Zara’s Christmas Blanket

christmas sunburst granny square crochet blanket

Posting about eight months late, but still – here’s another very late crochet catch-up post!

As some of you may remember, over a year ago now I started posting pictures about a certain red-and-white blanket I was making. One of my dearest friends, Zara, asked me for ‘squares with circles, in Scandinavian red and white’. I offered her a few different examples, and she picked out the type of square she wanted, which is Eda’s sunburst granny square pattern – and so I set to work. Again, I was working with my lovely 4mm hook, bought for me many moons ago by my beautiful friend Abby. I added an extra round of treble crochet to the original pattern, because otherwise it just felt too eye-blurring.

It took me from May to November last year to make all the squares and put it all together. It’s exactly 100 squares – it felt extremely appropriate for Zara that it should be such a nice, clean number! – and, through some artful photography, I managed not to show her any of the reversed, red-background squares until she opened it up at Christmas.

crochet blanket granny squares

The finished blanket.

With such striking colours as scarlet and white, I knew it would be an eye-catching blanket when it was done, so decided whether to do the negative-colour squares was a bit nail-biting at the time. I didn’t want to produce all those squares before I decided it didn’t really work! But I had quite a clear idea for what I wanted from the border, and I knew I wanted the edge to be red, so I’m glad I trusted my instincts. I think the red squares lend some excellent visual structure to the blanket and helps to pull it all together.

I joined the squares using Lucy’s joining seam, like I did with the sides of Nova’s camera, and the ridges added some lovely physical detail to the blanket. Joining the squares was one of the most satisfying experiences of the whole thing – I’d been making identical squares for months, and was suffering a bit of square fatigue, when I just went “screw it – I don’t care that I only have 36! I’m going to make the middle square!”, I had a fabulous time actually producing a lovely chunk of blanket.

crochet granny square blanket

The final two squares!

Once I’d made the central square, I started joining as I went – here are Lucy of Attic24’s directions for that – I made long strips of the remaining red and white squares, and then I joined the strips on around the edges of the central square. And then I went back and reinforced the seams, because I realised that some were stronger than others, because I hadn’t quite got the hang of it on some of the early joins.

I’d always had a very clear idea of what I wanted for the border, and the half-treble stitches all around the edge in red closed the whole pattern off beautifully. The sense of delight I felt when I finally got to create this thing that I’d been carrying around in my head for months was incomparable!

crochet blanket border

I love the half-treble stitch as an accent on the blanket’s edge.

In case you can’t tell from the photo, the rest of the border is two rounds of treble stitches. If I recall correctly, I had intended to do one more round, but I started doing it and I just knew it would be too much white. So I reeled it back, started on the red, and I could just feel in my fingertips that I was doing exactly the right thing. What a lovely sensation.

I haven’t tackled another blanket made of squares yet – I’ve been rippling a lot this year. But I’m starting to plan out another one that I think will be squares, so it’s good that I’ve finally managed to get this blog written and reflect on what I learned!

Which is, largely, to make squares exactly the same way every time until it becomes a habit, not to be afraid to ‘mass produce’ the central part of the circles because it can be a lot more efficient – and that joining as you go can be far more satisfying than producing and piling up squares, and then joining them all later on.

 

 

 

 

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