Saturday, 23 August 2014

More Charity Hooky :)

As the day of ‘uplift’ – the collection and removal of our stuff ready for its long voyage to Australia – rapidly approaches (it’s next week!!!!), things here continue to be hectic and not altogether pleasant. There is only just over a week left to go here though, and after our stuff is all on its way and my husband and I have had a day or together without lots of moving work hanging over our heads, then I will head back to Pembrokeshire again to spend the remainder of my time in the UK with friends and family. A bitter-sweet thing, as I look forward to seeing people, but feel the heart-wrenching sadness of knowing that soon I will be far away from them and visiting will be a rare treat.

Still, there is plenty to keep us busy! We will do a car boot sale tomorrow, and possibly on bank holiday Monday also, to shift some of the things we either no longer want – such as too many warm jumpers! – or the things we simply can’t take, which makes me sad as that includes all of my lovely crafty project baskets. I am very upset to have to leave these behind, as I find them beautiful as well as useful, so while the ones that were handed on to me have been returned to their previous owners, I am still deciding whether to take the remainder to the car boot, or to give them to my mum or someone else who may want them. 

All these preparations are not leaving much time for the activities that I enjoy and find soothing – my books are taking weeks to read, my crochet is done in stolen moments and is taking an age to show progress, and my blogging is also done in snatched moments, which means that I don’t feel I can really express myself quite properly, or give my subjects the attention and quality they deserve! (See the Edinburgh Tattoo post to see what I mean!)

I do make an effort to at least do a bit of these activities though, or else I think I would go mad! And as part of that effort, I am on my way with a third charity blanket (the second is on hold at the moment as I am scared of running out of the white…).

The yellow ball from the first charity blanket, Oranges and Lemons, was HUMONGOUS! I didn’t weigh it, but it really was large - maybe it had been 800g originally? I therefore had it earmarked for a single-colour project, something a little more lacy than I have tried before, and preferably worked in rows so that although a dreaded starting chain would be required, I could then relax about the ends until I finished!

I had previously seen this lovely style of pattern, which I had also seen in a different colourway as an edging design in my Edie Eckman ‘Round the Corner Crochet Borders’ book (now packed away). I had been hoping to use this pattern as a bit of edging on my mum’s Walled Garden Blanket, but she wasn’t so keen on it, so I never got to do it. However, with a huge ball of yellow to work with and a small, lacy blanket in mind, this seemed like a great opportunity to have a go at this simple pattern.

I had to adapt the charted pattern a bit until I was happy with it, preferring all of the chains to be in 3s (rather than the rows of 5-chains), and I also didn’t fancy doing the first row of double crochet, so I went straight into the foundation chain. I have to say though, I’m pretty chuffed with how it's turning out!

The fabric it produces is lovely and drapey, with none of the stiffness that you can sometimes get with tight crochet stitches. A lovely drapey blanket is emerging which seems great for wrapping up a little baby :)  If I am ever expecting a little arrival of my own, I think that this pattern will be one of the first blankets I make for it!

I plan to make this a square baby shawl rather than a cot blanket, mostly because I made it a bit wide, so it would be kind of excessive to keep going until I have a good rectangular blanket. But also the fabric is so lovely and drapey that I think a shawl is a perfect item to make from it :)

If you fancy a go yourself, since starting this I have found another pattern while searching for more baby blanket ideas. It is hugely similar to what I am doing, and the free pattern can be found here, it even has guidance on starting chains for different sizes! 

The only real difference is that I am turning the work rather differently to the way this pattern describes. I’m finding my turning quite nice and easy to do, as I’m sticking with my theme of every count being in 3s, so I might try to have a go at writing it out and putting it on here. That might not happen for a little while as we have lots to do just now, but I am keen to contribute more to blogland than just lists of stuff I’ve done, so hopefully it will work out!

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