple Blanket so I decided on some DK Special colours and got those so whenever I want I can start it. I also thought about what yarn I would need for a birthday gift for next year (yep I do plan my gift making that far ahead) so I got some yarn for that.
I was just under the $80 mark so I got some yarn to make myself a shawl/wrap. I made a start on it yesterday. I’m not following a pattern for this and didn’t even count how many chains I did. All I know is that I have 300g of yarn (3 x 100g balls) and I will do rows of trebles in stripes until I run out of yarn. Really simple. I was having crochet withdrawals and wanted a nice simple project to do and relax.
My friend needs a bag for a music festival and Leasa is running a Sew My Stash Bag Making Challenge so now was the perfect time to make it.
In February I found the perfect pattern the 2 Zip Hipster by Erin from Dog Under My Desk (DUMD) The bag looks complicated to make but when you follow the step by step instructions (with photos) it is actually very easy. I took my time with this and it all worked out. There was a lot of firsts for me in making this. I’d never shortened a zipper before (but it was easy thanks to the instructions), I’d never stitched in bag hardware before, I’d never adjusted the needle position on my machine before but I did so I could get neat top stitching and I’d never done so much top stitching before. The outside of the bag has 2 pockets which are both lined so plenty of storage.
The inside of the bag is fully lined with a pocket on the side and a zipped top. It is very roomy so you can easily fit all the items you’d need for a day out. It also has an adjustable strap which is lined with Pellon so it doesn’t dig into the shoulders. I brought this blue fabric earlier in the year once I’d gotten the pattern. It is poly cotton which I don’t normally use but I wanted this colour. It was a bit more slippery than I’m used too and I was worried I’d burn it with the iron when I was pressing it. The lining fabric I’ve had in my stash for many many years. My friend loves her music so it was it was an obvious choice for her bag. I like bags which are lined with a light coloured fabric that way you find things inside them easier.
I can’t speak highly enough of this pattern. This is by far the most detailed thing I’ve ever made but it was so easy due the pattern instructions and photos. I strongly suggest if you buy the pattern you do print it in colour. Erin has a series of bag patterns, I now have a few on my wish list. There is DUMD Facebook group you can join where you can interact with other DUMD fans. It’s a great place to ask for advice or just to show of your creations. It is inspiring to see the bags people have made. I’m sure you will be seeing this 2 Zip Hipster again as now I have to make myself one (or 2 or 3)
My little blanket is finished!!
The final measurements of it are 160cm wide by 127cm long. Looking at the original pattern I think it is meant to be more longer than wider but never mind. I used a 4.25mm hook instead of 4mm so I’m not sure if that made the difference. I think its fantastic the way it is so that’s all that matters. Possibly I could’ve made it longer if I wanted too as I still have a lot of yarn left over however towards the end I realised I can sing “My blanket is made 3 by 3 hoorah hoorah”
- There are 15 colours used (a number divisible by 3)
- There are 3 repeats of the colours used in the rows
- There are 3 rounds in the border
And finally…. the blanket is Trebles!!
Normally I’m not obsessed by the number 3 (2 is my number of choice) but when I noticed the pattern of 3 appearing I decided to keep it at 90 rows to continue with the pattern.
I have had so much fun making this blanket. Each time I worked on it I found it very relaxing and methodical. I went into a crochet zone and did treble by treble, cluster by cluster. If I came across a stitch problem I had a think about it than thought of a way to overcome it. I’ve done small crochet blankets before but never anything this size. This blanket is perfect if you want to try a larger blanket. It doesn’t take long to complete. You can put it down and easily pick up where you left of next time. The pattern is easy to follow. You can use any yarn or colours you like.
After doing this my 2 big tips would be
- Create yourself a yarn card if you want to keep a uniform pattern to your blanket
- Darn in the ends often as you go and that way at the end you won’t have heaps and heaps to do
From the minute I finished this I already started to get withdrawals. I’m waiting to start a baby’s blanket for a friend but can’t start that until I find out the colour I need. I do have some knitting projects I can do to fill in my time.
As previously mentioned I decided to do the borders on this a little different to the way Lucy did hers. She had 4 rows to her border in different stitches where I decided to only do 3 borders and only use trebles. I wanted to keep the edging simple so that’s why I decided to use the one stitch the entire blanket was done in. Trebles are also a tallish stitch so they give extra height without a lot of effort.
It was hard to pick which 3 colours to use. The blue was an obvious choice as from the minute I got my yarn pack it was my favourite. The other 2 colours just seemed to jump out at me as I made the blanket. I’m not a pink person but I really liked this colour. Each time I used it I kept thinking of lollies. The orange I must admit when I first saw it I wasn’t a fan. It was just too bright. When I was sorting out my yarn card with the colour combination I struggled where to fit it in. As the blanket progressed it grew on me and found its way in to the border at the end. I thought these colours would clash but I think they work really well together.
I’ve never used a variegated thread before. I’ve got some in my stash so I decided to have a play with them.
I found some stitches worked really well in the variegated thread. The more thread the stitch used the more colour change you saw. I was only using a 5″ piece of fabric so not really long enough to show much of a change in some stitches. The alternating hearts for example are large but use very little thread so they look very plain. Some stitches showed the colour change well such as the swirly hearts but the stitch was too dense and you can’t really see what the stitch is so it looks messy. You really do need to test out the stitch first in your variegated thread to see how it will look. My favourite from this test piece is the smocking stitch. In fact after I finished playing with this I used various forms of smocking stitch to fill an area on another project in a variegated thread.
I have a few variegated threads in my stash. I’m going to try using them more particularly to add interest to an area without having to do anything too fancy.
This week was very happy but very sad. I’ve finished all the rows of the blanket yippee!! The sad part is I am really enjoying crocheting it and I don’t want it to end. There are 90 rows in total which is 3 repeats of the yarn card I made up. I could’ve perhaps made it longer but in my mind I like the size the way it is (I will explain more once it finished) The photo shows it on a queen size bed. I’m going to use it for a blanket in the lounge room rather than on the bed so really the length isn’t an issue.
My next task is the border. I’m using Lucy’s border tutorial as a guide but not following it completely. I want a slightly different look to my border.
I just came across this free block of the month and decided to sign up to it.
I must admit before I stumbled across Jacquelynne’s photo on Instagram I didn’t know much about her. However that is the joy of the craft community finding out about craft designers and creators who are new to you. After looking at some of her photos I was instantly drawn to her style. A lot of her stuff is traditional but done with a funky modern twist which is exactly what I like. I’ve decided to do her free block of the month which starts in June and lasts for 5 months. What I really loved when I read the instructions for this block of the month is that you can complete the blocks in some many options. If piecing a quilt block is your thing you can piece the block, if applique is your thing you can applique it by hand or machine or if you like embroidery you can embroider the blocks. At this point I’m most likely to embroider them particularly as the 2 stitches used are back stitch (easy) and French knots (I’m improving on those) I’m not guaranteeing to get them finished in time but I’m going to give them ago, have some fun and one day have some finished craft items.
Jacquelynne also has a free e-magazine which I also signed up for.