Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spangled Stars

My love of yarn comes from my obsession with color.  A good friend taught me to crochet after I graduated college and it sort of took off; no, not like a wild fire... more like the growing of an oak tree, slow but concentrated.  I made a hat, started the mother of all blankets (not finished) started another blanket (not finished), left the craft for a couple years and returned when I had nothing to do while living in a hotel for 8 weeks...  Gotta love the life of a nomad.
"mother of all blankets"

 I saw a simple granny square on Pinterest and I wanted to branch out from my normal double crochet stitch.  I fell in love with the clean stitch shown in the photo.  Gave it a whirl.

As I was looping away on my blanket, I looked at my center of the square and realized it would make a great star, if done in white then surrounded by blue... Right there I thought of my next blanket (which is so me, getting to the next project before the first is even done.)

So while living in a hotel room in Overland Park for 8-9 weeks, I finished all the squares for my blanket and started sewing them together.  Two to three more weeks of stress later I get moved into our rental in Sioux City.  My Mr. is not released from the office to his new assignment yet so I have plenty of time on my hands to work.  Plus! The Summer 2012 Olympics were on, so I was content to do nothing but watch and work.  Sometime between  Aug and Sept I finish my blanket, considering I started in May, this was impressive to me.  
My blanket, not finished here but it is now.
I love the coloring in this, really it's the lighting
I love that as I make blankets, I can also use them
to keep warm :) (my AC was cold!)
NOW I am start on the blanket I am most excited for.  To start, I decided it would be for my sister-in-law, Angie.  Then I went to town, making my stars, then surrounding then with blue, and making blue blanks to offset my stars {ya know, like on a flag. :) }  Then come the stripes.  At this point I am not sure how my sizing is going to come together, I started on them anyway.

Once most of the blanket was prepped, then came the sewing.  Starting with the stars, I needed to judge how big, once secured together, the star "block" was going to be to know how my stripes would come together and how long/wide I was going to make the flag.

My Mr. spent many sessions with me hem-hawing over "how does this look?", "Is this too long/long enough?", "Ugh, what if she doesn't like it?"  Then I started adding the stripes, AND THEY DIDN'T MATCH UP! :(  Oy, talk about stress!  My May 2013 deadline was fast approaching.  Early April I take my blanket to Olathe for one of my best friend's to tell me EXACTLY how I can salvage what I had done: Not Used A Pattern.

Her advice: Put 8 stripes at the stars and only 5 below.  (Correct would be 7 up and 6 down.)
It wasn't what I wanted to hear, my Mr. wasn't impressed either.  Then it came down to: It-Just-Needed-To-Be-Done..  So I proceeded.  Leaving a little section (one double crochet width) on the left edge, and a full blue granny square at the top.  My solution, was to wrap the whole blanket in a blue granny square.  I did 4 rows at the top to fill in the space and one at the left edge, then 1 around the whole blanket.  This stitch secures all the sewing done bewteen the squares.

I wish I had a photo of the two of us with it.  My favorite story is that she was telling my brother-in-law about how I made this beautiful flag blanket.  She had no idea it was for her :)

The rest are various shots I took of the finished product.
 These little piggies needed to be fed, always at what seemed like the worst timing.
They are pretty relentless and were in my face until I got up and fed them :)