I'm starting this second half of the year with a bang, it seems, as I have another finished project to share with you today!
One of the categories on my list is using my extensive stash of acrylic yarn to make things for babies and small people, as there seems to have been an explosion of births in the last year or so (I guess we've just reached *that* age). Not just among my friends and family either (did I tell you? We have a nephew now as well as a niece. I haven't made him anything yet though!), we have had something of a baby epidemic in work too. Which has meant I've been production-lining baby blankets. The next work baby is due in February, but as she will be going on maternity leave very soon, I needed to get this blanket finished ASAP.
I think this may be my favourite out of all the baby blankets I've made so far (6 and counting...); it is so bright and colourful and cheerful.
The pattern is from Lion Brand, the Beginner Crochet Baby Afghan. As written, you crochet the squares individually and then sew them together. I couldn't quite face doing that, so I devised a way to join as I went. This was more awkward than you might think, as the orientation of the squares alternates across each row and column!
The above shows the first five squares crocheted. I started the first square (a pink one) with foundation single crochet rather than a chain, as I knew I wanted to add a border (not included in the original pattern) once I'd finished as I felt otherwise the edges would look untidy, and it's much easier to crochet into the base of foundation stitches than it is to crochet into the back of a chain.
Wherever possible, I crocheted all squares of the same colour together, so that I didn't have too many ends to weave in. To join the squares, I used slip stitches into the edge of the adjoining square when I got to the ends. I did encounter some issues as in order to make my squares actually square, they were 22 stitches wide but only 18 rows high. This meant that when I came to start a new square down the side of an existing square, I had to create 22 stitches in the edges of 18 rows. This caused me a lot of headaches, trying to keep them even! I think on the whole I managed to get away with it.
The blanket was started back in October, and then put to one side while I focused on Christmas presents and selfish projects. I was pleasantly surprised when I picked it back up yesterday that it only had two and a half squares left to crochet, plus the border. A few hours lazy crocheting while watching Friends and the second half of Les Miserables and it was done. I knew if I didn't block it straight away I'd be doing it in a rush the night before I needed to take it into work, so I got the boards and iron out and did it straight away.
I'm almost sad to be giving this one away, but I'm sure my colleague and her husband will love it as much as I do, and it will get plenty of use once the baby has arrived!