Today is one of those ‘Look At What I Made’ moments that prompted me to start blogging in the first place. I finished this baby blanket more than six months ago, and I love it dearly. It is made using Shelley Husband’s Flowers Abound squares and my Banksia Border. Usually, I don’t gift crochet items, but friends of ours have just had their third child (a beautiful baby girl called Erin), and I just had the strongest feeling that this blanket should be our gift to Erin.
The blanket is teeny tiny: 58 cm (23″) x 58 cm (23″), which is perfect for a 6-pound newborn. It is so soft and squishy. I hope Erin’s parents like it!! Christiaan says he loves it, but his face went all frowny when I asked him if the parents would like it. He says he doesn’t want me to be disappointed if they aren’t as excited about it as I am. I suppose he sees more than just a pretty blanket, having first-hand knowledge of how many hours go into even small items like this.
I’m curious to know how you feel about gifting (or receiving) crochet items. How tightly is your self-worth tied into whether a project is accepted or rejected? Do you realize that people not liking something you have made is not a reflexion on you as a person, but rather an expression of their own likes and dislikes (like Marmite)?
- Clotted Cream (4 skeins) – 345 meters
- Pistachio Cream (1 skein) – 90 meters
- Rhubarb Crumble (1 skein) – 115 meters
- Fondant Fancy (1 skein) – 50 meters
The yarn is 80% Superfine NewMerino and 20% Baby Alpaca. It is an absolute joy to work with. I call it my yarn chocolate. Everything about using Plump is enjoyable. I even found myself humming as I worked away my tails.
I used to think of projects and yarn in terms of money: ‘I can’t possibly use this xyz yarn because it cost xyz’, so the yarn just sat on my shelf looking pretty. I have recently shifted my mindset about this. Now, if I have a nice yarn, I will sometimes just use it as happy-therapy instead of with a specific purpose in mind. What’s the point of having a stash of beautiful yarn if you never allow yourself to use it? You’re paying for the experience, not just for the end product, much in the same way as you drink a glass of wine for the enjoyment, or eat a block (slab) of chocolate for the same reason.
When I started this blanket, I had absolutely no plan. I’d gotten my hands on a copy of Shelley’s e-book, ‘Flowers Abound’, and all I knew was that I wanted to make some of the squares. The baby blanket grew organically from there.
I decided to make 9 of the 20 squares in the book: Flor, Blomst, Blume, Blomma, Kukka, Hana, Blodyn, Fiore, and Fhool. I love how Shelley has used the word ‘Flower’ in different languages to name each of the squares.
You can buy Shelley’s ‘Flowers Abound’ e-book HERE on Amazon.com (US Version) and HERE on Amazon.co.uk (UK Version). The e-book is available in US and UK terms from both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, so pay special attention to which version you buy.
Tip: If money is tight, you can emulate this blanket by making 9 of your favourite (free) 4″ to 6″ squares instead. You will need to adjust the Base Rounds (below) as explained in the Border pattern (link below).
Finishing My ‘Flowers Abound’ Baby Blanket
I joined the squares using the Completely Flat Zipper Join, but you could just as easily use my granny’s (Sc, ch 1, Skip 1) Join, which I used for the Linen Stitch Manghan, the Lydia Blanket, and the upcoming Charlotte’s Dream.
Adding the Banksia Border
As I have already mentioned, I used the Banksia Border for the edging. For the Banksia Border to work out, I had to create 2 Base Rounds first. I’m going to tell you how I did that.
US Terms Used (US/UK Conversion Chart HERE)
- Ch – Chain
- Dc – Double crochet
- Hdc – Half-double crochet
- Sc – Single crochet
- Sl st – Slip stitch
- St/st’s – Stitch/stitches
- * – Repeat instructions between asterisks the number of times specified.
Border Base Round 1 – Clotted Cream
You will need to make 25 sc’s into each square (excluding corner spaces), and 1 hdc into each corner space apart from the very first and the very last.
Starting in any corner space of your 9-Square: *(Sc, ch 2, sc) in the corner space of your 9-Square. Make 25 sc’s along the edge of the first square, working into the stitches of the last round of the square and increasing as needed. (Hdc in the corner ch-space of the same square. Hdc in the corner ch-space of the next square. Make 25 sc’s along the edge of the square, increasing as needed) twice.* Repeat from * to * 3 more times. Join to the first sc with a sl st. Sl st into the next corner space, then ch 1. (81 st’s per side)
Border Base Round 2 – Clotted Cream
The corners in this round are asymmetrical. They are created by making (2 sc, ch 2, sc) into each corner space. This is purely to get the right stitch count for adding the border (multiples of 10 + 4).
*(2 sc, ch 2, sc) in the ch-2 corner space. Sc in each of the 81 st’s across.* Repeat from * to * 3 more times. Join to the first sc with a sl st. Fasten off and work away your tails of yarn. (84 sc’s per side)
Banksia Border Rounds 1 – 9
Once you have created these 2 Base Rounds, you can continue adding Rounds 1 to 9 of the Banksia Border. You can find the photo tutorial for the Banksia Border HERE. To get the Contrasting Colour Ridges, make Rounds 1 and 8 in Rhubarb Crumble and the rest of the rounds in Clotted Cream.
I wanted to add one more round to the blanket, so I chose to add a dc round in Clotted Cream.
Join your yarn by making a standing double crochet in any ch-2 corner space around. (Dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in the same ch-2 corner space. Skip the first (hidden) stitch. Dc in each st across.
*(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in the ch-2 corner space. Skip the first (hidden) stitch. Dc in each st across.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join to the standing dc with a sl st. Fasten off and work away your tails of yarn.
More of Shelley’s Patterns
- ‘More Than a Granny’ e-book (buy the US version HERE on Amazon.com and the UK version HERE on Amazon.co.uk)
- ‘More Than a Granny 2’ e-book (buy the US version HERE on Amazon.com and the UK version HERE on Amazon.co.uk)
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