Hello again to you all.
Today I’m sharing with you my latest blanket. It was completed yesterday, pretty much six weeks since it was merely a collection of yarns in a box, and is now a rather large king size cover for my bed.
Note: the Yarn List with colours and quantities, appears at the end of this rather long post! Read on…….
So these were the first colours I pulled out of my yarn stash. They were to be a homage to my mother who passed away four years ago in October, and I picked colours which I knew were her favourites. Soft pastels in pinks, lilacs, greens and greys.
I gave it a working title of ‘My Mother of Pearl Blanket’ as in My Mother, plus Mother of Pearl colours. However, I’ve since renamed it the Frosted Pearl Blanket to take into account the frosty winter season we are coming into in the UK and I do think it describes the colours well.
The story behind it (there always is a story, isn’t there?!) is this. Back in my early crochet days, I made a blanket which I liked in part, but also felt didn’t quite come together as a whole. Elements of it really worked, but the overall look? Not so much. However, this time I took a couple of those elements and decided to put them together again in another design to give them one more chance.
The slightly different looking granny square and the little appliqué flowers in the pictures above, are those two elements.
Now taking the cue from the granny square, the whole blanket has been done with one less stitch in the treble clusters, so two instead of three. This is what gives the more open look, which I love in this blanket.
bBut the benefits of this stitch pattern don’t stop at the look of the blanket, oh no. Just think, two stitches instead of the usual three in every cluster means a third less yarn. It also means a third less time – the six weeks it took me to make it, would have turned into nine! And possibly most importantly, as it is such a large blanket, the more open texture gives it a lovely drape.
As I worked away on the different parts, something quite strange became apparent. It was the transient way the colours changed depending on the changing light. In bright daylight, the colours merge and soften to become more of an overall pearly look. As the light fades, or if it’s a dull day they deepen in tone and begin to stand out individually. And under artificial light they are even more prominent.
The overall tone changes as well. Daylight gives the blanket a silvery lilac look, whereas lamplight makes it more of a pink/green.
It really played havoc with my brain as I was trying to take the photos, and even now with hundreds of pics stored on my phone, I don’t think I’ve found the true colour representation, and probably never will!
When I first started working on it, I couldn’t decide where it would eventually live, as it were. There isn’t a room in the house which would take these colours really. My living room is golds, greens and terracottas. My kitchen/family room is white and bright primary colours and neither could allow a wishy washy pastel intruder in their midst. I already had a blanket on my bed, but I tried the Frosted Pearl in its half finished state on it, just to see.
And there it was! Absolutely right at home. My winter bedding is a cosy brushed cotton all over small flower pattern in silver grey, and my summer covers are pure white seersucker. The colours of the blanket blend beautifully with both. It was immediately apparent this was where it had to go and of course that meant I had to make it a big ‘un.
I simply added borders and edges until it reached the right size.
When it was finished and laid on the bed, I discovered that although I had designed it to have horizontal stripes across the bed, it looks just as good with the stripes as vertical. I can’t decide which is actually better now, so I can ring the changes!
So, some technical stuff…….
Firstly, it measures a generous 68.5 ins (174 cms) and is practically a square, so it’s that length pretty much in both directions. It lies neatly on my king size bed with a little of an overhang.
The yarn I picked from the first collection had some of the stronger shades taken out and I concentrated on the pale shades. This was because the deeper plum and the sugary pinks tended to be a bit overwhelming. As in all my blankets, it is a 100% acrylic double knitting weight and for the colour choice I mixed Deramores Studio, Stylecraft Special and a little Scheepjes Colour Crafter.
For once, I managed to be economical as far as left over yarn was concerned and this is all I was left with. Some colours were used up entirely.
I have plans for these little bits, but more about that later.
I think the size, coupled with the open stitch pattern has meant that there has been no distortion as I was working, and what you see in these photos is a blanket which hasn’t been blocked or even washed, which is what I usually do to tweak into shape while damp. It lies nicely with no intervention.
Finally this is the list of Yarns I used. Some people have asked for it in advance of the pattern, so they can order it and have it ready for when the pattern is published.
In addition to the yarns listed, I have to say I also used one ball of Stylecraft Special 4 ply in Cream for the flower petals. This was because I wanted a more dainty look for them. However I know you will have plenty of the Deramores Studio in Pearl left, and that could be used for the petals instead, to save having to buy the 4 ply. It’s your choice.
So there it is. The blanket is finished. The pattern writing begins!
I’ll let you know as soon as it is ready.
Bye for now and keep safe xx