Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby Bobble Blanket Pattern with DCs!

Using a combo of Little Rays of Sunshine's suggestions and my DC pattern rows, I came up with the following pattern to use for the baby blanket.  I started the blanket and it was looking great and then...I ran out of yarn and then...could not find it anywhere.  :(

The blanket before I ran out of yarn
It's okay, though.  I turned my 1/4 of a blanket into a pillow sham.

Bobble Pillow Sham

I've purchased new yarn, and shouldn't have any problem with finishing it this time.  It's a skein of Pounds of Love yarn!

The pattern:

I hook
worsted weight yarn

Bobble rows:

1st bobble row: 4 sc, bobble (in 5th stitch), 9 sc, bobble (in 15th), 9 sc, bobble (in 25th), repeat and end with 5 sc (10 bobbles and 90 sc)

2nd bobble row: 9 sc, bobble (in 10th stitch), 9 sc, bobble (in 20th), 9 sc, bobble (in 30th), repeat and end with 9 sc (9 bobbles and 91 sc)

The Baby Bobble Blanket of Awesomeness!

Chain 103.

Row 1: DC in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across.  Chain 3 turn. (100 stitches)

Row 2: DC in same stitch as turning chain and in each stitch across. Chain 3 turn. (100 stitches don't count turning chain)

Row 3: DC in same stitch as turning chain and in each stitch across.  Chain 1 turn. (100 stitches don't count turning chain)

Row 4: 1st Bobble row. Chain 3 turn.

Row 5-6: Repeat Row 2. (100 stitches)

Row 7: Repeat Row 3. (100 stitches)

Row 8: 2nd Bobble row. Chain 3 turn.

Repeat with 3 rows of Dc between each bobble row and alternate 1st and second bobble row every 4th row.

Finish with 3 rows of DC after the last bobble row.

This works up so quickly and I love it. So easy to do!  Enjoy!

A note about my pattern:  Please feel free to use my pattern to make blankets for yourself and to sell.  DO NOT claim my pattern and sell it.  If you do share my pattern, I ask that you link back to this blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bobbles and Blankets

I have several friends expecting babies in the near future and I am planning to make something for all of them.  Recently, I became obsessed with the adorable bobble blanket crocheted by Rachel over at Maybe Matilda.  It is lovely and unique and adorable for a baby.

Not wanting to pay for a pattern, I decided I could figure it out.  I found a free pattern for a bobble hooded blanket through Ravelry, but to my horror, it was all in single crochets.  A) I hate them. B) They are annoying. C) It takes forever to see any progress.  The trouble is that the only way to get the bobbles to work is if they have single crochets before and after the bobble stitch.

This morning, rather than grade papers, I decided to see if I could create a pattern for bobbles that used double crochets to advance the pattern more quickly. Guess what?  It worked!  Here is what I came up with in my test swatch:

You need to start with the following math:

a multiple of six + 4 + 3 (counts as 1st DC)

I did 25 for my test 18 + 4 + 3 = 25

Chain 25

Row 1: DC in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across.  Chain 3 turn. (23 stitches)

Row 2: DC in each stitch across and in the top of the original chain 3. Chain 3 turn. (23 stitches)

Row 3:   DC in each stitch across. Chain 1 turn. (23 stitches)

Row 4 (1st bobble row): 1 sc in each of the next 2 stitches, *bobble in the next stitch, 1 sc in next 5 stitches, bobble in the next stitch*, Repeat from * to * 2 more times, 1 sc in the next stitch and 1 sc in the top of the turning chain from the previous row. Chain 3 turn. (19 sc + 4 bobbles)

Row 5-6: 1 DC in each stitch across, Chain 3 turn. (23 stitches)

Row 7: 1 DC in each stitch across, Chain 1 turn. (23 stitches)

Row 8 (2nd bobble row): *1 sc in each of the next 5 stitches, bobble in the next stitch, 1 sc in each of the next 5 stitches*. Repeat from * to * once more.  Chain 3 and turn. (20 sc and 3 bobbles)

Repeat pattern of 3 rows of DC followed by alternating 1st bobble row and 2nd bobble row every 4th row.

Alternating bobble rows always go like this:

1st: 2 sc, bobble, 5 sc, bobble, 5 sc, bobble, repeat and end with 2 sc

2nd: 5 sc, bobble, 5 sc, bobble, 5 sc, bobble, repeat and end with 5 sc

I'm going to use this pattern and restart a blanket I began for one of my friends.  I bet it will get done in 1/2 the time of the all single crochet!

Here's some inspiration for spreading out the bobbles.  I may have to use this instead!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Birthday Blanket of Awesomeness

Whenever I type "Birthday Blanket of Awesomeness", I can hear Jack Black as Kung Fu Panda saying it.

The Birthday Blanket of Awesomeness was born from an idea.  On April 16, 2012, I turned 40.  I haven't turned super introspective for this 40th year of my life, but I did think, "Huh, what's my problem that I can never finish anything for myself?" I've always wanted a ripple blanket and I decided that this was something I could do.  I could take the time to make something for ME for a change. So back in February, I made a commitment:  I would crochet myself a ripple blanket that would be all mine.

At first, I imagined that it was a lovely rainbow ripple like the ones I've seen Lucy and Sucrette make on their blogs.  But I decided that I have so much yarn in my stash that I needed to use it.  When I went to look, I did not have a whole lot to work with.  While plentiful, my stash does not contain a bunch of happy, spring colors and I definitely wanted happy and spring to be together in my blanket.

At one the bottom of one of my containers, I found a lilac skein, followed by a green skein, followed by a lilac variegated yarn that just screamed "CROCHET US TOGETHER!"  Using Lucy's Neat Ripple Pattern, I started my chain.  Lucy's pattern calls for a multiple of 14 + 3 to start and rather than count from 1 to 140 or 196, I just counted 14s. I kept going until my chain looked long enough and started the first row.  What I failed to realize was that I had 21 multiples of 14.  Yes, 21. That's 294 chain stitches. When I finished the first row, I looked at the thing and thought: "What the heck have I gotten myself into?!" The row was ginormous. So, ginormous that I took it to my room and discovered that the blanket covered my California King sized bed and hung over by 2 feet on either side. The task seemed daunting.

But, I had committed to crocheting a blanket for myself and I wasn't about to frog the thing.  So, I crocheted my way through the first 6 skeins I had and realized that I was in trouble.  Six skeins only made 23 rows.  That was barely enough to cover my lap.  I did some math and found that I would need at least 100 rows to cover my bed.  100 rows meant that I needed to buy a lot more yarn.  A LOT more. Off I went to the store and after shopping for my new yarn, I did some more math.  This darn blanket was going to cost me over $100 by the time I was done.  With a sigh, I bought the rest of the yarn, adding in a dark purple and a gray for some interest.

In the end, it took me a month to crochet.  Nights were my primary time to crochet and I usually finished only a few rows.  It took 35 minutes to crochet a single row.  While the goal was to finish by my 40th birthday, it was not to be.  However, I did finish it just this past Saturday when I added the row of single crochet border and a row of ruffle border.


294 stitches across (there are extras in there)
100 rows
2 rows of border
All made with Michael's Loops & Threads worsted yarn and an H hook (Well, 2 H hooks.  I lost one about 2/3 of the way through.)

There is no rhyme or reason to the colors.  I just used colors as I was moved to use them.   Those rows of dark purple were my milestone rows so that I did not have to keep counting.  I just remembered that they were the 31st and 62nd rows.  So much easier that way.

The border is simple, but feminine.  I like how the variegated yarn breaks up the solid colors.

So how big is this thing?  Well, when I hold it in my arms and stand up, it is well above my head to the ground.  It is big and heavy.

Here is some perspective:

That's Gracie.  She's 4 years old and 42 inches tall.  I tried to get her brother, Lucas, to lay across my blanket diagonally, but he wasn't having any of it.

The blanket is currently in my dryer and I intend for it to be on my bed tonight.  I love my blanket and I am so proud of myself for finishing the darn thing.

Score one for me!