Baby Clara (isn't that a beautiful name?) was born last week. She's a lovely, placid baby. When I met her, she slept in my arms for over an hour. Her mom is a good friend of mine; when I learned she'd be having another baby, I wanted to make something special. I began planning this gift about six months ago, right around the time I was getting ready to order some more Stylecraft Special DK from Deramores. I knew I wanted to make a baby-sized ripple for my friend, but I didn't know the baby's gender yet and I wanted plenty of colors to choose from. I waited until late spring to start, after learning that the baby would be a girl.
I worked on the blanket throughout the summer months, just a little at a time between other projects, finishing in August. I wanted to wait until the baby was here before sharing it on my blog. I really enjoyed making this blanket. I was almost sorry to finish working on it because the process was such a pleasure. I love Stylecraft Special DK because it's soft and light, and of course, it's always wonderful to make something for a brand new baby.
This is my second ripple blanket. The first one, made in early 2012, was my first major crochet project. It was a big, bed-sized afghan made in worsted-weight acrylic with a large hook. This one is made with DK yarn and a smaller hook; I think I liked it better this time around. But that could just be a result of my improved crochet-confidence. The ripple pattern (I used the ever-popular Neat Ripple Pattern from Attic 24) is one which requires some concentration and counting, and I'm proud to say that there are no mistakes in this latest ripple. I didn't lose any stitches along the way. When I made an error, I realized it quickly and corrected it right away. I felt like I was harnessing serious ripply mojo while making this blanket.
When I made my first ripple, I knew very little about edgings or borders, and I certainly didn't know you could "flatten" the ripply edges either. I tried my hand at the latter this time around, playing around until it looked right. To "flatten" the rippled ends, I used the following pattern of stitches (from peak to peak, with the valley between them, in US terms): 4slst, 4sc, 2dc, 4sc, 4slst. In other words, I made four slip stitches along the top of the peak, then four single crochets on the downward slope, then two double crochets in the valley, then four single crochets on the upward slope and four slip stitches on top of the next peak. There are numerous ways to do this, of course, but this approach worked fine for me. I did two rounds of stitches for the border, including the "flattening" pale pink one, which forms the inner border and continues as plain dc stitches along both straight sides of the blanket. I generally did two to three stitches in the sides of each row. The outer gray round is just dc all the way around. The corners are 2dc, ch2, 2dc. I like this simple border; it's plain but it allows the ripples to shine.
For this blanket, I wanted to use colors which were feminine but not too sweetly girly, if that makes sense. I love the look of baby clothes and nursery decor that incorporate more sophisticated "adult" colors with the baby ones, such as browns and grays. I love gray for baby girls because it gives everything a vintage flavor; I think of old-fashioned carriages and intricately-detailed sweater sets. I built the palette for this blanket around grays, purples and pinks. Then I wanted to balance out the girly shades with more unexpected ones, so I pulled in the aqua, to balance the pinks, and an acidic green to wake everything up. I think it worked well, especially since I used the blue and green more sparingly. Above, you can see the yarns I used. All are Stylecraft Special DK. On the bottom, from left to right: Plum, Grape, Clematis, Candy Floss and Raspberry. On the top row, from left to right: Silver, Grey, Sherbet and Meadow.
I'm really happy with this little blanket. I gave it to my friend just like this, folded with a piece of silver satin ribbon tied in a bow. She really loves it and that makes me glad. I'm blessed to have her family in my life; they are my kind of people. Most of all, I am happy knowing my ripply blanket will keep baby Clara warm and cozy this winter.
Some stats on this blanket:
- 129 foundation chains to start (126+3 for turning)
- Approximately 30 inches by 28 inches
- 29 stripes, each made of two ripply rows in the same color
- Nine colors of Stylecraft Special DK acrylic yarn, about half a ball used of each color
- Size G (4.00mm) Susan Bates Silvalume hook
- Began late May 2013, worked on intermittently through mid-August.