Tuesday, 19 January 2016

fo: attic 24 ripple blanket

Pattern - Neat Ripple
Yarn Used - Stylecraft Special DK - Cottage colour pack from Wool Warehouse
Ravelry project page - here

This is the other big present I made for Christmas this year (the first being Neil's Lord of the Rings scarf) and was a long time in the making - but this only makes the finishing, giving, and sharing all the sweeter! Katy had asked me to make a blanket for her over summer, when I first started my stash buster blanket (which, if you are wondering, I am on square 8 of 9 now) and I said I would as long as she bought the wool for it. Not too long after this I thought it would make a much better Christmas present, so I didn't bring it up again and happily neither did she - the plan was in place.

I had always fancied making an Attic24 blanket, and longed to purchase one of the special Stylecraft colour packs available on the Wool Warehouse website, but needed a really good excuse to. A Christmas present was just the excuse I needed. Although Katy expressed an interest in a granny square blanket, I really wanted to push out of my comfort zone a little and do something different, plus with the way her room is currently decorated I didn't think a granny square blanket would fit as well as something else. Every ripple blanket that I've seen online is so beautiful, and that's what I decided Katy would like best. I settled on the cottage colour pack, which happened to include the printed pattern for the blanket, and got to work.

I spent 3 months working here and there on this blanket, in secret, in between everything else that I was trying to do. I say trying, I would say I was actually quite successful before Christmas. I get a lot of my projects with deadlines done on the bus though, which wasn't an option with the blanket! This was certainly a bedside project. 

I worked with 15 colours and followed Lucy's pattern (of Attic24). The colour choice throughout the pattern works so marvellously, following Lucy's instructions and using the same yarn she does means you get a wonderful 'random' assortment of colours, without the worry of deciding what you think will look good next, but everything still manages to complement each other row by row. The finished blanket looks really great with crisp lines between colour changes and those lovely waves. 

The only downside I found to crocheting this blanket was after a row or 2, even with the lovely colours and yarn, it did get quite boring. Fundamentally the blank is just blocks of 4 double crochets (triple crochets in UK terms) but you can't just mindlessly go forth and crochet as you have to count each block of 4 to make sure you double up and reduce at the right points. I don't enjoy such counting but it had to be done, and it is so pretty I would probably still consider doing another!

Another interesting point - I started this blanket before  the Spice of Life CAL and so I didn't appreciate how important tension is with everything: not just for clothes in knitting, as I always naively assume. The pattern said to use a 4mm hook and that's what I used. Admittedly, with a blanket, and as a gift, it didn't really matter in the end because I just worked until the blanket looked right (with the help of Neil, dad and Ben) but I was panicking at one point that a) I would never finish the blanket because I supposedly had 40 more rows to go (20 more colour changes), and b) I would run out of yarn before I even got to the end. As it was I only needed to do 64 colour changes as opposed to 84, and as you can see above the blanket fits happily on a double bed. I think I ought to have gone down a hook size if I wanted to get more colours in there. But no matter - it meant I could give Katy all the left over yarn which she could either use herself (being a budding knitter) or have me make her a matching cushion cover if she wanted. 

All in all, I would heartily recommend this pattern and yarn pack to anyone wanting to make a lovely crochet blanket for themselves or as a gift! Just get ready for a lot of repeating over 4 stitches.

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