My ipad an I spent many evenings attempting various stitches with varying degrees of success. I struggled with the tension and my crochet samplers grew and shrunk with some alarming regularity. As they say, practise makes perfect and whilst nothing is ever quite perfect my confidence grew and I began to try out work that was a little more exciting than a scarf!
One of the things that I enjoy making is blankets. I love the anticipation of the project, sorting through the colours and the repetitiveness of row after row coming together. To date I have either followed a pattern or just slightly tinkered a bit with the colours. I got a little bit brave a few months ago and decided I could manage to venture alone...
I considered my colour choices, decided on the basic stitch and started. I often give my blankets as gifts but I still need to love them whilst I'm in the process. With this one the love began to waiver about a third of the way through. The irregularity of the stripe was beginning to bother me. The initial attraction to the randomness just wasn't working anymore. I noticed that the blanket wasn't really progressing as I just wasn't drawn to picking it up in the evenings.
Thankfully, the solution came to me and the answer was to mirror the pattern from the halfway point. Ahhh, symmetry..... all became well in my crochet world!
I've worked blankets with lots of different colour stripes in the past but these three shades needed rhythm and purpose.
Once a blanket is completed I'm itching to get going again. As a welcome change I looked for a quick start and finish project.
Back in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales in the little town that was my home for many years the planning is underway for 'Yarndale'. This is a creative festival of all things woolly and they have a community project that you can contribute to wherever you are in the world. This year the community project is to make a woolly sheep. These sheep will be a visual display during the Yarndale weekend and then they will be sold with the proceeds going to Martin House - a hospice to care for children and young people in Yorkshire and a donation will also go to The Children's Liver Disease Foundation.
I have watched the crochet community post their creations on social media and marvelled at the different interpretations. From my attempts my favourite was my little girly sheep in her pink jumper, so she will packaged up and sent back to Yorkshire. I wonder where she'll end up?
Another community project that I have just completed also came to my attention via social media. It's called #jennysblanketofhugs. A very kind and thoughtful individual is creating a blanket for a young girl who sadly has just learnt that her brain tumour has returned. The idea is that people can crochet squares that will then be made up into a blanket.
I really wanted to do my bit to contribute to this blanket. I set to work on the plain square and after a couple of attempts (that tension thing again!) I managed to get the required size about right. The same thing happened with the stripes - my size was out and the sides were wonky. The bobbled one was a real challenge for me - rows of increasing and decreasing number of stitches and bobbles that were way too flat! On Sunday evening I was on attempt number six or seven and then a thought came to me. These squares are just three squares in a huge blanket of hugs. There are numerous individuals from different corners of the world expressing their squares in their own way. Just like we hug. Each hug is different - similar... but different. Each square made for this blanket would be similar but different.
That's the beauty of this blanket. It has a colour theme, it has variations on plain, stripes and bobble squares, but it's full of individual hugs that give it that that beautiful uniqueness.
The details of the #jennysblanketofhugs project can be found - HERE