blanket goes to the beach

Lot’s of blog-worthy things are happening around here, I just don’t have the discipline to stop doing them and instead sit down and write about them for a few minutes. How many posts do I have to publish before I get my blog fairy?

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I’ve just returned from a wedding in Portland, Oregon, where we lived before moving to Chicago. Some very good friends tied the knot, so I thought I’d do them a few knots better as a gift.

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This is Sunny Spread, a free pattern available through Red Heart. I was inspired by this beautiful blanket. I love this blog. Unfortunately, I only speak the French that I’ve picked up from obscene ’70s hits and my previous life as a professional ballet dancer, neither of which is particularly useful when trying to read about a crocheted blanket. If you do speak French and/or Google translate, this is a really fun blog to spend some time with. I love her sense of style, and unlike most fashion-y blogs, tennis shoes are featured frequently, which is good news for me!

Back to the blanket. This was originally going to be about twice as big. Because of my aforementioned difficulty reading my inspiration’s pattern notes, I wasn’t quite sure how much yarn to buy. I ended up having enough to make a 4 x 8 square blanket (rather than an 8 x 8), which worked out well because I also ran out of time.

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This is my first completed crocheted project. I really enjoyed doing it, and for the bulk of the work it was very portable. This was a great pattern for a beginner, although I do wish I’d taken sometime to learn more about weaving ends in for crochet. I guess I’ll just have to make another one… If I do, I’d like to also experiment more with the colors. There are so many fun, modern feeling options for this particularly pattern.

I used Plymouth Yarn’s Encore Worsted, which is an acrylic/wool blend. I’m generally not a fan of acrylic yarn, but this yarn strikes a nice balance and was a pleasure to work with. I also wasn’t sure how my friends would feel about a fully wool blanket. I love them, but I think it might be an acquired taste. Plus it was less expensive than the cheapest 100% wool available in my local yarn store, perfect for a blanket that, I swear, was eating the yarn right of the skein when I wasn’t looking.

It felt a little risky taking on a new craft for a gift, but I knew if I committed to making it for someone else I had a better chance of finishing the project. I also liked the idea (selfishly) learning a new skill while I (unselfishly) made a gift for someone else to enjoy.

Do you have go-to patterns or projects for gift making? Or do you start from scratch each time?

 

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