“Cottage” Squares Blanket

Way back in September, I started making 4-round granny squares (using this pattern) with the Attic24 “Cottage” colour pack. I was really taken with the colours and thought I’d make a blanket for my mum from them (although minus the Khaki as I didn’t like it and my LYS didn’t have it in stock anyway.) I worked hard on them for ages and amassed quite a good stack of squares.

Production halted as the lounge work became more urgent (yay for having a lounge now!) and then the more I mentioned the blanket in passing to my mum I realised that she didn’t really like the colour scheme. She didn’t know that it was for her at this point so she was just honest about it! I stopped working on it completely then, and I didn’t really know what to do with the squares. I hadn’t made enough for a single bed and I didn’t really feel motivated to make any more. Then one night about two weeks ago it hit me … there’s enough for a toddler size bed! And there’s a little girl I know well who I wanted to make a blanket for. And it’s her birthday soon and I have all these squares … after a frustrating evening of trying to arrange them how I wanted them and then a happy day and evening joining them together I was really rather pleased with it.

 

During that frustrating evening (which came at the end of a long and frustrating day) I hadn’t been feeling the love for the colours and got fed up that I couldn’t make it look how I wanted it in my head. When I looked at it again the next day, I realised I’d just been taking my frustration out on the blanket and I was just being silly.

I joined the squares using “parchment” – all of the yarn is Stylecraft Special dk which I’m sure most of you recognise but I’ll say it just in case. I wrote a bit about how I join squares here if you wanted to see that. I like the look of the joined squares and people always say that it would look good on the front as well. I just prefer it to be on the back! I also like to do one round of htr (UK) stitches around the edge of the blanket in that same colour so that the squares are fully outlined. When I get to the corners of the joined squares, I do 2htr in the last corner of one square, chain 1, and then 2htr in the first corner of the next square. So far this has made for a relatively even and non-puckered finish.

Can you see what I mean? Oh good ;-) For the rest of the border I did two rounds of UK Treble clusters in “Pale Rose” and one in “Raspberry”. Instead of working them out of the spaces like a granny stripe I worked them out of every third stitch and am really pleased with the effect.

And here’s the finished blanket. I am so very pleased with it, not just for how it looks but because it’s going to a good home, to the daughter of someone who has been so kind and supportive of me and has also looked after TTB on at least three occasions while I’ve been for hospital visits etc. It could do with a bit of a gentle steam block but I’m not really able to do that now, partly because I am too pregnant to be crawling around on the floor pinning things, and partly because my friend also has my blocking boards! But she said she’s happy to do the blocking so that’s ok ;-)

I used less than one ball of each colour, and a 4mm hook to make this blanket. It’s approximately 102 x 117cm although after blocking might be a bit bigger. A toddler bed is 70 x 140cm so it will fit over the duvet but not come over the pillows, and drape nicely over the sides of the bed.

 

 

 

 

Boy Mum

Have you missed me taking you to the park? I’ve missed it. Yesterday was the first time we’ve been in a while. We saw a tree creeper (but my lens wasn’t long enough to get a good photo) and a robin landed right in front of the pushchair, much to TTB’s delight. He was really happy to be in the park, collecting sticks and getting muddy. Oh yes, getting muddy. You see that puddle? That quite deep, really very boggy and muddy puddle? Yes, so did he. I suggested that perhaps he wouldn’t go in it but he gave me a “Don’t be so silly, Mummy, of course I’m going in!” look and waded right in. He had a great time and investigated it thoroughly with his boots and the stick he was holding. I did try to entice him out with by saying we should go and find some more sticks, but he just turned around to me, held his stick aloft and said “I’ve got one!” and I couldn’t help but laugh. Yes you do have a stick already, how silly of me not to notice!

I’m sure you can guess how it ended though – he sat down in the puddle and became completely covered in mud. Soaked in mud! He was wearing a coat and a waterproof all in one and even those two things didn’t stop it seeping through to his clothes! I had to strip him down to his jeans and jumper (and hat) and tuck him up in the cosy toes of the pushchair to get him home. Fortunately I’d brought a carrier bag so I had something to put all his muddy things in but it took two goes through the washing machine to get the mud off of the coats and even then I still had to pick bits of leaf off of them before I could hang them up to dry! That reminds me, I need to go and clean the seal of the washing machine as it’s fairly dirty now!

I don’t really go in for the whole boys can only do/like/see/wear this kind of thing and girls something else. Sometimes though, I watch TTB doing things, like sitting in the muddy puddle, or when he plays for ages with his cars and trains, or tries to drive a little toy digger through my hair and I just think “yep …  I’m a boy mum!” and it’s interesting to see just how many stereotypical “boy” things he does enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, he’s partial to his play kitchen and tucking up his teddies to bed and things like that too, but he does love cars and trains and lots of mud. He’s happy. I’m happy. The washing machine less so!

Blimmin’ Cold

If I could, I would stay indoors at the moment and just hibernate. I suppose what we do these days isn’t that far away from it … but I am trying, trying, trying to go out more! I want to hibernate and slow down and wash babygrows and think about my hospital bag and obsessively bleach the kitchen cupboards which is a bit at odds with still having to be Toddler Mum. Today we waited in for a parcel to be delivered (Again. Don’t get me started, it’s been a nightmare and my fingers are itching to type an email of complaint.) which gave me an excuse not to go out but enforced staying in is never as fun as doing it thought choice.

Anyway this afternoon I bundled TTB up in warm things and told him that we were going out. I gave him the choice of walking or pushchair and he chose the latter (I was secretly glad about that because I did indeed manage to get my shiny new one that I wanted, although we are going to be eating soup for a month now to pay for it!). We walked down to the canal to see the ducks and the swans. On the way we were serenaded by the birds in the trees. Can you see the Blue Tit in the photo above? Thinking about it, they probably weren’t serenading us, probably shouting at us to go away!

Mr Swan wasn’t very friendly today, it’s possible that he didn’t appreciate the awesomness of my new pushchair, or more likely because we were breadless.

We walked a little further; the sky was very pretty this afternoon. One day I would like to learn to understand what different types of clouds mean. Apparently we are due to have a few centimetres of snow tomorrow … oh deep joy.

I’m making myself take my SLR camera out with me more, I reckon this photo is too dark really but I was too cold to figure it out and I liked the sky. It’s really really cold here. That white patch in the middle of the canal isn’t just a ripple from the wind, its ice. Brrrrrrr.

The hills around the town are all covered in snow. Brrrr it makes me cold just looking at it all.

To sum up my blog post: there are pretty things around at the moment but it’s too flipping cold to actually appreciate any of them. And I’d rather stay inside. Also, birds.