Cwtch Up

I’ve neglected to talk much about crochet so far on the blog, other than to tell you what projects I am working on and what I aspire to make (pastel coloured unicorns!) Crochet has taken a bit of a back seat this month as I’ve been consumed with my sewing machine and buying fabric. And then my sudden interest in clay got in the way. Anyway, I’ll show you in this post the long-term crochet project I’m working on:

  • The 50 x 50 inch purple tweed stitch blanket

When I first decided to learn to crochet in September 2015, it was with the intention of creating chunky, snuggly projects predominantly. I’m not really interested in making granny square blankets and tea cosies. So I knew my first project (once I’d practiced a little) would be the cowl scarf in grey and, concurrently, the lap blanket which I adapted to be larger and in purple. The book these are taken from is the DK ‘Complete Guide to Crochet’ which has been my teacher-slash-bible.

I did these two projects at the same time because they use the same stitch; the tweed stitch. This is a delightfully dense stitch and when coupled with thick yarn and a 10mm hook, it creates an exceptionally warm blanket. Possibly a little too warm for the mild winters of the UK… In Norway it would fit right in!

The tweed stitch is a basic chain stitch and double crochet stitch into the stitch space in a pattern. For the cowl scarf this was made up in the round so it was one long, continuous row. For the blanket, however, it’s normal rows and at the end of each you have to add three chain stitches to ensure the edges are even. I started this blanket in October so I was learning ‘on the job’. As such, I mistakenly missed out some of the chain stitches on the end of the rows and, consequently, have a blanket which is slightly wider at the bottom than further up. In other words, my 50 x 50 blanket isn’t square but it’s not too noticeable.

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The above photo was about 5 inches in (in terms of height) and it hit me how many balls of yarn (at £6 a pop) I would need to complete this project – yep, ten. Right then and there my pace slowed because I knew I would have to stretch this project out across several months in order to afford to finish it! In all likelihood, I’ll need another two balls of yarn in a contrasting colour (possibly cream) to trim it.

This project makes up really fast, because the yarn is so chunky and the hook so big. It was a bit of a shock to go back to a 4mm hook for another project!

This is the beautiful ‘waffle-like’ texture the tweed stitch gives the blanket:

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Crochet is usually full of ‘holes’ (intentionally) but this type of crochet is a lot heavier than traditional lace or trim making, etc. It does still have gaps in it but they are much less noticeable unless the piece is stretched. Whilst I always used to find tension really hard to maintain when knitting, I find this easy with crochet and so this has become a project I can work on without needing to look at it all the time; I can watch TV, have a chat with someone, daydream or read a book whilst doing this.

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I take this project into work a lot so I can do it during my lunch break. It attracts a lot of comments and compliments from my colleagues! However, it’s becoming too bulky and big for this bag now so I reckon I’ll soon need one of those Big Blue Bags from IKEA to lug it around!

I’m just over half way through this project now – as of today the height measures at 26 inches. Only 24 more to go and then it’ll be on to the trim and tidying up the loose threads. I’m not sure when it will be finished but hopefully in time for next winter! 😉

You can see the blanket in it’s standard size and original colours here at a blog by a fellow crochet enthusiast who also learnt using the DK book.

(NB: It’s hard to get the colour of my blanket to photograph accurately on my iPhone so when it’s finished I’ll take some snaps on my Nixon in daylight so you can see it properly.)

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