I always feel like I have catching up to do when I miss long periods of time. I know I don’t “have to” but this time I definitely will, because there’s a story to it.
See, once upon a time (around May) I started making baby blankets. I have only made a couple of baby blankets, for verrrrrrrry good friends. I started my crafty blogging life as a cross stitcher, and in the lingo of those who cross x’s, I made “smalls.” Smalls are satisfying little pretty things that you can finish quickly, maybe put to use (like a pin cushion or a scissor fob), then move on to the next thing. I’ve started a couple of large projects, the kind you might eventually frame and hang on a wall, and guess what – still unfinished.
Yarn work was always utilitarian to me. Scarves, hats, a little sweater to go over an Easter dress. But still, most of the things I would cast on were relatively small. Easy to finish while watching t.v. Blankets of any kind are NOT small. They’re a big commitment, so I would only make them for the babies of people I really like.
When I discovered that ombre yarn cake and how easy it was to make a corner-to-corner blanket, I kind of became obsessed. I had to have the yarn, and I HAD TO make something with it. I started thinking up variations of the box stitch in the traditional c2c blanket (this happens to me, it’s fine, it’s how I stave off tedium when I’m doing something tedious – the problem is this kind of mental exercise is what leads me to chronic startitis). And I kept making blankets, even though I only knew one person having a baby, and she doesn’t even live in the same half of the country any more!!
Here’s the blanket I sent to her for baby K. Not even made with Mandala yarn. I had to do the color changes manually, y’all (no pattern, just the c2c technique, but I did treble crochets and increased my chains appropriately – it’s heavy and squishy and amazing).
And I had this grand idea – what if I combined entrelac with c2c? I envisioned something like a stained-glass window. And it worked. I followed instructions for a triangular entrelac shawl, working the long “side” of the triangle first and decreasing to the point. 8 times. Then connected the triangles with a contrasting color. This one is an optical illusion – it should be square, but it appears to be round. Pretty proud of it. It’s still in my house, because I made it without anyone in mind!
Stormy blue basic crochet c2c…
And a faded rainbow… which was not technically c2c; this is where I branched off. Worked from the center out, like a true mandala (“wool eater” pattern pdf can be found here). This definitely has a front and back texture difference – very fun to work. And very satisfying with the mandala slow color changes.
It was about this time that I learned of a new ministry my church was hosting, Embrace Grace. Embrace Grace is a movement with groups meeting all over the country, providing support, resources, encouragement and outreach to young women who are pregnant and may not have a welcoming, supportive environment around them. My dear friend is involved with the group that meets at our church. And I told her I wanted to donate some of these blankets to the moms – that I’d started making them “for no reason” – and suddenly I knew the reason.
So here’s the current WIP: country blue variegated and charcoal, with a ton of texture. I’m a little over two-thirds done with this. This combines two “patterns” – one I’ve had pinned for awhile, and I can only find on Russian sites with pictures (but I’m pretty sure I figured it out), the other is a basic traveling rib with a 12-stitch repeat. I love having changing textures in baby blankets, I think it helps with cognitive development. And they’re more interesting to make. 😀
Next project will NOT be a blanket, but I’ll talk about that later!