I love to crochet, but I have always found crocheting blankets - or more accurately, finishing a blanket - intimidating. Maybe it’s my attention span of a gnat (I am famous for having partially worked projects because I was distracted by a new one). Or maybe it’s because I am always stuck when it comes to the idea of selling them. I’ve been thinking about this a lot while I work on the largest blanket that I’ve ever tackled. It’s much easier to part with a cute little sloth that I only spent a couple of hours working on. If I want another sloth I can just whip up another. But when I make a full-sized blanket, I put so much into it that it just feels like I can’t set a “reasonable” price.
Why is it easier for me to spend the time to make blankets as a gift than for a listing? Easy. I know my family will appreciate my work and they understand what I have put into creating it for them. I also have them in mind while I’m making the blanket and it is exciting to personalize it to their tastes. For a listing, I put all this time and effort into a large blanket but how do know someone will want to buy it? How do I know that someone will appreciate my work. Putting a price on the hours you spend on a project is REALLY tough.
Before starting this project, I’ve only ever started crocheting a full-sized blanket with the intention of keeping it for myself. Coupling a daunting project with crocheting something for myself has proven to be a recipe for a pile of partially finished blankets… I have started at least three different blankets for myself and I have yet to finish a single one (see the photos above). I do come back to them from time to time, but I always end up putting them on the back burner to work on a gift or an item to sell. I have finished a few smaller “lap” blankets as gifts for my family, but this WIP is the largest blanket I’ve started for someone else.
When my cousin saw the blankets I made for my family, she hinted at a full-sized version as a wedding gift. I didn’t even hesitate, what a great wedding gift and I had about 10 months to work on it. I asked about preferred yarn colors and got to work. I came up with a pattern I liked using corner to corner crochet - I had recently learned how much I love this style for blankets. Here is a tutorial if you don't already know this technique. I estimated I would want to create a blanket of 12 smaller squares arranged in rows 3 x 4 and using just under one skein per square.
Once I started working the squares, I realized that I wanted to crochet the whole thing continuously. By doing this I would avoid having to connect the finished squares at the end. This would improve the continuity of the design, save time and effort of connecting the squares, and create a challenge of how to work the design I had planned. I chose a variegated yarn so I wanted to plan the pattern in such a way that the yarn would do most of the work. I wanted to avoid a "seam" between the squares and I wanted the color changes to be consistent and as smooth as possible.
Here are some of the issues I've had to work out:
What is the most seamless way to attach the squares? The obvious way to piece the squares together would be to attach all of the squares at the end. But I found a few issues with this:
An obvious difference in the color of the connecting yarn because of the variegation.
It would add extra bulk to the seams by going back and crocheting them together.
This also adds an extra step which means more time and more work for me.
What is the best way to continuously connect the tiles? When and how do I turn my work to produce the desired pattern?
How do I keep the colors changing smoothly? First, I had to decide how particular I wanted to be with the striping. Am I okay with the color changing mid-row? What about when I start a new skein?
So what solutions could I come up with? Find out here.
This blanket is still a work in progress, filled with exciting challenges and design choices. Will I add a border? What complications might come up writing a the pattern for this blanket?
Subscribe below to follow my journey as I finish this blanket, evaluate what I would change next time, and write a finished pattern for this design.