The Art of Finishing and The Play Blanket Ta Dah!

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I do love writing and crochet and writing about crochet in particular. I keep turning ideas over in my mind of a crochet novel… but anyway, I haven’t been doing much writing recently, but I have been doing a lot of crochet, alongside relearning how to knit. (If anyone is interested, I have been following Lucy Neatby’s beginner Knitting DVDs. I bought mine from the US via E-bay. You can buy them as downloads on Lucy’s website, but only if you are in the US and Canada). And, I have been doing some sewing and alongside that the usual of making sure Mr T feels loved and nurturing the bodies, souls and spirits of our lovely brood.

I know that I wrote on this topic of having too much on the go at one time early last year, but I found myself in October feeling slightly overwhelmed again, as I had rather a lot of projects in my already busy life. Here was my list…

Crochet: The Play Blanket, Ruby Red Shawl, Crochet basket and toys, Wilma Scarf for Christmas Present for Mum in Law, Gypsy Queen Cushion Cover, Octagon throw, Man Blanket Mark 2. Knitting: Scarf, Mittens, toys. Sewing: Maggie Rabbit number 2, Xmas bunting (plus various other bits and pieces in various stages of planning and execution, which mostly I didn’t remember existed until packing them recently!)

Not to mention the fact that Mr T was slightly tetchy about the bags of yarn everywhere round the house and there was also the unfortunate incident where the coat stand toppled over onto a small child under the weight of the various WIPs hung at the top (don’t worry, child was unhurt, as yarn is thankfully very soft). So I prayed for wisdom of what to do and I made a decision not to start any new projects until I had gotten most of my list of WIPs done. It was not complicated – I wrote the list down and I took one at a time and worked on them until they were done. It did take a lot of will power not to start new projects and I admit, I may have cheated a little (for instance making a crochet hobby horse for Miss E but she was crying because all the others had a hobby horse except for her…) but by and large, I stuck to it. Even though some of the time I had to force myself to start on something, once I got going I really enjoyed feeling virtuous knowing I was growing perseverance and of course that I love the crafting process too.

Last week I finished the Octie throw, which meant most of the list was done, bar the mittens and the Xmas bunting that frankly can wait for next year (Mr T mercifully forgot that I had specially bought the magazine that had the bunting on the front to make for Christmas, because I just ‘had’ to have it… phew).

Anyway, I wrote this preamble about all the projects, as I plan to post the Ta dahs as separate blog posts so they are easy to find, but I thought you fellow yarn and craft addicts might enjoy the story of how I came to complete so much in one go. So here follows the little ditty of the Play Blanket

The Play Blanket for Mini Mr T

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I had finished ALL of the crocheting of this blanket back in March last year and I only needed to sew the appliques on! However, this thing happened that I had totally fallen out of love with it, and every time I started to pick it up to work on it, I found it incredibly stressful – there were loads of ends on the appliques I hadn’t sewn in and trying to do it with children around was just not working (think running off with the ends attached to the appliques, moving them whilst trying to sew them on etc,) and also I had lost my vision for what I wanted in the first place. So this lovely blanket got abandoned unceremoniously at the top of the coat stand (to later fall on some poor unsuspecting child…)

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However, time moves on and there comes an age for the baby in our house – usually around 12 months, when Mr T very heroically takes on sleep training and specifically teaching them to go to sleep on ‘their own’. He is so patient and spends ages sitting and lying in their bedroom by the cot, whilst they learn to go to sleep without being held or nursing. It is a big coming of age in our house and very exciting for everyone (excepting some protests from the baby), . What this means for me, is that after stories, snuggles and prayers with the older children, I have a free evening, woo hoo! And, depending on the success rate of Mr T, sooner or later we actually get whole evenings of child free time together – awesome.

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But what these evenings of child free time meant for the Play Blanket was that I had no-one pulling on ends or running off with appliques and this reduced the stress levels considerably. Also, I have to be honest to say that I lowered the bar for myself.  I decided I would be happy for a rustic look and I stopped worrying about whether it looked perfect. I actually quite liked it where they looked a bit puffy and wonky, because it gave an added element of dimension and play and the finished result is actually very pleasing.

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Rainbow –  free pattern – http://www.enfys.me.uk

Soon it was finished.There is room for more and maybe at some point I will do some more appliques, but for now I am really pleased it is done and I have fallen back in love with it. So I am going to blitz you with photos and  I have listed all the pattern details. Many of the appliques are from How to Make 100 Crochet Appliques by Deborah Burger. The Blanket is the Neat Ripple Pattern by Lucy at Attic 24. It measures roughly 150cm by 120 cm and the starting chain was 11 X 14 plus 3. The colours are a mix of stylecraft special DK and New Fashion DK.

 

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Dumper truck and Bull dozer are paid for patterns from Knot Your Nana’s crochet on Ravelry

Airplane is a free pattern from www.missdolkapots.wordpress.com

Welsh patches from – Welsh Gifts

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Submarine – paid for pattern – www.oneandtwocompany.com/

 

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Octopus/ squid from the 100 Crochet Appliques book.

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Seahorse from the 100 Crochet appliques book

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Digger – free pattern – www.knotyournanascrochet.com

 

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Cars – free pattern – amurushka.blogspot.co.uk

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Daffodil – free pattern – attic 24

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The Tree and sheep are from the Crochet Applique book

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The Sun is from the 100 Appliques book

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The Letters are from Melody Griffiths Book (see link below in photograph) I love these patterns, as they also contain the charts.

 

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