Friday, 28 December 2012

On a handmade Christmas

I have a confession to make; I made hardly any of our handmade gifts this Christmas. I like to give thoughtful gifts, carefully selected and preferably not mass-produced. So I was delighted to wander around Merton Abbey Mills looking for little handmade presents back in November. I also took advantage of two lovely ladies at our church, producing Christmas decorations, mug cosies and other fabric beauties for my fabulous friends.

But I did manage two blankets for my little nieces & nephews this year. I love this granny stripe pattern from Lucy at Attic 24. (It's available for free but she takes donations to help fund her future yarn projects.) I've used it several times for baby blankets in different colourways and it hooks up so quickly and easily. I used Stylecraft Special DK, a widely available acrylic yarn, which is warm, snuggly and soft, as well as being beautifully inexpensive!

For my first blanket, I used 17 different colours, which can be bought as a multipack at several online retailers (I got mine at Deramores). In the course of making a blanket for my own children, I discovered some fabulous colour combinations and decided to make the second in red (Lipstick), Turquoise and yellow (Saffron). Both blankets had a border in Midnight, a lovely dark blue, which lends contrast and a definite edging. They're approximately the same size though I had to add some extra stripes in Midnight on the second; I ran out of the main colours.

I like to do a border of granny clusters all the way round first and then customise the rest as I fancy. I wanted quite a dense, wide border for these blankets so I used 4 rows of single crochet (US or UK double crochet) with a bit of fudging on the corners to make them lie flat.

And there it is! Finished 2 days after Christmas but in time for my mother-in-law to deliver it to my niece & nephew. The first was ready weeks ago & has been gratefully received. It's going to be a movie night blanket, a perfect purpose I think.