Saturday, December 14, 2013

Manny Stripe


I'm finally revealing the LB's requested afghan. I finished it over Thanksgiving weekend; time slipped away as I blogged about other things. But here it is! It's the first blanket I have ever made specifically for a male person. It's made with the Granny Stripe pattern from Attic 24. But I call it Manny Stripe. It's for a boy, and it's made with boy colors. And the specific boy - an eight-year-old with a rollicking, silly sense of humor - thinks this name is hilarious. I'm glad I can be so entertaining; I think the name sounds like a tough guy in the Army. I'm even more glad to have made a blanket he loves, although it isn't in his possession yet. I'm sending it to Santa Claus, you see, so that he can bring it back with him on Christmas Eve, to be left under the tree for the LB. He saw me working on it for three months, and he knew it was meant for him. It's possible he's only playing along to humor me, but that's okay; I'll keep it going as long as I can.





I began the Manny Stripe in early September. I wanted to have a blanket to work on through the fall, as the weather changed. I really enjoy making blankets in cool weather, especially that feeling of having a blanket grow down your lap as you work on it. This is more comfortable when it isn't hot out, of course. It was still quite hot when I started this blanket, but the weather changed quickly; only a week or so later, we had a massive rain event with cooler-than-average temperatures. It was the first real hunkering experience of the fall, and I loved having a blanket in progress for it. I worked on it most days during the course of the fall, but I did put it down a few times to work on smaller projects. I enjoy the mindlessness of the granny stripe pattern for the most part, but sometimes I need to work on something more challenging for a little while. I find that it helps me enjoy the sweet mindlessness anew when I go back to it. It was a relatively slow blanket to make, because I did have to start and stop periodically to remain interested in it. I'm really happy with it, though. Would you like to see more? Meet Manny Stripe...


Here's the obligatory aerial shot...I stood on the coffee table. I love the way the stripes look, very crisp and bright, each one standing out among the ones around it. It's a big blanket, plenty long for a growing boy and it's very soft and warm. It's another testament to my love for Stylecraft Special DK (why don't they sell this yarn in America? Hmm...maybe there's an import business in this somewhere...). Isn't it manly? It's so different from the blankets I usually make...there's no pink or purple in here. I think that's a first for me.



The edge is simple. I love fancy edgings and I spent a fair amount of time perusing my crochet-borders books, but in the end, I went plain. The edge is comprised of a round of granny clusters, surrounded by three rounds of (US) double-crochet stitches. The corners are done with 3dc, ch2, 3dc. Easy-peasy, plain and simple, and satisfactorily masculine.





I just adore these stripes. Most of my blankets have had stripes of one type or another and I feel really drawn to them. When I asked the LB what kind of blanket he wanted, I also showed him some examples of different blankets I've made. He said right away that he wanted one like a granny stripe I'd already made. He said he liked the way the stripes were straight and also that they seemed more "defined." I know what he means by this; the pattern has an interesting way of setting off each stripe. I think it's the way the clusters are staggered within each row of the stripe; each stripe stands out against the ones around it. The above photos were taken on the family room couch, which is upholstered in deep navy blue. I like the way the blanket looks with the couch. I may keep some of these colors in mind for the next family room blanket.




And here it is on the LB's bed, its eventual destination (after I send it to Santa and he and Rudolph bring it back here, naturally). The LB's quilt is made up of different fabrics in shades of blue, gray, brown and cream. We chose the afghan colors together; I gave him a base assortment of blues, grays, browns and cream, and he opted to add greens and reds because he likes them. I think they work well with the base colors; it would be boring if the afghan matched the quilt perfectly. The reds and greens liven it up. The main thing is that he likes it, which makes me happy.


Various denizens of the LB's bedroom approve of Manny Stripe too. The soft purple elephant, named Elephant, has been a bedfellow for most of the LB's life. This chap, a Lego Heroes figure called Nex, seems right at home too. Eight-year-old boys are a funny species; he bought the Santa spiel, he can't sleep without his elephant and he loves his Lego sets. He's still a little boy in many ways, maturing quickly in others, but he always makes me proud. He's doing well, growing into an intelligent, kind young man - one who should have a cozy, colorful blanket all his own.


Man up, Mommy. You can't type when you're all misty-eyed. Above are the yarns I used. All are Stylecraft Special DK acrylic, except for the cream-colored ball. Top row: Green, Bottle. Second row from top: Midnight, Denim, Cloud. Third row: Walnut, Camel, Natural (King Cole Pricewise DK). Bottom: Claret, Lipstick. Not pictured is a small amount (about four stripes' worth) of Stylecraft Special DK in Graphite, which I forgot to include in this "before" shot of the yarns.

Some stats on Manny Stripe:

Dimensions: 40 inches by 64 inches
44 stripes of 2 rows apiece - 88 rows
Border is about 2 inches wide on each side
Made with size G/6 (4.00mm) Susan Bates Silvalume hook
Started early September, finished late November 2013

45 comments:

  1. It's gorgeous and I love the name, perfect description! Oh and my kids are 18 and 20 and we still do the 'has he been yet' performance on Christmas morning. No one is allowed to not believe in Father Christmas in this house, otherwise he may not come :) Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year x

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  2. I knew it woud be beautiful when it was finished He is going to love it x

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  3. Lovely blanket and great colours too they all look great together x

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  4. You are lucky to have someone who appreciates your efforts. I've been meaning to make one of these blankets for quite a while....maybe next year.

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  5. It's lovely and just perfect for a young boy. I love the colors! It looks perfect on his bed.

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  6. It turned out great and I know he'll love it!

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  7. Bravo, Jennifer.. getting that done in time and it's a perfect blankie for a boy!!

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  8. A perfect name for the project for LB :) I loved all the views you shared of the blanket, too, Jennifer. It helps me appreciate the just right color balance you achieved even more. In the new year I hope to get back to working on some sort of Lucy blanket with the Lucy pack of Stylecraft I bought. You continue to inspire me :) xx

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  9. He is going to love it. The Manny Blanket is just perfect for a wonderful 8 year old boy. Hope Santa does not get stuck in the North Pole with a massive snow storm!
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  10. This is great! The colors are perfect for a boy. He is going to love it! x

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  11. Its lovely Jennifer, stunning colours.

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  12. Fabulous, and its name suits it perfectly. The colours work so well together, they're definite boy colours when used together. I'm not sure that Santa will be leaving it under the tree though, I bet he'll quite fancy it for himself.

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  13. Jennifer .. This blanket is just perfect

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  14. Jennifer, you have outdone yourself! That blanket is destined to be handed down someday to your "grandlittlebears." You are excused for getting a bit misty-eyed. Well done!

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  15. Jennifer I love the blanket, so perfect for your young man, and it looks wonderful on his quilt. I made a similar quilt for one of my boys years ago - now 'tis I who am getting all misty eyed....

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  16. It's absolutely lovely, lucky boy! I do like to see "boy" things made. The pattern is great, very defined as you say. I always like to knit something like that when autumn rolls around. The photos are fantastic - I am imagining you teetering on the coffee table, do be careful! Hope your Sunday is a good one Mrs Thistlebear. What will you crochet next?

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  17. YOU STOOD ON THE COFFEE TABLE?? Gah. That makes me cringe right now. You are not as old as I am, though, but be careful! Now as for the blanket...LOVE IT!!!! Nice and neat edging too. It looks great.

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  18. That blanket will go on with him for ever. It is perfect and I love the word change to manny stripe. Well done for finishing it, a blanket can kind of get left behind (like mine) but it is great. I really like the way you have got such neat corners. Jo x

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  19. Fantastic Jennifer!! I have made a couple of granny stripes and my grandbaby now 1 loves his rainbow coloured one. ☺

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  20. It is absolutely gorgeous! Just amazing friend!!! What a gift you have made for him!!!

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  21. LB's blanket turned out every bit as special as I thought it would, well done Mamma Bear you did a terrific job and he's going to treasure it - and most likely his son after him! A family heirloom! Hugs, Joy xo

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  22. Hi Jennifer, A beautiful Manny blanket!!! Well done and in time for Christmas!!! Well, that is quite an achievement on it's own!!! I finally realised that I would never have enough time for handmade gifts and went shopping - just like every other year!!! Have a great day!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  23. I love it. Your colour choices are spot on and it's definitely a boy blanket. I think blankets should be slow burning background projects, with other things mixed in around them - it keeps it fresh and interesting that way. X

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  24. Hey Jennifer,

    I adore this Manny blanket. My boys have always loved their teddies and their comforters. I think boys are probably more soppy than girls in many ways. My boys love their cuddles too. You write with such love about your little boy. I can sometimes be a little over whelmed when I think about my three like that.

    Leanne xx

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  25. This is a gorgeous blanket and I love it!!! I'm sure Santa will deliver it with love and that love will carry on format years to come. Well done Jennifer it really is perfect!! I too love style craft for these projects. If you ever need some let me know as I will be happy to post out to you. Xoxo

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  26. Such a gorgeous blanket, what a work of love. I am sure it will be so loved. merry christmas, Catherine x

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  27. I love the idea of the Manly Stripe! Such a good idea. How nice of santa to deliver this for you at Christmas, he is very good at that sort of thing isn't he! The colours are great and I think that the addition of the red and green just give it a little lift. Hope you have a great week. xx

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  28. That is an awesome blanket! Well done in completing it in such a short time (I'm still working on a blanket started in the summer ... not very diligent about keeping at it!). Wendy x

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  29. Such a lovely blanket! It looks very snuggly. I love the name you have given it too. It is just perfect for your boy.
    Marianne x

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  30. A really lovely blanket which I am sure will be treasured for years to come.
    Hope you've had a good weekend.
    x

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  31. It's a lovely blanket Jennifer and it took no time at all, I still haven't finished one that I have been working on for 2 years! Your little man is going to love his manny blanket I'm sure especially as it has to travel all the way to the North pole and back again. Have a great week. )

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  32. I just love your LB's Manny Stripe, it is perfect for a growing boy and will be treadured by him for many years to come :)

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  33. That looks fantastic , I'll know he will love it!
    Sarah x

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  34. OMG!!!! I love this!
    How do you change the colour so often?
    I would go mental!
    I know your son will cherish it....4ever♥
    Enjoy your Sunday...we are buried in snow ehre!
    Cheers!
    Linda:o)

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  35. I love the manny blanket! I have never used Stylecraft, is it soft? I love the have a blanket on the go, particularly in winter. I need to rummage through my stash and start one actually.
    Thanks for your kind comments over on my blog! Cx

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  36. It's a gorgeous blanket!! I am sure your son will enjoy being underneath of that soft and cozy blanket, lovely present made with pure love, nothing better than that.

    Lluisa xx

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  37. It's a b s o l u t e l y gorgeous Jennifer and your little man is going to love it, providing of course that Santa doesn't take a shine to it!
    Patricia x

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  38. Your blanket looks amazing you did a great job. I'm sure your son will always have this.

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  39. so cosy I love it.....to hot to crochet here at the moment though.....
    bec x

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  40. Your "Manny" is gorgeous! I love your color combos! Wasn't it fun to make? I made a couple of these granny stripes for the new babies that are being born into our family this year.

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  41. That is BEAUTIFUL. And I love that it's robot approved ;D !

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  42. I think it's special that you're making your children their own blanket. My kids are older but I've thought of making afghans especially for them and giving it to them when they get married. It's a nice thought anyway. :)

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  43. What a gorgeous "manly" blanket! This is one that your little guy will love and cherish forever and will always be able to say, "My mom made this for me." Love all the colors!

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  44. That has to be the best Afghan name ever! And it really is wonderfully masculine. Lucky LB :)

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  45. Gosh, that is super! A blanket any boy would be proud to own. The colours are so good, he'll be using it for ever.

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