Spring is in the air, and there seems to be rather a lot of new arrivals being announced, all at once! This time, not one, but two of my friends at work are both going on maternity leave at the same time – I guess that gives me the perfect excuse to get my crochet hooks out!
Firstly, I decided to make a coverlet for my friend and colleague, Hayley – she has just gone on leave to have her second child, a little boy. Using some white Sirdar Snuggly and a number 5 hook, I made up 3 rows of trebles, then did a row of puff stitches to give the coverlet some interest. For the edge, I used some lovely blue lambswool from Kingcraig Fabrics to make rows of alternating shells. This was really quick to make, and I think the edging looks really effective!
Secondly, a fellow member of my team at work, Sian, is also starting maternity leave for her first child this month. This blanket is larger than the coverlet, for no other reason than I carried on crocheting for ages before realising how large it had become!
Again, the main work of this crochet was simple rows of trebles, but every few rows I did a series of *three trebles into a single stitch (to make a small fan), skipped a stitch, a single treble, skipped a stitch, all the way to the end of the row. On the next row, I would do a treble into each of the first three ‘fan’ stitches, but for each stitch, I would keep the last loop of the stitch on the hook. Once all three were looped on, I’d do a yarn over hook to close the stitches. Then I would do a single treble to complete the post in the middle of the motif, and begin on the next three trebles into the fan. I hope that made sense! This made the lovely flowers/windmills/crosses pattern you can see below.
To finish this blanket off, I simply did a row of *treble crochet, single crochet, skip a stitch, followed by a row of a *treble crochet, single crochet, treble crochet, single crochet into each loop created on the previous row. This meant I could thread ribbon throught the first row and produce a gentle frill on the outside row. I’m really happy with how this blanket turned out!
Once I had finished these two, I was in full swing and ready to make a third – I don’t know who is going to be the recipient of this one yet, but I’m sure it will find a home soon!
I wanted to try a more intricate stitch, and I had spotted this great tutorial on Sandra Cherryheart‘s blog – the clamshell stitch. In Sandra’s blanket, she uses a different colour for each row of clamshells, but I thought it would look interesting if only occasional shells were picked out in a colour. Again I used Sirdar Snuggly, will remnant balls of primrose yellow and dark blue lambswool from Kingcraig.
What I love about this stitch is how the different rows catch the light – I didn’t notice this on the gorgeous, multi-coloured one on Sandra’s page, but I think the white really shows them off! I just wanted to keep on crocheting this one, it was a struggle to stop! For some interest, I hooked some of the central rows of stitches in blue, which means you can see the point where the clamshell spike stitches overlap it at even intervals.
For the edging, I was perilously close to running out of wool, so I simply did a row of V stitches, followed by a blue row of Vs, followed by a final row of white chain stitches, held onto the blue Vs with double crochets.
Et voila, the finished blanket. I guess, as it contains blue, it really should be a boy’s blanket. However, the combination of blue, white and yellow seems quite nautical and fresh to me! Perhaps it could work for a boy or a girl. What do you think?
Two of their blankets have already been delivered to my friends, in time for their own special deliveries. The third one awaits a recipient, but I’ll keep it to one side until one of my friends has wonderful news!