For my first official blog post I want to share with you the exciting roller coaster that was The Wandering Wedding Blanket.
First, we must start from the beginning...
My fiance's parents have this cream colored blanket that was knit for them as a wedding gift. This blanket was the go to for every family member. They laughed in it, they cried in it, and some of them even puked in it. This blanket was more than just a wedding gift from a family member, it was a major part of every family members' lives at some point or another.
Jules' sister announced that she was getting married last year, so Jules had the brilliant idea that we should give her such a family heirloom that she can wrap her family up in. The only problem with this idea was that Jules has no knitting or crochet skills at all, so I was volunteered for the task. Keep in mind that my own skills were limited, so this was even a great challenge for me.
I scoured the internet for patterns, most of which you can find on my Pinterest. After an exhaustive search I finally narrowed it down to the five patterns I have listed below. Some of these links my not be to the original pattern, but they are the sources that were most helpful to me.
I chose a floral motif to bloom as their love blooms over the years. I used a 100% cotton Bernat worsted weight yarn. I did have to adjust one or two of the patterns to make all of the squares 12"x12", usually just by adding rows. I think I did use a slightly bigger hook for the Tropical Delight pattern, as it only yields a 7"x7" square. It took me about six months to complete, but I wasn't working on it non-stop until the last month or so. I spent a lot of time on youtube learning crochet stitches and trying to figure out how to read the patterns, so it was slow going on the first square of each design. It really was a labor of love.
Jules remarked on the amount of detail in many of these patterns, and that I could've chosen something simpler, but that wouldn't have been me. I'm a bit of an overachiever, and constantly try to challenge myself to be better and to acquire new skills. With everything that I learned working on this project, I should have no problem tackling amigurumi. But I digress...
After I made four, twelve inch squares of each of the five patterns I chose I had to do some calculating and formulate which order to connect the squares in. My trusty drafting table was just big enough for me to lay out each square into a definitive pattern. When laying out my squares, I tried to arrange them so that the stitch counts didn't vary to much between adjacent squares, it helps to use graph paper so you can draw your layout to scale, and makes notes of the stitch count for each square.
Because each of these patterns ended with a different stitch count. I used a flat braid join to put all of the squares together. This joining technique is extremely forgiving when working with squares of different stitch counts, as you can skip as many stitches as you need between loops. I then finished the edges with a simple scallop. I would have liked to have made a more detailed border, but I didn't have time. I barely had time to embroider and sew the custom gift bag I made to present it in. Since the wedding was in Italy, I couldn't just wrap the blanket in paper, just in case security wanted to search my things.
The bride and groom were thrilled, and deeply touched by our gift, I even made Jules' brother cry. This was definitely one of the best gifts I've been able to give, and I'm not sure how soon it will be before I try something this crazy again.