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.

TA-DA!

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!

4 comments:

  1. Awesome blanket! It only took a month? I haven't finished an afghan in less than 3... and it wasn't a full-sized afghan =) I love the colors.

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  2. To be fair, I was on spring break for two weeks and got several days worth of uninterrupted 3-4 hour stretches). :) Thank you!

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  3. You are an inspiration! I started a ripple blanket to use up scraps, and it overwhelmed me. I call it my blanket from He%@. Finished it off to be smaller and my granddaughter has it on her bed.
    Your blanket is gorgeous, and I bet you are super proud of it!

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  4. Thank you! I am extremely proud of it. I don't think I will ever do it again, but sure is beautiful!

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