Happy Days Blanket Part 3 – Ta dah (and how I’ve been improving my crochet) …

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I have really been looking forward to this post as of course, it means I have finished the Happy Days Blanket, in my goal time – woohoo! You can read about the beginnings of the blanket here and how I got the edges straight here. This post is all about the finishing touches of the border and a little bit about how I have been improving my crochet skills by doing some Craftsy Courses taught by Edie Eckman.

I came across Craftsy by accident one day and found that amongst lots of other things, you can do on-line courses with them. I was excited to see that Edie Eckman had courses on Craftsy as I love her book on Edges and Borders. I chose a course on improving your crochet skills first as it was on sale, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to check it out and see how I found it.

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I used Stylecraft Special DK in Meadow, Magenta, Turquoise, Sherbet, Cloud, Cream, Plum, Saffron, Shrimp, Pomegranate, Apricot and Fondant with a 4mm Hook

I really loved the course and although there was quite a lot in there that I already knew, it gave me confidence in my existing skills and gave me some new ideas to try in those areas, as well as teaching me new skills and ways of improving the final look of my work and doing things in the most effective and efficient way. There were lots of helpful tips and hints, and I was able to ask Edie questions and to see Edie’s responses to questions other students had asked as well as to see projects by other students using the course.

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Blocking the flowers in the border really helped make them look great. I wet block, by pinning out, spraying with water and I tend to use a hair dryer to carefully dry the crochet, as I don’t have anywhere safe to leave lots of pins, lol. Edie also has some great recommendations on blocking in the Craftsy classes.

An area I have always struggled with is borders and the section in the course on borders was really great. Answering one of the questions I posed, Edie suggested I take a look at the borders course she taught on Craftsy, and this was also on sale and I thought – why not? The borders course was excellent and taught me many new skills, techniques and ideas. Edie is a great teacher as well as being a master crocheter and knitter and designer and pattern editor.

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The thing I loved most was that Edie was really great at describing why you might use different methods for different projects and for giving you the confidence that you are the designer of your project – so to choose what you love. I used one of the borders from the borders course (the Poppy flowers or #86 in Edie’s book) for the Happy Days Blanket.

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So here was the test of the course. Previously, on every other blanket project, I have frogged my borders multiple times, before reaching something I am happy with. The Happy Days blanket is the first time I haven’t had to spend lots of time frogging and the quickest I have done a border, even though is probably the most complex border I’ve done so far, because of the 3D nature of the border and making a foundation row of double crochet (US single crochet) onto the hexagons. This is testimony to the great help I had received on the Craftsy courses!

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On my border, I used Meadow as the main colour and I found by doing row 3 in the contrast colour of Magenta, I got a rather lovely stripe round the top of the border, as well as the flowers being in a contrast colour. Then I worked the final round of reverse double crochet (US single crochet) or crab stitch, in the main colour of meadow. After many times of trying in the past, this is the first time I have managed the crab stitch (yay) thanks to Edie’s great tutorial. I really like the lovely corded effect it gives.

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And so, that is the story of the border! I loved making the Happy Days Blanket. Melody Griffith’s granny hexagon pattern was quick and easy to make and it was not too hard to work out the filler shapes. I am totally in love with this blanket. The girls really love it and it embodies everything I wanted – bright, lively and lovely colours that remind me of my happy, cart-wheeling, rambunctious girls and of the happy days we have had together and hopefully will make together in the future. I would also thoroughly recommend Edie’s classes on Craftsy. They have really helped me in improving and expanding my crochet techniques and skills and increasing my confidence to try even more new ideas! It was also very encouraging to receive Edie’s positive feedback on my project, after I posted it in the class. Hoping you have enjoyed reading about the Happy Days Blanket and have many of your own happy days over the summer 🙂

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P.S. Did any of you work out the hexagon plan? Here is the original diagram with the changes in pencil to show how you could redesign it using only the half-hexagon filler shapes and the whole hexagons.

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