A good friend of mine was in a crochet group in her village which inspired me to have a go . . . The good thing about crochet is that it is very easy to take out erroneous stitches – though you do have to remember to mark the starting stitch of each round otherwise you can end up in a right pickle which I discovered a number of times in the early days!
What inspires me to make blankets is that if they’re made in squares they’re very transportable and easy to take out if you do make a mistake. You also don’t have the disappointment that you make a garment perfectly but that it doesn’t quite suit you then what? So, with a blanket, you don’t need to worry too much about tension because as long as it’s consistent it doesn’t really matter.
After completing the crochet blanket I was drawn back to knitting which I had done as a child but not for many years. I liked this pattern as it used a number of interesting tactile stitches which are lovely to run your fingers over. I made this blanket using beautifully soft Rowan dk wool yarn in a variety of colours . . . I now had the job of trying to work out which colour would go where so that it made an interesting design . . .
The finished blanket . . . it took me quite a while but there’s no hurry and I do find knitting is good for putting any worries out of your mind as you can’t think about other things when you’re counting – well I can’t. You can also be sociable when knitting as it’s easy to stop and chat while you’re working so it’s a win win for me! I really like this blanket and it’s so warm.
Where Pal was working at the time the Charities Committee was looking for people to make blankets to take to Africa so I decided to make another blanket similar to the one above . . . strange to think of it being so far away but the family who received it seem very happy to receive it.
I made the cushion below for my niece Isabelle the summer before she left to read English at Newcastle University. It made me realise how tricky it is to design something and getting the right colours to work is definitely not easy . . . I really didn’t like the square (bottom right) – so that had to go . . .
I wasn’t keen on this alternative for the final square . . . so it was back to the drawing board.
At last I found a design I was satisfied with and luckily Isabelle was also happy with the final result! I’d tried to include ideas that would make her feel happy and also remind her of how much we loved her and home. So top left you have Harry Potter’s glasses and the four school house colours – we’ve watched the films together often and have visited the Harry Potter Studio which was great fun. The hearts in the middle panel are just to remind Isabelle how much we all love her. Isabelle plays the piano extremely well so I included some music notation. Bottom left, a cup of steaming tea . . . things always look better after a cuppa. Lastly the re-knitted final square showing the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle and the water underneath with the year she was going and a bookshelf of books beneath to show her studying English.
The back I kept quite simple . . .