Yes, I'm pretty happy with myself today!
Because of this:
Yes! Babette is done! After just over a week solid of seaming, and a couple of days to crochet 3 rows around the entire edge, she is done! And I am Loving Myself Sick!
Pattern: Babette Blanket, by Kathy Merrick, from Interweave Crochet, Spring 2006 or from Interweave's web store. A modern take on the traditional granny square crochet blanket, this pattern is quite a hit with the crocheters. Done in 17 colours of 4ply/fingerweight yarn (Koigu, no less!), it really is lovely. Helped quite a bit by the fetching photography and beautiful girl "modelling" the blanket! But I must say, the use of so many different colours means just one thing: SO MANY ENDS! That put me off making this pattern for such a long time.
And then an inspired idea from a very smart blogger, combined with an amazing sale on Regia Kaffe Fassett yarns in the UK, meant the door opened for me to make this. Thanks so much Mooncalf and Kemps!
The pattern itself is made up of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 row squares - if you use 17 colours, it tells you exactly which colours to use for which squares, but for me, using the self-striping KF yarn, in 3 colours, meant I just had to ensure I shared the colours around the differently sized squares.
Once the squares are done, the blanket is constructed in 10 strips, just like a log cabin quilt. I laid all the strips out on the bed and photographed each, then bagged the squares for that strip - it made it a lot easier to ensure that the different colours were spread around the blanket reasonably evenly! As I was seaming the strips, I felt just like a quilter hand-piecing a patchwork quilt (or at least, how I imagined one would feel). It was a joy watching each strip come together and the colour sing!
I blocked each strip once they were sewn together, then sat down to seam strip by strip.
Yarn: Regia Kaffe Fasset Design Line 4ply sock yarn, 3 x 4251 (Landscape Storm), 3 x 4253 (Landscape Fog) and 4 x 4261 (Landscape Caribbean) for the blanket, plus 0.4 x 4253 for the edging (1 row) and 1 x 50g ball of Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4ply in col 650 for the other 2 rows of edging plus for seaming (yarn from stash). I thought a plain colour sandwiching one of the striped yarns would work nicely for the border. I also used it for seaming all the squares - I figured no yarn would match perfectly, so I picked the best one from stash.
I picked those 3 KF yarns because they all seemed to co-ordinate nicely - they had common colours in each, but also complementary colours. That KF, he really knows his colours! I just wish I could capture the depth and variation accurately in my photos - it looks so much better in real life!
Hook: 3.5mm bamboo hook for all squares and two rows of edging, 3mm bamboo hook for last edging row. I think my hooks might be a bit small, but I'm still happy with the drape of the squares.
Time: 20 December 2009 - 29 March 2010. Making all the squares was so enjoyable, and even seaming this project (SO MUCH SEAMING!) was something I actually enjoyed for a change!
Modifications: I added an extra strip along the bottom of the blanket - because of the hook size issue, I thought the blanket might be a bit small without it, as I plan on using it as a cot blanket for Teddy. And I'm really glad I did, because I would have been right! As it is, it is 1m (36") wide, and just over a metre long.
Now I (or more correctly, husby) just need to put the cot together so Teddy will have somewhere to sleep!