Saturday’s and Crochet

It’s 8 am on a Saturday here and it feels like I’ve had a lie-in. My university self would be so confused. I’ve decamped to the living room with my blanket and a cup of tea (a smoky Russian loose leaf tea situation) and there’s pain au chocolat in the oven again. But instead of carrying my knitting through, I picked up my trusty project from the last few weeks: my crochet blanket.

(Detour on the pain au chocolat: people here call them chocolate croissant! I’ve spent 20 years here blithely ignoring that and just noticed. Do you call them that? And what do you call a chocolate croissant then? Sorry, for all the questions on a Saturday. )

Back to introducing you to my current fave, which incidentally might have been a fad roughly two years ago. The yarnhorder was making scrappy crochet blankets in her first episodes and I know Lucy of Attic24 has a fantastically informative pattern. Two years later, I realise they might be on to something. I think that sums up exactly how cool and with it I am. Luckily, the trend was a good one so it stands up to the test of time. None of this fast fashion for me!

This both is and isn’t my first crochet blanket. It is because I’ve never finished a blanket before and this is the exact yarn I used to start my first one but I ripped that blanket out. My first blanket was a granny square blanket that I started in 2014 when doing “the most important exams ever” (because that amount of pressure on teenagers is a good thing) and I needed something to do that wasn’t exams. It’s a great project for that as the squares are portable and there’s individual milestones that make you feel like you are getting somewhere even as you swim through the treacle of stress that is A-Levels.

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The old version of my crochet blanket circa 2014

There was just one problem and you can probably see it in the photos. My tension was all over the place. When I was just starting out my squares were enormous. By the time exams were happening and I was very stressed, my squares were 2/3rds the first ones size. I didn’t stop though and quite soon I had enough squares for a fairly decent sized blanket.

I started joining them together and maybe someone with skill at making a crochet blanket could have gotten it to work. But I didn’t know what I was doing. I got a decent way in, realised the blanket was lumpy, misshapen and probably wasn’t going to work and stopped. I thought I’d fix it later, and then wandered off to university where I did so much knitting my drawers now overflow slightly.

Three years later and back for Christmas, I found it in a tote bag just as I had left it. The years hadn’t made the blanket appear more salvageable to me but I looked at the yarn and wondered if I could make something new with it. I remembered how fun it was to crochet and how nice it would be to have another blanket around. I started ripping the old blanket out.

There have been some false starts. My first attempt at a foundation row was laughable. My dad sat on my wooden crochet hook and needless to say, it didn’t survive. I followed tutorials on how to do granny stripes and failed miserably. I left my blanket in another city to me for six months which is probably why you haven’t heard me talk about it before. It’s really been this summer where I’ve picked it back up.

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Working on the blanket this summer, feat. my leg

It’s still a bit wonky. I’ve still not done much more crochet than this blanket and so I’m slow and my tension is still unsettled. The difference in tension between my first row that I did in December and the ones from this month has created a totally intentional ruffle. But when I look at it, I think it looks good. It’s easy to curl up and crochet a few stripes. Like when I was first crocheting this blanket, it feels like what I need this week. Work is interesting but feels new and alien and, well, a lot of work.

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The current blanket, showing 3.1415926 so far

It’s a bit of a nerdy blanket in a quite subtle way. The stripes follow the digits of pi; starting with three rows in blue, then one in pink, then another four in blue and so on. I may have left my mathematics degree behind and gone into the crazy world of business but I’ve still got my number theory.

The cotton yarn (Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK) isn’t the softest and cosiest but it is light and tough and good to practice with. Maybe this will work as a back of the sofa light throw kind of blanket or maybe it’ll be useful as a bed covering. Right now, I’m enjoying making it.

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