Monday, June 22, 2020

FO: Bright and Sunny Granny Square Blankets

I feel like every one of my posts lately start out by saying something about how old this project is, and this one will be no exception! lol Sorry, not sorry. This is another good competitor for my oldest UFO, and other than my Hostess Apron I think it is. But holy cow it's done! Let's take a look.
I learned to crochet in August of 2012 when my lovely friend Leigh taught me how to make a baby hat. So I started off making circles (which I'm super grateful for) and progressed to making amigurumi shortly after that. By the time January of 2013 rolled around, I was pretty well versed in crochet, but I kept seeing all these things called Granny Squares when I looked for new projects. Turned out that most people make granny squares as their first project when learning to crochet (or so it seemed), so when I saw a cute blanket design that was granny square I decided I should make it up almost as a rite of passage since I hadn't ticked that style of crochet off my list yet. I thought it would help me grow better at crochet... or something...
In truth, the yarn came before the project. After learning to knit and crochet in 2012, I became a yarn stashing fiend. Craftsy was a newer thing and they had all kinds of supplies from companies that seemed so fancy, one of such products was this Cascade Cherub Kaleidoscope Aran yarn in the Sunripe colorway. They had a sweet deal on a bag of 10 skeins and I jumped at it, not knowing anything about this yarn or what I could use it for. Shortly after it arrived, I decided a blanket would be a great way to turn that bag of yarn into something usable since this was a soft acrylic and it was variegated (which I know I don't like to wear).
When I came across the free Traditional Granny Square pattern by Donna Higgins, I just started making squares. I would make few, get bored with doing the same thing over and over, and switch to another more exciting project. This trend went on for YEARS. I would be all determined when I picked up my bag of squares only to fizzle out within a few days and set it aside to make something else. When I picked it up back at the beginning of May, I had maybe 20 squares done. Shameful, I know. I just didn't love making granny squares since I was able to make much more complicated projects. Anyway, in the vein of finishing old projects during the lock down period, I sat myself down and started churning out blocks again. What was originally intended to be a large blanket for my bed became the perfect opportunity to make blankets for my lovely girls instead. I wound up just making squares until I got down to the last skein and a half of yarn. I had no idea how much yarn it would take to add a binding to the two blankets, so I stopped making squares and started joining them together at that point.
I wound up with 2 blankets that are 6x7 squares each. I also used a HUGE white skein of yarn I got at a thrift store to bind the squares together. It was one of those 1 pound skeins (I'm pretty sure it's Lion Brand Pound of Love but it had no label) and I knew this was the perfect opportunity to use up all that yarn so I had it earmarked all this time for just this project. 
Once I had all the blocks combined, I started on the borders. I did 2 rows of the white all the way around, and I actually ran out of my white ginormous skein with about 1/4 of the final row left on the first blanket binding. Happily, I also have a bunch of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in white that was given to me, so I used that on the second blanket and to finish the first. Then I just did a basic scalloped edge in the pink yarn around both edges. Turns out that I could've done 1 more row of blocks on each blanket given that I have almost 2 full skeins of the pink variegated left over :/ Which I find ironic considering this project was contrived solely to use this yarn up. Oh well. By the time I saw I was going to have that much excess, there was no way I was going to pull out all that work and add more. So now I have some extra yarn to make pillows or something in the future, lol, at least that's what I tell myself.
This was the pile of ends I had to weave in! Isn't that crazy? That's like 1/2 a skein of yarn right there. It took me a few hours to do all the weaving in, but it wasn't bad, just time consuming.
All this was worth it to see the smiling faces of my girls when I gave them their new blankies! I'm not sure how much they understand about me making these for them (though anytime they seem me knitting anything, Penny points at the project and says , "Mommy, blankie?"), but they LOVE their new blankets. They love blankets in general, to be real, but they particularly like these. Maybe it's the fun color, maybe it's the soft yarn, or maybe they actually know what it means that their mommy made it for them :)
So even though this project took 7.5 years to finish, I'm really glad it took that long. If I had finished this sooner, it would be a big blanket for me, which would be used occasionally I'm sure but wouldn't be as loved or meaningful as it is now that I was able to make 2 blankets for my little ladies :) These have become their blankets in their crib every night - quite the distinction. I'm glad to have this project off my mind, but even more so glad that it can be enjoyed for years to come by my favorite little people!

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