When I’m not writing, and I’m bound and determined to watch television–I can rarely sit through T.V. anymore without doing something with my hands–I have started making a new blanket.
This is my color palate, aka using all the scrap yarn I’ve accumulated over the years to make my first full sized blanket.
My grandmother made a lot of afghans and I have a huge collection of them, but I’ve never actually made my own. Well, I made a baby blanket for my daughter when I was pregnant with her, and I think I made one for my son, but that was it.
I’ve always wanted to complete one, and I was looking at one of the afghans Grandma made me, one that I knew was really simple, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out exactly what the pattern was. And it hit me, like a bonk on the head. I could see the pattern, and I felt like a dork for not figuring it out before.
I grabbed some scrap yarn and attempted to copy it, just a few shells to see if I had it right. Took a few times, but I got it figured out.
My grandmother Jane made a lot of blankets using this pattern. (see, we have her burgundy and off-white one, and of course, my little guy had to be in frame, and next to it, is Big Grandma (what we called Grandma Jane, courtesy of my kids who confused “big” with “great” when we tried to explain “Great Grandma” to them) I have this one, I believe my mother has about four that she made with the same concept–every time Mom would get a new bedspread, Jane would make her a new blanket to match.
Below, is the first few strips of my blanket. I’m using the same off-white Jane used — Aran by Red Heart (she was a big fan of Red Heart thread, and the more I use it, along with others for this project, I see why, it’s tougher or something. Doesn’t get so soft it tangles and stretches as much)
Anyway, the idea is simple, you make the center strip, just shells. I think Jane did 80. I’m doing 88, because I can remember 88 better. Every time I count and get to 88, I hear Doc from Back to the Future screaming “88 miles and hour!!! 88 miles an hour!!”
After you make the center strip, you tie off, and do the white around the edges. I can usually make a full strip in a couple of days, and for me, that’s awesome, because I tend to get bored with a blanket after a while and I don’t finish them. So this one, I finish it in pieces. If, for some reason, I give up half way through, I can at least make a huge lap blanket.
Grandma did 20 strips for her queen sized blankets. I am doing 21, simply because I had 11 colors, but after I made the turquoise strip (below), I didn’t have enough turquoise to make a second turquoise strip. (And the purpose of this project is not to buy more thread, but to get rid of what I have, so I don’t want to go buy more).
So my plan is to use the turquoise strip as the center, and mirror out the rest of the colors on either side. My son calls it “the rainbow yarn.” When I get it finished, I’ll put the blanket up for everyone to see.