Sunday, March 13, 2016
Hello, friends. I've been back in insurance/medication hell this week and I feel like I can finally breathe today, maybe because it's Sunday and all the doctors' offices are closed. I won't bore you with the details, but I'm exhausted by it all. I can't stand the sight or sound of my cell phone anymore. Anyhow, I've missed being in this space, and I've missed having time in my day to sit down and read blogs too. This week, it just wasn't in the cards. I want to say thanks to everyone who joined in with the Winter Project Link Party. I hope I've gotten around to all the participants to leave a comment. I'm so pleased with the participation in my party. It's really nice to know you want to be part of it and I hope it helps provide a little motivation for those long-term projects.
Today, I'm excited to share my winter project, a blanket I call Hensfoot. This is a big crocheted afghan that I created using the Larksfoot crochet stitch pattern (I learned how to do it by watching this video by Crochet Geek). It's a fun pattern to crochet. You can memorize it easily and it crochets up pretty quickly, especially if you use thicker yarn (my blanket is made in worsted-weight yarn). I think it looks a little more complicated than it actually is; if you're a crocheter, watch the video and you'll see what I mean.
Hensfoot is a big blanket and as such, difficult to photograph. (I sometimes climb up on the furniture to take photos of blankets on the floor, but I've been trying to get out of the habit, at least when my children are around. Monkey see, monkey do and all that). I love the stitch pattern in this blanket. I first saw Larksfoot blankets on Ravelry last summer, when I was still trying to decide how I wanted my next blanket to look. I knew I wanted stripes, because I really like them, but I had never seen Larksfoot blankets before. I was really glad to come across them; the design is a little different from the more common Granny Stripe but you still get the granny cluster effect which makes a nice, dense blanket texture. I named this blanket, like I usually do. I gave it the name Hensfoot, in honor of my two sweet chickens, the birds I currently know best.
I made this blanket for our family room, to be used for couch-snuggling, TV-watching and tent-building just like all the others I've made. Blankets get used (and maybe slightly abused) around here. To that end, I wanted this one to be pretty rugged like the rest. I'd pondered lots of different options for a border and in the end, came back to one of my old faithful border plans - plain, solid, no frills whatsoever. I do similar ones on most of my blankets, just because they're simple, easy and neat-looking. This one consists of a round of double-crochet stitches around the whole blanket (I put two stitches in each post down both sides) in gray, with a round of single-crochet in blue next, followed by a round of gray single-crochet on the outside edge. I started doing another gray round with a picot pattern but I ripped it out. It was curling weirdly and it looked a little silly in the thick yarn. Straight and simple then, fine with me.
This was my longest project to date, and my first real dedicated stashbuster. I hardly bought any yarn for this blanket, just one or two neutral colors to help blend some of the bolder tones. I used lots of gray, as I often do, as well as lots of blue, since the blanket is meant for a room with blue upholstery on the furniture. I like lots of color, but I like to tie a blanket to a room as well. The colors are used "randomly," and I tried to use each at least twice. I think the colors are used between two and five times each. I wasn't being meticulous with it, though. I think that kind of stuff takes the fun out of crocheting. I'm happy with this blanket and I'm glad I tried something new. One thing I really like about it is the way the stitch pattern seems to change depending on the way you're looking at it - up or down, front or back. There's a sense of optical illusion, actually, because one side sort of puffs out, looking a little less neat but more interesting than the other side which is tidier but flatter. It's a good design, you really ought to give it a try.
We moved the blanket into the family room as soon as I was finished taking photos in the living room, which has the largest open floor space for blanket-paparazzi action (I took some on my bed too). Before I moved Hensfoot to the family room, I came into the living room and found the above scene. I had a dog once who would lie down on anything he found on the floor, whether it was a towel, a tarpaulin, or a big sheet of paper. Everything was a sleeping mat to him. The children are no different; they saw the blanket on the floor and made themselves comfortable immediately. Hey, I love to see my blankets enjoyed by the family. Why make a blanket if people aren't going to use it, that's what I always say. I myself had a chance to use it for the first time this weekend, while watching Midsomer Murders (my new favorite show) on Netflix. It's a good blanket, warm but not too warm, since it has open spaces, and plenty long enough for full head-to-toe coverage - for me, anyway; Tall Bear has exposed ankles with this blanket, but he's not complaining (he got his customized six-footer last winter).
Size: 68 inches long by 56 inches wide
Hook: I/9 (5.5mm) Clover Amour
Yarn: I Love This Yarn worsted acrylic in the following colors - Old Rose, Graphite, Iced Violet, Stonewash, Linen, Greybeard, Dark Denim, Rosy Cheeks, Ivory, Graymist, Cranberry, Sungold, Dark Olive, Coffee, Antique Teal, Lavender Smoke, Mid Green, Navy, Burnt Pumpkin, Glacier, Sea Blue
Started: September 1, 2015
Finished: March 7, 2016