I have been wanting to show you photos of my sister's wedding but they are stored on my husband's computer and I haven't managed to get on there and look for them. Hence the reason I haven't been on here for a while as I like to do my blog posts in order. It has been too long though so I decided to show you my secret project - a blanket I made as a wedding gift for my sister and her husband. Unfortunately, it was such a secret project that I didn't take any photos of me making it so you will just have to believe me when I say that I made it with my little crochet hook!
I knew I wanted to make an end-of-bed-throw type blanket for them and I didn't want to go for something too girly or floral as essentially it was a gift for both of them. I also was quite adamant that this would be a unique blanket, just for them, which meant that I was going to design it myself. Eek. I started by drawing inspiration from Moroccan style patterns as I knew these would give me the kind of shapes I was after.
I bought an odd ball of yarn and had a go at trying to create the shape I was after. This took lots of thinking, pulling back, starting again and eventually pushing it all to one side for a few months to sort it all out in my head before starting the real thing. My main concern was the type of yarn to use. I wanted the throw to look lacy but also to be strong enough to hold the shape of the design. You will see from the above photo that I had almost got the shape I wanted but the stitches I had used weren't holding it all together and the wool was too stretchy and soft to cope.
I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show last year and was intent on buying some yarn for this project and just getting on with it (too much procrastinating and fretting was taking place and the wedding was looming ever closer. I had 2 months to finalise the design and complete the blanket). My friend Alison and I wandered around, looking at lots of different yarns and shades of grey. I eventually plumped for Drops Karisma 100% wool in shade 70. It's a gorgeous dove grey which I would imagine will go with just about any colour scheme. Luckily, I had looked at the wedding gift list and noticed that they had requested a duvet cover in colours which would go perfectly with grey. Once I had the yarn I was going to use, I was able to finalise the design. I discovered that if I used trebles rather than double crochet stitches around the initial chain stitch shape of the outer edge of each block, I could make these blocks a lot more solid in structure. I joined them as I went along and managed to complete the blanket with a week to spare. Here are some photos of the blanket before it was washed.
I'm not mad keen on blocking crochet work unless I really have to. In this case I had to wash the blanket as my brother in law is allergic to cats and even though Gerard had not touched the blanket, I had touched Gerard and then crocheted without washing my hands. I thought it was best to wash it and see what it looked like before deciding to block or not. I then spent about 5 days putting off washing the blanket as I was so nervous about the machine chewing it up and shrinking it into a small matted messy helping of woolen spaghetti. I have used the wool wash cycle on my machine to wash several crochet blankets, all of which survived so why I thought this would be a disaster, I don't know.
Anyway, in it went and I disappeared off to busy myself and take my mind off it. Needless to say, the blanket survived and I laid it out on some beach towels on our bed to dry. No need to block, I just laid it out as neatly as I could. I noticed the blocks seemed more lacy than before washing and the overall size of the throw was slightly bigger. I can't decide which I prefer - pre wash and post wash - but I know that I love this blanket and I enjoyed making it ever so much.
Not great photos - not a great deal of light in December and I had to keep the blanket on top of our bed, where the cat hadn't been. We ended up giving the blanket to my sister and brother in law on Christmas Day, after they returned from their honeymoon to Norway, and it is now draped across the end of their bed in Hong Kong.
And that is the story of the secret project end of bed throw, made with love for a very special couple. Photos of the wedding will follow shortly. Have a great weekend. x