I’ve wanted to crochet myself a blanket from the moment I learned to chain. I can picture myself cozy and warm under a crochet blanket of my own making with a cup of coffee and a good book.
The challenge was choosing a stitch pattern or motif and yarn. I love a granny square blanket made with dozens of colors as much as 2 color version of Catherine’s Wheel. I wanted a big blanket that would last, so I wanted to be sure before I started.
PICKING A CROCHET PATTERN
I searched books, magazines, and catalogs, in shops and online for inspiration for the blanket I wanted to make. I considered everything – chevrons, ripples, granny squares, hexagons. I love them all and I’ve swatched a lot of them. But crocheting a blanket is a big undertaking and I could never commit.
Last week, while I was cleaning my home office, I came across a hexagon I’d crocheted. It was sitting in a basket with a few balls of yarn and a hook. I crocheted another hexagon and then another, each a little different than the last. That was it; I decided I would make my blanket out of hexagons.
CHOOSING A YARN
The next day, I went to the shop and considered every yarn in stock for my project. I wanted a blanket that:
- was large enough to cover me from head to toe and to wrap all the way around me,
- would last longer than I’d want it, maybe long enough to pass on,
- used lots of colors but remained more classic than trendy, and
- I could finish in a reasonable amount of time.
I found several good options, including Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Blue Sky Skinny Cotton, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, Ella Rae Classic Wool, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and Spud & Chloe Sweater. I put one of each on the table and compared them. In the end, I picked Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, because:
- it’s 100% wool, which is durable,
- it has a light and airy spin (I can’t believe how light weight my cardigan is) so it won’t make an unreasonably heavy blanket, given the size I’m going for,
- Shelter comes in gorgeous heathers and tweeds, brights and neutrals, that are classic yet modern, and,
- it’s worsted weight and it won’t take forever to finish.
A project of this size is expensive no matter which yarn you choose. Because the yarn is used for small motifs, and because of the size of the blanket, I think dye lot is less critical than it would be for most projects. You don’t need to purchase all of the yarn at once. Taking one or two skeins home at a time gives you plenty of yarn to crochet and allows the cost of the yarn to be spread out.
I took home eight of the seventeen colors of Shelter – Fossil, Woodsmoke, Nest, Pumpernickel, Embers, Hayloft, Sap, Tent. I’ll likely use more colors, but these were a good starting point. I wound them up and grabbed an F (4mm) hook.
HOW TO CROCHET HEXAGONS
There are lots of ways to crochet a hexagon. It’s one of the things I love about crochet – you always have options. After a little more swatching I found one that I really like. Here’s how I’m making the hexagons for my blanket.
ch-sp: chain space
dc: double crochet
dc2tog: [yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops] 2 times, yarn over, draw through all loops on hook.
dc3tog: [yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops] 3 times, yarn over, draw through all loops on hook.
Ch6. Slip stitch through the first ch to form a circle.
Round 1: Ch2, dc2tog into circle – counts as dc3tog. [Ch2, dc3tog into circle] 5 times. Ch2, slip stitch to top of first dc3tog. (6 clusters)
Round 2: Slip stitch into first chain-space. Ch2, dc2tog into ch-sp – counts as dc3tog. Ch2, dc3tog into same ch-sp. [Ch2, dc3tog, ch2 dc3tog into next ch-sp] 5 times. Ch2, slip stitch to top of first dc3tog. (12 clusters)
Round 3: Slip stitch into first chain-space. Ch3, 2dc, ch2, 3dc into ch-sp, 3dc into next ch-sp, [3dc, ch2, 3dc into foll ch-sp, 3dc into next ch-sp] 5 times. Slip stitch to top of first dc. Fasten off. (18 clusters)
At this point, my plan is to make as many hexagons as I can with the yarn I’ve wound. Then I’ll decide how to arrange them and crochet them together.
I’ll post updates as I make progress. Happy crocheting!