Monday, 16 September 2013

French Stripey Throw - Done over!

Last night I posted my French Stripey Throw finished post, and Blogger didn't pick up updates so it didn't go on any blog lists. I am posting again to flag the post of the finished stripey throw, hopefully!! Thank you for your patience and understanding and apologies if I have now spammed you.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

French Stripey Throw - DONE!

As promised I'm back.
I finished my French Strip Throw. To be truthful I finished it back in June, and we have had a long hot summer (well for England we've had a lovely summer) and in all that good weather I never got around to photographing my dense, warm, cosy and soft French Stripey Throw! So here it is.

The story started a year ago when I splashed out on some gorgeous Garnstudio Drops Extra Fine Merino in my favourite colours, a light double knit pure merino wool. I justified the outlay as it was my birthday money. I then stashed it like a squirrel. Nothing unusual there for most knitters and hookers, but I do not store, I buy for a project and use it. I may not finish whatever it is but I always buy for a specific project and not in advance of starting, and certainly not without knowing what it is for and how much I need.

I knew I was making a throw and that was it, but the design cogitated in my head, with extensive "research" on Ravelry, aka how-to-make-an-evening-fly-past-and-achieve-nothing!! I finished my Rainbow Ripple and started and finished Cath Kidston inspired Granny and also mum's Christmas present Vintage Granny, the blanket wa vintage colours not that my mum is vintage!

Anyway, a bit more detail on how my French Stripe Throw was finally born, back in January. It seems ages ago when it rained and rained and rained for months. Here is my only update a couple of weeks later. Since then we have moved house and I've started a new full time shift-work job that is very physical. I am so ready each evening for a selfish half an hour or so of crocheting with my feet up.
As you can see in the pictures, we are getting around to doing something with our little estate garden. The vintage gazebo came from mum's garden in Cumbria 15 years ago, moved to Minchinhampton where it resided with a clematis crawling all over for 15 years, and I was determined it was coming to Bristol as there was nothing in the garden, it had to go into storage! A couple of weeks ago when I had Sunday off and it was a lovely day, the two of us dug the turf and bedded in the wood edging and bamboo strip so the grass can be mown up to the edge, and pegged down some weed matting. It's scary how much this landscaping lark costs. A huge crane lorry arrived on Friday morning and nimbly lifted a bag of slate chippings over the back wall. Then we had to wheelbarrow it round, as you can see I didn't get very far on my day off on Friday and got waylaid by photographing my blanket! it was finished yesterday though.

Anyway, back to the important things. As I explained previously, I had 9 colours and I decided on a very loose 'colour pattern' of 5 rows solid and then a variegated similar size stripe of different colours and then another solid stripe and so on and on and on. As it gets bigger you have to lug the whole blanket with you, great in winter but it gets a bit warm in summer. However, there was no joining-together-marathon either. There were a lot of ends and the ends were "dealt with" very religiously every 20 or so rows, I would lose the will to finish if I had all the ends hanging over me, literally.
The size was determined by the amount of yarn I had, early on I sent off for another 12 balls, so 40x50g balls in total approx. This pattern is yarn hungry and quite dense, I kicked myself for picking a dense design with the posh yarn. I just kept going until I reckoned I would be getting short on the border.
The border I worked by keeping the pattern the same (dc ch) and picking up down the two long edges, working a double crochet in each row and then a chain to work into on the following round with a 2 ch sp and 2 dc worked into the corners. 
 I did have a few issues with the wavy edges, and so I worked 2 decrease rounds in border rounds 2 and 5, clearly visible on the pistachio round, where I crocheted two stitches together every 10 stitches.
I didn't have the same amount of each yarn so tried to spread the colours evenly throughout, some had run out by the border.
I was a little frustrated that I had chosen a pattern that ate yarn, so it ended up a throw size for the sofa, and goes well with our soft furnishings in the living room, a cushion snuck outside to pose!! It is gorgeous yarn, but being 100% wool I will worry about it more than the Stylecraft blankets that can be abused. I have no reason to believe that the Drops yarn won't wear well, I only worry because I spent so much more on it than usual.
French Stripes Blanket finished 14th June 2013, it took me six months as I started on Boxing Day

FINISHED SIZE: 160cm x 135cm including the border that ended up as 9cm

YARN: Drops Extra Fine Merino (Light DK weight 50g balls)
#15 Light greyish green 2 balls
#19 Light grey blue       6 balls
#20 Dark blue              4 balls
#21 Purple                   4 balls
#13 Denim blue            6 balls
#14 Steel blue              6 balls
#22 Medium purple      6 balls
#26 Pistachio               6 balls
#01 Off white               2 balls

HOOK: 4mm

PATTERN: Beach Stripe Surf Blanket from Kristen's Cozy Things blog
Inspiration came from the talented Cathy at Clicky Needles which led me to Kristen's blog. Oh how time is wasted artistically inspired blog hopping!


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