yay! a (nearly) finished object: the Very Important Blanket. it still needs ends weaving in, but since i must have spent (no kidding) at least 5 hours weaving in already, i feel justified in calling it finished as soon as the last stitch of the border was stitched.

it will be getting a wash but not be blocked as such so this is it in all its frilly-edged glory. i hope the frilling and colour choices don’t make it too girly if baby turns out to be a boy. it’s really too big for a baby blanket, but it’ll be a great playmat and hopefully should see blanket service well into toddlerhood and beyond.

to recap, after much deliberation i settled on a 50% cotton 50% acrylic dk weight yarn (brett’s kool kotton) with a 4mm hook. it took 15 50g balls, with enough spare to make at least one more sleepy cat (for whom i purloined some of this yarn). the pattern is “textured bluebells”

#6 in the book 200 crochet blocks. it’s just a row of sc, ch 2, skip 2 (us terminology, still can’t think crochet in british english) followed by a row of 3 dc into the sc of the previous row.

the squares are joined using the magical flat braid method which means it looks as good on the back as it does on the front, but i clearly didn’t get it quite right since i ended up with gaps at the corners

following some welcome assistance from crochetville i carried on the braid pattern by adding an extra 2 entwined ch3s in each space. you might just be able to see in this pic

i also needed to add another ch3 along the edges where the squares joined to get the edging to sit right. it made for a very neat solution but a whole host of extra ends to be woven.

i had to order an extra ball to complete the edging, but i think it now looks well balanced and properly finished, so it was worth it. dunno if the dyelots were the same but you can’t spot the join. the edging is a simple ch3, sc into loop row followed by a ch3 picot row (ch4, sl st into 3rd ch from hook, ch1, sc into loop).

and finally, time for my confession. i have committed greater sins against crochet, but i think this one is still quite major: i knotted my ends. i just didn’t want to run any risk of everything coming unravelled in the wash, since i’m really hoping this will see serious service and will therefore have to withstand serious washing. also, had it been a wool yarn i would have been more confident of the weaving and intermeshing of fibres alone to hold things fast, but this cotton acrylic is smooth and slippy and the open pattern didn’t leave much space for thorough weaving. so there it is, another one to go down on my permanent record…

this has been a thoroughly enjoyable piece to work (save the weaving of course), the squares are nicely portable, the pattern became soothingly automatic (but not boring) very quickly and i never failed to enjoy how cleverly the flat braid knits together.