The Dancing Zigzags blanket…

In my last blog post I told you the story of the Sea Blanket, made from the lovely Lazy Waves pattern by Dedri Uys. And this week we move to the story of another ‘waves’ blanket pattern but this time by Kristel Salgarollo called the Multicolored Waves from Kristel’s lovely book Colorful Crochet Afghans and Pillows: 19 Projects to Brighten Your Home, or as I have dubbed this project – the Dancing Zigzags Blanket!

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This blanket was designed for Miss N, who is a beautiful dancer. I knew from the start that I wanted a design that had movement and also reflected Miss N’s lovely personality – bright and vibrant and filled with energy, but also someone who is a thinker and dreamer and artist.

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I decided on the Kristel Salgarollo pattern, as it beautifully met my requirements, while also being a robust enough pattern to withstand being used for making camps and capes, as well as snuggling. I had loads of fun experimenting on what pattern to use. I know some people see doing the swatches as a chore, but I really did have a great time trying out lots of different ideas.

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Miss N helped me choose the colours, and I experimented with the golden third rule (which I found out about in Edie Eckman’s book – Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs: Creative Techniques for Joining Motifs of All Shapes.) Basically, the idea is that you use 2/3 in one colour or colour group and 1/3 in a contrast/ different colour or colour group. So, we chose Stylecraft Special DK with 2/3 of the colours being cooler colours – Violet, Wisteria, Bluebell, Lavender, Sage, Storm and with 1/3 warmer colours, Pomegranate, Clematis, Magenta. I ended up using just over a 100g ball of each colour, with about 150g used of Violet which is also the border colour.

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I had worked out from my swatch that with my 9 colours, 4 repeats would give me a width of just over 120cm. Because this was only actually 36 stripes, for the first time ever, I planned the entire colour order for the blanket before I had even begun the crochet! It was fun to play around with the little snips of yarn and with only one alteration mid-blanket, I followed it completely. It was great, as I could ‘see’ how the blanket was going to look.

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The pattern in the book does give a starter chain length, but the yarn was finer than the one I used, and a smaller hook size, so I knew that I didn’t need that large a chain. However, I won’t tell you what my starter chain was, other than 13 pattern repeats (to give 150cm length), as sadly my maths went terribly wrong. The book only has charts, which is ok, but therefore you have to work out the pattern repeat and alternative starting chain yourself, which I did wrong, lol! But I can tell you, when you have too many chains, on your foundation chain, then it is possible to unpick them and secure the end. Crochet is so forgiving and it’s easy to fudge mistakes, just be confident that you will find a solution and it will come.

This blanket was sooo quick to make. I think I finished it in a couple of weeks, with limited crochet time. Another factor that helped was this… I SEWED IN EVERY END AS I WENT ALONG! It was so lovely to get to the end of the blanket and be… at the end. I followed the pattern for the border, but I found that I was getting a ruffled edge on the straight ends, so I alternated treble clusters down the side, 2 trebles, then 3 trebles (US terms double crochet clusters) and that lay nice and flat. I also changed the zigzag edging slightly on the foundation chain edge as I had also managed to do a too tight foundation chain (oops! I didn’t notice until too late, as I thought it was just the pattern causing it to curl. I was pretty tired when I started the blanket and forgot to use a hook size up for the foundation chain). And how about those Pom-poms?! I love them and they were quick to make with my handy Clover pom-pom maker, size 65mm.

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I am so pleased with this blanket – it is lovely and it has that movement and dancing that I hoped for. I loved the pattern – it’s very simple. Above all, Miss N loves this blanket too and it does really reflect her personality. Now to finish the Camelia blanket for Miss H and continue the process of covering all my family with crochet love!

P.S. Apologies for the quality of some of the photos. As you can see, my family are crazy mad to get their hands on my crochet once it’s finished. It was a very quick photo shoot!

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