Happy Days Blanket Part 1

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We’ve been on holiday this week, which has provided me with much inspiration for my crochet. The benefit of home schooling means that we can take a trip during term time and we have just had a lovely mid-week break at Woburn Forest Center Parcs (we would thoroughly recommend them too). The older girls chose “archery” as their activity and 4 year old Miss H tried out roller skating for the first time. Miss E had great fun playing with her older sisters in the forest and playing in the pool, well water park, really. Even Grandma P had a go on the water slides! It was Mr T’s birthday while we were away and he was thoroughly spoiled, as all dads should be on their birthdays. Mini Mr T enjoyed watching the world go by and in-between times he learnt how to use rolling and inchworming as a method of travel to reach acquired targets.

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Clare Heesh Pattern from 53 Stitches

They really were happy days and even more so as I did find some time to crochet (I made Wonder Woman, or Wonder G, rather, but more about her another time) and I found some head space to think and plan my next project (I had been thinking of a spring/ summer blanket since my cousin mentioned it in a comment…), as well as braving the rapids and chilling in the lazy river ride…

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Those happy days of sun and fun (and a bit of wind and rain – well we are in England) inspired me to come up with the Happy Days blanket. I envisage it being used by the girls in the summer holidays, sitting out in the garden on it, reading or playing, or maybe making a fort on a rainy day…

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To evoke those lovely times, I decided on colours from my Stylecraft Special DK stash that are warm, light and fun and remind me of my girls and beautiful spring/ summer days. I love playing with colours for new projects and have found Lucy’s advice from Attic 24 to be really helpful. Using Lucy’s advice, I picked out all the colours that suited my theme and put them together in rows, as well as using my handy Stylecraft Shade card from Country Crafts, to consider colours I hadn’t got. Then I used my eldest daughter at home Miss G to help me narrow down the colours to what we really loved (I am extrovert and find bouncing my ideas off a friend to be really energising. If you are more introverted you might prefer solitude and quiet to choose).

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Clockwise from top – Pomegranate, Plum, Magenta, Fondant, Cream, Shrimp, Meadow, Sherbet, Cloud, Turquoise, Apricot, Saffron – all Stylecraft Special DK

Finally there were a couple of colours I was not sure about and at this stage in the colour planning process, I always use a reluctant Mr T’s eye and left-brain powers to provide logic for the final colours (Mr T does not really share my crochet enthusiasm, but he does humour me and has a very fine brain). This time I did have 2 yellows, citron and saffron and was unsure about whether plum was too dark. Mr T helped decide the yellows were too close and plum would add a bit of depth, because all happy days have depth, before returning to watching The Godfather part hundred, with his earphones firmly in.

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Once the colours were decided, it was time to finalise the pattern choice. I had previously used some scrap yarn to try out patterns, when I was at home. I think I’ve said before, but I can’t say enough that it’s so important to try new things out on a small scale. Something someone else loves might really not be your thing at all. I also like to try out different size hooks when I like a pattern to see what drape I get with the different gauges, as well as tweaking patterns to suit me, if needed.

There is a really cool zigzag pattern in the Colorful Crochet Afghans and Pillows: 19 Projects to Brighten Your Home by Kristel Salgarollo and a log cabin design, as well as 3 great hexagon blankets, that I really liked. In the end I chose hexagons, because I love them in blankets and they remind me of cartwheels (we have a lot of cartwheeling at our house). Also, I had found a granny hexagon pattern, in my Melody Griffiths 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas, that I love and should also crochet up quite quickly. I’m not completely decided on the layout of the hexagons yet. Therefore using the join-as-you-go method, I am going to work outwards from the centre, so I keep my options open.

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Finally I wanted to decide on the colour pattern for each hexagon. For this I relied heavily on my Kristel Sallogaro book and my Pinterest ‘Hexie love’ board. I do love pinterest for ideas [Edit: August 2015] I did particularly love this Granny hexagon blanket at Serendipity Patch, which inspired my final choices. I usually use Ravelry too, to look at other completed projects with the pattern I am using, but this time, no one has shared projects I could find on Ravelry with Melody’s granny hexagon. I decided on doing the first 2 rounds in colour A and the second 3 rounds in colour B. Although, when I started crocheting I decided I preferred just 2 rounds of colour B, so I went with that instead. It doesn’t matter too much as I haven’t decided on the final layout yet.

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And there you have it. I hope my little musings on the creative process I used for my blanket have been helpful to you. I will be providing progress updates as I go along. I hope you are having happy days and I would love to hear about how you plan your projects and of course, if any of my little meaderings have been helpful to you. 🙂

Click here for Part 2 of Happy Days blanket…

Click here for part 3 and Ta Dah of Happy Days blanket…

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5 thoughts on “Happy Days Blanket Part 1

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