Thursday, 13 November 2014

Rose Blanket

Ah the Rose Blanket. Long-suffering, much-maligned, often cursed. Ridiculously fiddly motifs, annoyingly long stitches, not enough of one colour, and much smaller than planned. I can't tell you how much this flipping THING has irritated me. I didn't have a lot of love for this project during its production, can you tell ?? Don't worry though, there's a happy ending.


I first spotted the pattern for the Dog-Rose Blanket in a magazine called "Crochet Gifts" that I bought ages ago, probably in about May of this year (haven't seen it for sale since!). It's also the pattern featured on the front of the book "Granny Squares: Over 25 Creative Ways to Crochet the Classic Pattern" by Barbara Wilder.  (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Granny-Squares-Creative-Crochet-Classic/dp/1844488403/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415914485&sr=1-6&keywords=Granny+squares).

After a rummage in my stash I found I had just the right colours.


However, there were some warning signs: I didn't like the name (I've re-christened it simply the Rose Blanket) and the baby for whom it was intended had already been born. As usual I thought "no, no, it will be fine, I'll whip up half a dozen squares a night, be done in less than two weeks, fab". JILL!!!!! Do you not know yourself AT ALL?????


Firstly, I don't whip up anything when crocheting in the evening, I fiddle, faddle, get distracted with my phone, my cup of tea, the internet, the telly. Secondly, I can't produce several squares a night because I work up all the round 1's, then all the round 2's, and so on. Working this way ought to be quite efficient - less rooting around in the basket for the right colour, and you sort of get into the groove of the pattern for that round. 


Of course in reality, working up 60-odd of the same fiddly round over and over is a bit t.e.d.i.o.u.s so the distraction sets in, and cancels out the efficiency. Thirdly, try try try as I might, I find it really hard to start a project and focus on it right through to completion without starting a few more projects, and perhaps even finishing another little thing or two, along the way.


I plodded along with the blanket through the summer. I crocheted in the house, in the garden, in the park, just a little at a time and my little flowers began to blossom.






We went away on holidays and when we got back there was my little tin of squares (well, flowers actually) waiting patiently for me to resume working on them. And so I continued working on the blanket as summer turned to autumn, and I moved from crocheting in the mild evenings outside to working inside in the warmth, and as the days grew shorter, I was by now reaching the final rounds.


The flowery and leafy bit of each motif - the light pink centre, dark pink ring around it, then the pale pink outer petals and the little green leafy touches, were all worked in the usual (UK) stitches - chains, doubles, half-trebles and trebles. But the final round, worked in white .... groan. Like big, major G.R.O.A.N. All the stitches in that last round were either double-treble or triple-treble. Triple treble ??!!! Whoever thought that one up needs a good talking to. Loopy, saggy, long stitches, and they take ages to do. Never Again. Ever.


I was tempted to rip out the white and redo it in a less loopy stitch, but I couldn't face redoing the ones I'd done, so I kept going, on and on and on ...... and now several months after its start, it's finally finished. Hurray hurray whoop whoop etc :D 

And I must say I totally love Love LOVE it :) The colours are divine, just like a big slice of yummy cake, and the fiddliness was totally worth the effort, I think the detail is gorgeous: so delicate and yet a bit chunky at the same.


The pattern has a scalloped-y edging but I decided to stop at the two rounds of double-trebles, they give it a nice ruffle without being overly fussy.


The squares were all joined using the join-as-you-go method, and I love the starry effect this gives at the point where 4 corners meet.


I made my blanket smaller than the pattern (ok so I did run out of the light pink) but it's the perfect size for snuggling, so my snuggle expert tells me.


The pattern called for 63 squares, for a 9x7 blanket, but mine is 30 squares, for a 5x6 blanket.


It's going to reside draped over the back of a dark grey wicker chair I have in my front room, and I love the contrast of the white over the dark grey. The edging is meant to lay flat, but I like the softness of the ruffled edge so I am not going to block it .... what a rebel, eh ?!


Now it gets a bit embarrassing really. Long story short - the blanket was meant for one baby - then it got too late really - and then for a second baby - but it's getting a bit late for that too now (and no I still haven't made anything else for them. I'm rubbish at deadlines). Plus I think the blanket is just a bit too holey for a baby, I know what little fingers and little fingernails are like for catching in things, and I already caught one of those stupid triple-trebles on a door handle, so it's not really that practical for a baby. Also my husband suggested that the parents really won't appreciate all the effort that went into it, as it was hours and hours and hours of work, and I think he's right. So I've decided to keep it :)

And the snuggle-tester is very happy about that - can you spot her underneath ?


27 comments:

  1. Hello Jill! Your blanket is lovely!! I have a couple of started but unfinished crochet projects hiding somewhere and your story has made me want to go and dig them out and get them finished! :) xx

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    1. Do it! You'll be so relieved when one gets finished :)
      X

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  2. What a story! I got a huge kick out of each baby going on past until you kept it yourself.. lol! I think it's absolutely FABOOOO! Good job! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  3. Its beautiful!! Good thing you get to keep it for yourself too. Colours are just perfect!
    And just think of the memories you'll have of the time spent making it!!!

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  4. Aggghhhh!!! my comment disappeared, the gist of it was lovely blanket, too lacy for a baby, you should keep it for snuggling!! xx

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  5. It is beautiful and so good that you will be keeping it for yourself.

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  6. Your rose blanket is gorgeous so no wonder you want to keep it. You only want to give things like that to someone who will appreciate all the work.

    I have a confession to make - I accidently deleted the lovely comment you left on my post called Brown Sugar. Would you mind doing it again? I'm really sorry!!

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  7. Gorgeous blanket - and after so much work, definitely one to keep for you and your family! :) x

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  8. Hahaha, what a great story, love the way you tell it :-)!
    I can so imagine what a lot of trouble you had with all those fiddly things!
    However, you now have the most gorgeous cuddly blanket ever :-).
    Love from Mirjam.

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  9. You are brilliant. I LOVED this post, I mean LOVED it. The poor wee blanket caught so much grief all along and now it is spectacular, a bit like a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly in the end. See if you had a loom, you could put a project like this down for a few hours, make loads of progress on you weaving and then pick up the blanket with a new sense of purpose. I love the blanket, it is too beautiful to give away.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  10. Jill this is a great post and what a beautiful blanket. Good that your husband appreciates all the hard work you put in! Now all you need to do is whip up a couple of baby blankets for the babies it was originally intended for! X

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  11. Jill, that is got gorgeous, really pretty, love the colours together. Good idea to keep it, unless the person receiving the gift knows anything about crochet, they never appreciate the amount of effort involved....you should be proud it is fab xxxx

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  12. Hi Jill, wow it is a beautiful blanket, love the detail and colour. A labour of love paid off, a truly wonderful make and will add colour on these dark miserable days.
    Helen

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  13. Oh it is totally gorgeous. I know how much work went into it as I finished two myself this year. (nowhere near as fabulous as yours I hasten to add) You're dead right, the parents won't appreciate the time spent on it. My crocheted baby blanket barely got so much as a thanks before it was cast aside for some Primani tat at the baby shower...I'd crocheted for 5 hours the day before in order to finish it.

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  14. I'm just like you with projects I'm yet to complete my first blanket started in 2009 when I first learnt to crochet eek, but my this is beautiful blanket it's stunning I have a serious case of wanties, that's my crafting flaw I'm so easily distracted, I making a baby blanket at the mo, baby due March and I'm determined to get it finished on time.
    Clare xx

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  15. Jill, you make me laugh out loud. The blanket turned out beautifully - the colors are downright gorgeous! I'm glad you decided to keep it for yourself. You deserve it.

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  16. This is wonderful! Love the colours all that hard work and grief certainly paid off. I wouldn't be able to bear giving it away after all that! Have a great weekend.

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  17. Well done on finishing it!! And it is really magnificent, I completely understand why you've kept it, sounds like others are thrilled it's staying at your house too :) x

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  18. I LOVE this blanket! It's so pretty :) The colours make me think of roses in June. After all that hard work I don't blame you in deciding to keep it. I know exactly what you mean about starting a large project and then getting a bit bored and getting side-tracked into smaller ones. I do that constantly. Once a project becomes familiar, I get easily distracted by new ideas. Still, the sense of achievement when you finish it is wonderful - well done! x

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  19. It's really beautiful, Jill. I've never seen another like it and I think it came out so well.

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  20. I agree with the others : it's a brilliant blanket !! bravo !! Have a lovely sunday !

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  21. I really love this blanket, Jill. It is beautiful, and well worth all the work you put in! The colours are very pretty and if I had made it I would want to keep it :)
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

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  22. Hi Jill! Congrats on finishing the blanket, and great that your daughter loves it! It really is a very pretty pattern and you picked some lovely shades! Glad you reached a happy ending with it!! Hooray for perseverance!!!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  23. Oh wow! You had me laughing out loud (for real) reading about your "love" for this blanket. I loved this post! The blanket is fab and you have just won a pat on the back for sticking with it right to the last sewn in end.

    Great job.
    Birgitta xx

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  24. I'm hearing you. I am queen of distraction. You did good, it is gorgeous, and yes, I wouldn't want to give it away either! Enjoy :)

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Jillxxxxx