Babies, Blankets, and Wedding Bliss

I love me a big challenge of a craft project, and suddenly these gorgeous big blanket (and carpet!) projects are flying at me from all over the web. I’ve tweeted a bit about them, but wanted the excuse to post pics (and links) to these lovelies to share and for my own personal reference. Part of the fascination with these projects has to do with the color combinations, and another part has to do with the luscious wool yarn used.
I first started thinking about blankets when I saw these baby blanket packages at the purl bee. (That’s the craft blog of a fantastic fabric and yarn shop in NYC, which happens to have a warehouse outpost in Irvine. The blog has great free patterns, but don’t go to the warehouse unless you have lots of money to burn.) The colors are awesome – but the kit which contains 7 skeins of yarn costs $120 – and I didn’t win the blog drawing.

And then at the blog, Smoking Hot Needles, I stumbled upon a blanket that was nothing but a granny square grown completely out of control and enormous (for a granny square, that is). Apparently there was some kind of internet craze that I missed about making these blankets. This blanket is crocheted and I want to make one. It would be a great project to use up bits and bobs – although unlike the classic granny square afghan which is completed in small sections and crocheted together (and therefore extremely portable) this is one project that could only be worked on at home. Although, that said, we have a rainbow afghan that was knit entirely while my friend was minding the detention room at lunchtime…

And when I tweeted about that giant granny square, my friend Reanna threw me a link to this blanket that had been knit like it was quilted. The blanket-maker (her blog is Completely Cauchy) calls it Syncopation.

Again, theoretically it would be great with left-overs, but Syncopation (like the giant granny square) was knit with  SEVENTEEN skeins of yarn from the same maker; thus, there is a very satisfying tone match throughout. That, my friends, would cost over $200 in wool yarn. But I when I checked out the Shelter yarn, I saw the problem: I wanted every color! And there are seventeen.

With names like Long Johns, Wool Socks, Sap, Hayloft, Embers, Tent, Almanac, Button Jar, Faded Quilt, Homemade Jam, Thistle, Fossil, Sweatshirt, Soot, Woodsmoke, Nest, and Pumpernickel. Whew. Talk about comfort naming.

Here is the beautiful braided rug that Jaimie pointed out to me from the Sew Liberated blog. Although again, I wince slightly at the use of brand new “t-shirt yarn” for this traditional craft that was intended for recycling old clothing. If I made one, I think I’d like to use old jeans. I think all the shades of indigo would be awesome, and we all know how jeans wear like iron. This braided rug though, IS gorgeous. If I had extra cash, I’d probably just break down and buy new t-shirt yarn myself.

I HAVE made a large blanket before, and I’m quite proud of it too, but have no idea where I’d find a picture of it to show you. It’s from this Leisure Arts pattern and it’s 63 different crocheted squares. Crocheting that queen-size blanket was like a college-level crochet course at home, because you really really learn all the different crochet techniques. I did it for my sister’s wedding gift. These big projects are good for special occasions. I used three shades of green and brown (I was thinking “tree”) in merino wool. At the time, my sister and b-i-l were living in London and needed to keep warm. In Thailand, that blanket is just packed away and waiting – probably the bugs there don’t even know what to do with wool!

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