Crocheting a Blanket of My Own Design! - A Work in Progress

WIP Photo - I am currently a little more than halfway finished.

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.

The lap blanket I made my mom for Christmas this past year.

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.

I planned to turn each square to end up with this sort of diamond design.

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.


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