Boy Colours

I like to make blankets for other people, and I especially like to make sure that any babies that are born receive a little blanket gift. I have only missed a couple of friend’s babies, I think, and that was because I had a newborn of my own.

I’m most comfortable working with a large selection of bright “rainbowy” colours, as you’ve probably seen from my projects page. These are particularly good for when people don’t want to find out whether they are having a boy or a girl: can’t go wrong with a rainbow ripple!

Sometimes though I do like to make blankets that are “boy colours” or “girl colours” (as much as I dislike colour “rules” and the idea that colours are limited by gender, you know what I mean by “boy colours”). The Pink Daisies Blanket, and the Boaty Blanket, and the Honey and Roses Blanket are examples of this.

Stylecraft recently released four new colours in their Special DK range, a lovely orange (FINALLY) called Spice and a gorgeous deep blue teal called Petrol. I really wanted to incorporate these into the blanket I intended to make for the newest baby in Andy’s family. My first instinct was to use it as part of the colour combo in the photo above: Petrol, Cream, Parchment, Camel, Cloud Blue, Spice and then whatever that brown one is called. Walnut? Dark Brown? I can’t remember.

Unfortunately my first attempt at using them was shockingly horrific and I’m a bit embarrassed to even show you the photo! It’s like some awful awful remnant from the seventies.

Subsequent ideas using these colours were also big fat ugly failures.

I tried a different combination, swapping the brown for the green “Meadow”. I liked this incarnation more, but the friends I discussed it with didn’t really think it worked. By this point I had been thinking about the colours so much I couldn’t even tell what looked nice anymore!

Then I thought, perhaps I will do a blanket of just five colours and repeat them only once, with big blocks of colour a bit like this blanket by the Purl Bee that floats around Pinterest every so often.

But then when I tested this idea, all I could think of was the French flag!

I tried out all of these colour combinations but none of them really clicked for me. The bottom left had potential though, which led me to the colours I actually used:

Petrol, Aspen, Sherbet, Denim, Parchment and Spice.

Just a little blanket, perfect for the car or in the pram. 30 squares using the Elmer Squares pattern, joined using this method and then the border is made from two rounds of Aspen (UK treble stitches) and one round of Petrol (UK double stitches) in the back loops only. It’s suffering a bit from curly edges, this can be rectified by steam blocking it with an iron as per the instructions in this post here (near the end.) I haven’t done this yet though!

I wanted to take some beautiful photos of this blanket but the weather and light quality has been awful here lately, and I need to get this posted off soon, so these photos will have to do. (Annoyingly, the best light in the house is in TTB’s bedroom, but as I can only take photos of crochet projects during naptime I can’t take them in his room!)

I’m really pleased with the colours I decided on in the end. A couple of friends commented about the placement of the squares, and how they couldn’t have made it themselves and kept two oranges in the same column, or had the “denim/petrol/denim” together on that bottom row. Personally, I think that with a small blanket and a small palette you are limited in the number of ways you can arrange the squares without it looking like a pattern. I wanted it to look random and the decision to put two oranges in the same column was deliberate. Anyway, I’m happy with it and hopefully it’s new owner will be too.

Oh and because someone usually asks, I used a 4mm hook because it’s dk weight yarn. You can buy Stylecraft Special dk in a number of places online, such as The Homemakery and Wool Warehouse. I’m lucky and buy mine in my LYS :)

One Nice Moment

I looked back over my photos this evening and realised that there were virtually no bloggable photos. Surely I’ve been doing THINGS? Well, we have, but most of them revolve around teaching a small boy to sleep in his bed and not on me. And that’s really boring.

I have been working on my ripple though, after a couple of weeks break to make a little blanket for a new baby cousin. Ok so I suppose I have been doing something, but I haven’t taken any photos on anything other than my ipad and the camera isn’t great on that. There’s something to aim for this week then!

Working on a ripple is very therapeutic and it’s easy and robust enough to pick up and put down around my other important tasks of catering to the random play/toy whims of TTB. It’s funny how specific he is about where he wants his toys to go, like getting all of the duplo people (and the lion!) into the duplo truck at the same time. The rows are long enough too that I can just grab a ball of yarn, the blanket itself and a hook and it’s enough to last for a while. I like making blankets like this rather than with lots of squares as I find it quicker to work a long row than a square, and you don’t have to store lots of little bits while you are making the rest of them. I DO like joining squares up though, that bit is satisfying.

So yes. One nice moment from the last few days: sitting and rippling in the sunshine of TTB’s bedroom while he amused himself with his toys. He is so used to me doing bits of crochet here and there now that he just ignores it and doesn’t try to grab the yarn. Reading that back it makes me seem like all I do is sit and crochet and ignore him – that’s not quite the case as he is very happy doing independent play and often just requires supervision rather than involvement from me. If you’d have told me that when he was a small baby I never would have believed you!

Right, it’s Sunday night and I still need to go and wash up. I will aim to take more photos this week!


Weekday Walking

During the week, TTB and I clock up a fair few miles just walking around town and doing our usual things. I don’t mind walking in all weathers (waterproof coat and boots!) but I do love it when there is a beautiful blue sky to walk under. This was early last week on the way to swimming. It was still cold but it didn’t matter.

We stopped to look at the big crane (construction vehicles, well any vehicles really, are fascinating to my little boy) on the way. I like this big old mill chimney; it’s hard to get a photograph of the whole thing though. I have no idea about the physics behind this but it’s weird how tall straight things go bendy when you look up at them! Not bendy perhaps but wonky. Curvature of the Earth? Maybe it’s my eyes that are wonky, heh.

Reflections on water are beautiful aren’t they? Sometimes a mirror image when the water is still and then a ripply distortion when the ducks are disturbing the surface.

How lucky we are to have this park. Tall trees are just super. They are all starting to show little leaf buds, and the avenue of blossom trees have a slightly red look about their branches now, with blossom tightly furled under red er, blossom hiding bits. (I don’t know half as many words as I probably should do!)

We always count the dogs that we see on the way to swimming (lots) and TTB exclaimed when he saw four identical spaniels being walked by one person.

On the way back he likes to walk through the park. Somedays it lasts longer than others … he only made it a hundred yards this time before being relegated to the pushchair again for being generally pesky. It still boggles my mind that my tiny baby walks along like this.

A few days later we did a different kind of walking, this time at Bolton Abbey with our friends. It was different because it mainly involved walking for twenty minutes at toddler speed to kill time before the Cavendish Pavillion Cafe opened and we could go and have second breakfast! And then on the way out some really rather bold ducks stole the toast our toddlers were carrying. Mean! I thought the ducks at York uni were bad (they rip open bin bags and eat everything) but these ones stand up and stretch to their fullest reach and take things right from your hands. (I know ducks aren’t meant to eat bread, but I don’t think anyone has told the ducks that.)

Where do you like to walk? I’ve never enjoyed walking as much as I do here. Good job because I don’t drive and there’s always lots to do and places to go!