Happy Days Blanket part 2 aka the genius of Mr T…

I am nearing the end of the Happy Days Blanket, which is really pleasing, as it was my goal for it to be ready for the summer holidays and they are nearly here. I began this lovely blanket back in April whilst on holiday and it is being designed for my beautiful girls to use over the summer. This blog post is the tale of how I got the edges straight. I could have just left them as they are, which many people do, but there are two reasons I didn’t want to: 1) I have been doing a fantastic on-line borders and edgings course by Edie Eckman on Craftsy, which features a cool 3D border I wanted to try [it is border #86 in her book Around the Corner Crochet Borders.] 2) I have a tenacious streak (which Mr T might describe as stubborn at times) and I was determined to make the sides straight.  

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On a hexagon blanket you end up with 3 spaces that need to be filled: half hexagons on 2 sides of the blanket and on the other 2 sides of the blanket you end up with points, which have triangle shape spaces to fill (see arrows below). I managed to fill in the half-hexagon spaces with relative ease, by designing my own half-hexagon from the original pattern by Melody Griffiths, using The Polka Dot Cottage tutorial on making a half-hexagon for inspiration.

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That just left the triangle shapes to fill. Having scoured the internet, I saw that most people came up with a solution of filling the spaces with stitches/ rows of stitches of differing heights. I tried many ways of doing this, but I didn’t like the look of any of them in my Happy Days Blanket. I was just wondering if I would have to accept defeat, when Mr T finally asked what was wrong – I think it must have been my excessive sighing that prompted it. After hearing my dilemma, his immediate response was –  “Just turn the hexagon round – its a geometric shape, it must be possible to make it all straight.” OK it was probably a bit more technical than that, because when Mr T is in full-on left brain mode, it takes me a little while to catch up. But then he asked for a paper and pen, as he recognises my puzzled look when I need to ‘see’ what he means.  I already had some awesome hexagon graph paper (which you can get free from Incompetech here) so soon I realised that all I needed were quarter hexagons for each of the corners (yellow in picture), and half-hexagons on the edge (pink in drawing), but ‘turned round’ just like he said! And here is a picture for all you other visual people out there, so you understand what we mean!

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There are no words to portray the excitement I felt to know my problem was solved, because I knew that I could work out the quarter-hexagons and half-hexagons. Oh how I love being married to that genius Mr T! And what fun it has been working out the filler shapes – it’s like doing a crochet jigsaw.

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A sneaky peak at some of my trials for the border…

I was not planning on doing a tutorial for the extra shapes, as the original motif pattern is not mine and unless you are using this same hexagon motif, with exactly the same number of rounds as me, they wouldn’t be much help. However, the principle of the filler shapes you need to make, will work with any hexagon pattern. In fact, as a little geometry puzzle to leave you with, can you work out how you could do a hexagon design using just whole hexagons and the 2 different kinds of half hexagon and still get 4 straight edges? 🙂

Click here for Part 3 of Happy Days blanket and ta dah (and answer to the maths question!)

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