Julie’s Blanket: a crochet adventure

It’s been many months since I last wrote about any knitting or crochet projects. This is not through idleness, however. On the contrary, I have been beavering away on a most enjoyable commission project, thanks to my dear friend Julie.

Last May, Julie was giving me a lift to London’s Gatwick airport and we chatted about her wish to have a crochet cover for her king size bed. No problem, I said gaily, relishing the chance to have a go at a bespoke creation. I don’t think I had fully engaged my brain on the enormity of the challenge. But I have enjoyed so much the whole process – from conception to happy customer.

Initially, having established a few likes and dislikes on Julie’s part, plus palette options, we homed in on a kind of ’tiled’ approach and I set about designing the key components.

 

Most of the colours survived from this test palette. The beige in particular didn’t make the cut. The yarns are a variety of DK weights from the Stylecraft range.

Playing with joining ideas….

 

…and moving closer to a final approach (although the willow pattern squares were not the right fit, so I designed a different joining motif)

 

Little by little it came together. The design for the large motifs emerged in a fairly straightforward manner, albeit with the inevitable trial and error elements that come with any new project. Getting the joining motifs right, and the borders took longer. But I got there in the end.

 

Testing colour options

 

Here you can see my final design for the joining motifs

 

Onwards and upwards!

 

The key thing for me was to make sure that each of the large motifs was unique, as well as balancing the tones of the palette to give an overall sense of harmony.

As the year drew on, so the blanket grew. I became very fond of it on my lap in front of the TV!

 

There was a slight hiccup at the end when I found that my approach to the border half-motifs was not quite right. I had to redo all 18 of them, delaying the completion of the blanket somewhat. But it was worth it to get the edges smooth and crisp.

The finished project on my spare bed – hooray!

 

How delighted I was to finish it just before Christmas so that Julie could enjoy it for most of the winter. Even more a relief was that she is really pleased with it. Here we have it in situ on her bed, having been given the seal of approval by the most important housemates:

 

So that’s what I have been spending my time on behind the scenes. Epic, yet hugely satisfying!

I will be writing up a pattern in due course, modified to make sure that Julie’s version remains unique, while still retaining the essence of the make. But I am first having a break before I get stuck in with all of that. It’s back to knitting for a while…! 🙂

33 thoughts

    • Thanks so much Jane. I’m sure you would be fine with crochet if you wanted to give it a go. But hey, there’s plenty of knitting to be done in the world! 🙂

      Like

  1. It’s beautiful. And what a clever way of figuring out what shades you want!
    Happy new year, Liz. May you continue to create beautiful things, and I hope you will continue to share them with us. I am not “crafty”, so I live vicariously!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Having seen the original, I can confirm that the blanket is beautiful, Liz, and beautifully made. Quite a feat given the creation of the design and then the adaptations. You are a very clever person – and that is official!!! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s beautiful, Liz. After her eyes would no longer let her knit the fine work she was used to, my mother took up crochet with DK. Every person with whom I worked who had a new baby also got a blanket from her to bring the baby home in. It is over ten years since she died, but many of those blankets still survive and have been passed down from one baby to the next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Ann. I bet all those blankets are absolutely gorgeous and much-loved possessions. These things take a lot of work, but that means they hold a lot of love too. How wonderful for current and future holders of your mother’s work to be able to treasure her legacy in that way.

      Like

    • Thanks so much Linda – really pleased you like it! It’s hard to quantify time spent on something like this because of all the thinking/mulling time during the design phases as well as the actual making. But anyway, it’s a labour of love! xxx

      Like

  4. I am going to go along with your Mum and say you are very clever. In addition, you are an incredibly creative person. I don’t know when you started this big project but do you think your daily creative posts were helpful in preparing your mind for the complexity of this beautiful cover. By the way, I covet this cover! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, Mandy, you are making me blush! And you raise such an interesting point (as always!) about creative links. I started designing the cover last May, and my art project started mid-June. One of the key lessons from the latter was definitely that creativity begats creativity. It’s like developing a muscle. And I think I learned to be more fearless with trying new things. So whenever the blanket threw up a stumbling block, it was never a question of ‘it can’t be solved’, rather just keeping going until a solution was found. So yes, I definitely think the art project was a big help. I had not thought about the link before now, though, so thank you so much for spotting it! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Epic?? I’ll say! I actually think I started hyper-ventilating, just thinking about the size and scope of this project (especially since I know only two crochet stitches!) I LOVE the color scheme and the medallion look and, really, everything about it. Doesn’t Julie worry, though, about little pup claws getting caught in the stitches and making long pulls?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw thank you Kerry, I’m so pleased you approve! As for Julie’s dogs, well I think it is important that such makes are used as part of everyday life. It is of course entirely possible that there will be pulls, but I’ll be happy to take my repair kit when I next visit lol!

      Like

  6. Absolutely beautiful, fabulous shades and patterns. How awesome that you stuck to it and overcome all the hurdles the design presented. I am particularly impressed that you redid all the border circles…..think I might have shoved it in a cupboard at that point….But the end result was more than worth it. No amount of cash can repay your hard and dedicated work.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.