For the love of blankets

29/08/2018 · 0 comments

in Crochet,Knitting,Patterns

blankets-emma-varnam

I recently posted the picture above on my Instagram account. This image gained more like and love than any image I have posted before. How crazy is that? It made me wonder why. In essence I think the picture speaks of comfort, of colour and home. In a challenging world, these are all feelings and emotions that we crave.

emma-varnam-little-river-cushion-scheppjers-stonewashed

When I am thinking of new projects, especially in the Autumn and Winter months my mind turns to new blanket designs. We really don’t need any more blankets in our house. Seriously. But then again…who can resist making just one more? When you crochet a lot, collecting blankets become an accidental hobby. As I design blankets, the samples return and become encompassed into our life. There are some that fit in with our home interior – there are others which simply don’t.

Blencathra-blanket-crochet-stylecraft-aran

In recent years the complex blanket patterns have become more and more popular. The addictive nature of building the techniques. The fabulous designs by the gorgeous  Jane Crowfoot are not my skill set. But I know so many crocheters who have built an impressive collection of beautiful blankets. Every stitch has some invested love. Some I think are too valuable to give away.

blankets-emma-varnam

Getting better

Looking through my collection I can see how my technique has improved – one of my first crochet attempts was the utterly classic Sunshine Day Afghan by Alicia Paulson. looking closely you can see how all the ends are poking out. Basically it is slowly unraveling. Since then I have been fastidious with my finishing. I weave my ends in three ways. Weaving my tapestry needle one way, back in the same direction and then I make a final pass back through in the opposite direction. Too much time is spent with the yarn and the hook to find those hours undone by my own sloppiness.

I have to admit, not all my designs succeed. Seriously – there are some failures out there. This lovely lovely blanket was designed for Black Sheep Wools. I had this idea that being ‘bi-textural’ (a knitter and crocheter) I could make a blanket that used both skills.

blankets-emma-varnam

That was fine for my tension. But when other people tried to make up the blanket their tension for both crafts differed. We could never make it work. It breaks my heart but I think my version will remain a sample that never made it to the published pattern stage.

Time commitment

Blankets are a bit of a time commitment. This mitered square knitted blanket is definitely a work in progress. It sits on the back-burner and I return to it when I have some idle time and no pressing commissions. It uses Stylecraft Special Dk and is based around the colour scheme of my Vintage Blanket in Granny Squares Home.

miter-squre-blanket-emma-varnam

Some blankets I have let go, it is not easy. You really need to love the person you are making a blanket for to invest that time. It seems that only people who knit or crochet get this. (I imagine if you made a quilt, this would be true also). Until you have spent hundreds of hours making something for someone, you will not ‘get’ the love which a homemade blanket represents. The blanket below comes from Granny Squares Home.

This year

This year has been quite ‘blanket light’. I have made the lovely Life DK blanket for Stylecraft Yarns and the Little River Blanket for Black Sheep Wools, but no more. Compared to last year when I made about 6 blankets for my books, I seem quite lazy.

little-river-blanket-scheepyers

Emma-Varnam-Stylecraft-Life-Changes-9559

There are many hours of hooky time invested in these beauties. All of which I enjoy to snuggly under. The nights are drawing in and we all need to make Autumn plans. Most of my ongoing projects are toy based at the moment. It might be October before I venture again into blanket territtory. But I would urge you before the temperature drops, find your favourite pattern, grab some of your yarn stash and getting making. As your creation grows so your lap stays warm. The perfect project for cosy evenings.

 

 

 

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