Monday, February 16, 2015

Heartwarmer


Heartwarmer is my latest crocheted afghan and probably my most eagerly-awaited one. The Bear, who took the photos in this post, started using Heartwarmer almost as soon as I wove in the last ends. He'd been lying in wait, it felt like. But I was happy to see him so excited about using one of my blankets, especially since I'd made it with him in mind. He's tall and my other blankets are a bit too short for him to cover up comfortably in a recliner, which is his preferred position for watching TV at night. Heartwarmer is a big blanket, plenty long enough for his needs at nearly 70 inches. He can cover up all the way to his chin. I named this blanket Heartwarmer when I first started working on it, back in September. It was my winter project, meant to keep my lap warm as it grew and pooled around my feet. I love having a fall-into-winter afghan project; it's becoming a happy yearly tradition for me.


Heartwarmer is made with my own improvised crochet pattern. I wanted a blanket that was warm but not overly heavy. I wanted it to be a little like the cotton waffle-weave blanket we've always used on our bed: warm enough to use alone in the summer, or as an extra layer of warmth under the quilt, but not a heavy, thick blanket. Heartwarmer feels like this to me, and the stitch pattern reminds me of the waffle-weave used in our bed blanket.


I chose to make my blanket in a striped pattern, chunky stripes of eight rows for each color. I've always admired a woolen blanket sold by LL Bean, the Hudson's Bay Point Blanket, with its bold stripes of color against a neutral background. Have a look at that link, though, and you'll see why I don't own one of these blankets. But I love the look and decided to try to replicate it in crochet. I used gray instead of off-white, because I love gray, and slightly softer colors than the LL Bean blanket uses, because they match my decor better. I think I got a similar feel, though. It's simple but graphic. I like the colors a lot; they're soothing to the eye and clean-looking. I used gray throughout the blanket, to give it a bit of a pattern, but the other colors were used "randomly" for interest.



The Bear had fun playing with the stripes when he took these photos. He finds the geometry of them pleasing, he says. Always with the math, this one.


I do think the texture of this blanket is very interesting. It feels, and looks, woven just like I'd hoped. But it's lightweight and uses surprisingly little yarn, since the stitch pattern contains as many chain spaces as it does hdc stitches. It creates a rippled effect as well as an open, airy honeycomb look.

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not skilled with pattern-writing, but here's how I crocheted this blanket:

The foundation chain should be in multiples of 3 (+2 for turning). I did 204 (+2) chains for mine (with worsted-weight yarn and a size I hook, moving down to a size H hook for the first row). For row 1, make (US) half-double (hdc) stitch in each chain, starting in the third chain from the hook, with two chains for turning at the end of the row, turn. For row 2, hdc in the chain space, *chain 1, skip 1, hdc in next stitch* (repeat between **) all the way to end of the row, ch2 and turn. For row 3, hdc in first chain space, *ch1, hdc in next chain space*, ch2 and turn. Repeat row 3 as desired.


My border is simple as can be, just a round of single-crochet stitches in navy blue. On the sides, I made one sc into the "post" of each hdc stitch. For the corners, I did 2sc, ch3, 2sc. This gave them a simple, pointed look.


It drapes nicely, due to the lightweight fabric. It doesn't get a lot of time to hang around draping the furniture, though; it's always in use, it seems, whether being worn or being used in tent-making. I absolutely love to see my blankets in use. It's...heartwarming (bear with me).


Heartwarmer is crocheted with I Love This Yarn worsted-weight acrylic yarn in the following colors:

Greybeard
Cranberry
Sungold
Dark Olive
Coffee
Stonewash
Old Rose
Lavender Smoke
Rosy Cheeks
Mid-Green
Navy
Burnt Pumpkin
Glacier
Sea Blue
                                                                        
Size: about 45 inches wide by 70 inches long
Hook: H (5mm) Clover
Started September 2014, finished February 2015
Made with love by Thistle for her Bear

60 comments:

  1. I love it! What a fantastic blanket. The stitch is ideal for a blanket and I love the widths of the stripes. It's going to get a lot of use Jennifer! Worth all your hard work! J x

    ReplyDelete
  2. and it's finished with some cold, cuddling weather still left!!! it turned out just great!!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the blanket, but I love the last line best of all! How romantic is that!!! I totally see what you mean about the Hudsons Bay Company colours without even going to look at the expensive one. They are very similar indeed and I really like that colour combination too. I think that you did a really great job and can see why Bear was so keen to grasp it from you and have it to snuggle with!! A lot of love there! xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great blanket - I love the bold stripes! And how lovely that it is in use so much - makes it all worthwhile.
    Caz xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. That might be a simple stitch, but I love how it looks. And the simplicity of the stripes helps it as well. Simple but effective, my favourite approach!
    And congratulations to Bear who now has warm tootsies!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's beautiful, Jennifer. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think I lost my original comment, but apologies if I'm commenting twice. The blanket is lovely, and it's so nice to see a "boy" suitable blanket, I'm always looking for inspiration. I really like the wide stripes, and it's been beautifully made. Good job you! CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes - I can see why you don't have the other blanket! But yours looks just as nice and I bet it will hold up better and be around for longer. Plus - it's made with love!

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Bear with me" - family pun! :D

    A lovely blanket. The navy border is perfect, and looks like blanket stitch. Which is appropriate!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Perfect blanket for living room tv watching and napping. Love the look of the stitches. So nice to make things that people appreciate and use! I really love ILTY from Hobby Lobby. I probably use it more than any other. Congrats on a great finish!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Perfect blanket for living room tv watching and napping. Love the look of the stitches. So nice to make things that people appreciate and use! I really love ILTY from Hobby Lobby. I probably use it more than any other. Congrats on a great finish!

    ReplyDelete
  12. so hard to get a handmade blanket that men actually like, well done!
    that is a beautiful blanket, colours might be random but they so totally go together!
    & made with love, can't beat that anywhere
    have a great day

    ReplyDelete
  13. Heartwarmer is a beautiful gift of love for your husband. I can't believe you made that so quickly! As always, your choice of colour is perfection, Jennifer.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's beautiful - I really love the effect of the stitches. I had a quick peek at the Hudson's Bay blanket - it's lovely but I see what you mean about the price! Besides, homemade ones are much better and how wonderful that the Bear loves it so much. x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love all the color, it's beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love it. The stitch effect, the colours, the width of the stripes - all lovely. Great job! X

    ReplyDelete
  17. That was a great success. I clicked on the link you gave and was shocked at the price. But I suppose there is no real way to value working on a custom-made blanket for 5 months. It is priceless and will hopefully last for years.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Jennifer,
    I'm so glad The Bear uses and appreciates your creations. I have a crocheted blanket that I bought from a charity stall in my local GP surgery. I love it and often curl up under it at night. Marc mocks me for it. He calls it my granny blanket. I think he wants me to be sat there like Baby Spice sometimes! So I shall show him this post and remind him that real men can also snuggle. Your blanket is gorgeous. I love the waffle weave texture and the colours.
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have written your pattern down and earmarked some hooky time this evening. My colours will be brighter though as I will be working from stash and there is no grey in there.....yet.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It looks a really lovely blanket. I'm sure it will be loved and treasured for many years to come.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Its amazing just what a hook and one stitch can achieve ! Oh and someone who has a passion for it.....xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a lovely and cozy blanket, I love the colors!
    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog...
    Have a happy week!
    Titti

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a lovely and cozy blanket, I love the colors!
    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog...
    Have a happy week!
    Titti

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh it's SO beautiful Jennifer - I'm not surprised it is already much loved and such a perfect name for it too. Happy snuggling ! Kate xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. The blanket is gorgeous, I love the waffle effect of the stitch you have used. It looks so snuggly. There is something a lovely soft yarn that really does warm your heart, especially when made for someone you love. Sharon xx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your blanket is gorgeous, wonderful for curling up in on a cold winters day or night.
    Anne xx

    ReplyDelete
  27. That's come out so well - I can see why it's getting lots of use :) I can also see why you decided to make your own rather than buy the one on the website!!!! Think of all the yarn $400 would buy.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a gorgeous combination of colours. Well done x Jane

    ReplyDelete
  29. Beautiful blanket with a beautiful name.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's gorgeous and looks very cosy and warm. I love the last photo and the last sentence in this post. Beautiful.
    Marianne x

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh it is beautiful it looks warm so I have no doubt that it actually is for real. I love the name you have chosen and to finish it around Valentines Day.

    Love the last line.....

    ReplyDelete
  32. Beautiful. I love the fabric which this stitch creates. I'm sure it will be a well used and well loved blanket.

    ReplyDelete
  33. gorgeous.. you put together colors that may not have gone together but they work perfectly in harmony.

    ReplyDelete
  34. A blanket that is constantly in use is the sign of a good blanket! :)
    It's lovely Jennifer!
    V x

    ReplyDelete
  35. I think it is truly a gorgeous blanket ! Like your Bear, I like the simple geometric thing stripes have (yep, I followed mathematics in school, a long, long time ago :-)), and as a "fellow-crocheter", the idea of a light weight crocheted blanket appeals to me (most blankets get too heavy...)
    Really beautiful, your heartwarmer !!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm just catching up with my blog reading after having been away for a few days. What a wonderful blanket! And I'm sure you're husband appreciates having one long enough to cover him. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Your blanket is perfect for a chilly winter evening of watching TV. That's a lot of work you put into it, and your husband has just enough time to use it well before the end of winter. I love Hudson's Bay blankets, and we all have one on our beds ... so warm :)
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  38. Loving your Heart Warmer Blanket, Love all of the colors that you have used and great photo's. Glad I stopped by. Hope your doing well.
    cindys-greencricut.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. It's a lovely blanket Jennifer and a lovely name for it too. I love your colours and the pattern looks great. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  40. Looks so warm and cozy. I'm sure your hubby will reach for it time and time again. It's a wonderful gift.
    xx Beca

    ReplyDelete
  41. Lovely waffley texture and beautiful colours. I love the idea of the Bear lying in wait for the blanket to be finished

    ReplyDelete
  42. It's lovely Jennifer, I love the texture and the name you've given it. Have a great week. Jxx

    ReplyDelete
  43. Such a lovely cosy blanket, I love the texture of the pattern very much....and the name Heartwarmer...so perfect :)
    Helen xox

    ReplyDelete
  44. Love the blanket and love that you called it Heartwarmer, says it all really xx

    ReplyDelete
  45. Your heartwarmer blanket is perfect. Really, really gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  46. You did a great job with the blanket my friend. I am sure the Bear is as pleased as he can be. We tall people need extra length.
    Hugs to you and stay warm,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  47. That is one lovely blanket. No wonder it is in constant use. Love the stitch.
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  48. That is a heartwarming blanket. Thanks for checking out my crochet skirt, I loved your comment. Jo x
    http://joeveryday19.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  49. Absolutely beautiful, lovely pattern and fab colours. What a lucky man!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Love this afghan! Stripes are one of my favorite patterns and I love the colors you used, too.

    ReplyDelete
  51. This blanket looks so big and cosy I wish it was mine! Love the colours too. X

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh my, look at that ... nicely done m'dear, it's fabulous, and clearly perfect for the tallest bear :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. What a heavenly wrap.....I love that little bible too, how wonderful to have it.xxx

    ReplyDelete
  54. oh it's gorgeous, and I love that you named it too xxx

    ReplyDelete
  55. Awesome!! I love the random colours, they all work so well together and it's really refreshing to see a bit of pink in there :-) I don't think you'd have been able to get a bigger border even if you'd wanted to, sounds like it was snatched off you as soon as the last stripe was done haha x

    ReplyDelete
  56. That's a wonderful blanket. I love the stripes. Your crochet is wonderful Jennifer! xx

    ReplyDelete
  57. This heart warmer afghan is just beautiful, Jennifer! I really like the stitch you used.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Lucky Bear! That's a gorgeous blanket and I love your stitch. I do wish I could crochet...

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks for posting, Jennifer. I love the Bear's blanket you have made You continue to inspire me! xx

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...